how to build trust in social media

How to build trust in social media is the number one consideration when you start out as well as when you are looking to kick on your social networking to the next level.

A great podcast on Oprah’s Super Soul channel, by Dr Brene Brown called the Anatomy of Trust shows us just how simple the process is but just how often we miss or forget the key ingredients required.

Brene believes the process is simply BRAVING and here it is:

Boundaries – set realistic boundaries for your connections about what your social media is and what it isn’t. Using the rule of thirds, will help you to clarify what your connections should expect.

Reliability – figure out how regularly you should post, through which networks and how much is enough. Timely and appropriate, high value content is the key and balance the sell with the free stuff at the same time as helping your connections to get to know you.

Accountability – if you are sharing information that your connections will use, be accountable for everything that happens. If you are making recommendations then stand by them. If you are simply signposting then make that clear too. It’s all about owning your side of the relationship because that in itself will be valued by your followers.

Vault – maintaining confidentiality (ask followers to DM you rather than communicating in public, as soon as anything becomes personal to them) is vital to build trust in social media. Holding any customer information or data and it’s your responsibility to maintain discretion and confidentially at all times. In marketing we have data protection legislation to give your connections a secure and safe feeling that your vault is a comfortable place for them to share their information.

Integrity – there’s a new kid on the block in the marketing mix and it’s your higher purpose. Consistently and constantly sharing why you and your business exists, not just to make profit, but for a higher social and ethical purpose, is becoming an essential story to tell. This will demonstrate your integrity and a more fundamental reason why your connections should continue to engage with you.

Non-Judgement – make sure your style of content and tone of voice is always neutral to positive and never, ever demeans any individual, group or sector. This will apply as much to your competitors as it does to your stakeholders. Be graceful and diplomatic at all times and act without judgement.

Generosity – many people ask me how much stuff they should give away for free on their social media. If you are a product company then product giveaways (without expectation of a direct return) can be an interesting method of research, feedback and generosity. If you are a service company you can probably afford to give away up to 80% of your IP, because interested customers will clamour after the missing 20% anyway. Give them great value in the 80% you give them for free and you are very likely to not only keep them happy and engaged but encourage them to be advocates and share your story too.

Learn more about how to build trust in social media: listen to the full podcast here

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