All About Trust: Leveraging Social Media to Build Your Small Business4 min read
Small business owners have it rough, especially when it comes to standing out in a crowd. You need to find positive ways to distinguish yourself from your rivals, but it’s often difficult to market your business in ways that more well-established businesses can afford to do.
Yet there are ways to get around resource limitations when it comes to building your small business. Choosing to use social media to build trust and brand recognition for your small business is an effective, resource-efficient method for accomplishing these goals. Here’s what you need to know about how, and why, it works.
The Impact of Non-Traditional Marketing
Part of what makes social media marketing work so well is that it’s not a place for non-traditional marketing. In what seems like a highly counter-intuitive process, the more iconoclastic approach you take to advertising on social media platforms the better. Traditional marketing tactics, designed to push whatever products or services your business offers, are much less effective at building trust and positive reputation in a social environment.
Because of the oblique approach social marketing takes, you might not feel like your efforts will pay off in translating to better sales for your company. Yet this process builds your company presence on social media platforms in a way that reinforces the reputation of your brand and creates perceptions of being trustworthy in the minds of your followers. Building genuine relationships with prospective customers now leads to fiercely loyal ones in the future.
It’s All About Adding Value
The best social media campaigns build trust between a company and its followers.
There are a few ways you can do this, but the most effective methods are almost always to provide added value to those followers while asking nothing in return.
This can be accomplished by sharing educating and entertaining content. Generating such content both demonstrates your business is an authority on a specific subject; sharing that content showcases your desire to inform and engage your followers.
Honest, Transparent Behavior
Actions speak louder than words. Nowhere is that truer than on social media, where you’re judged by what you choose to share with your audience. Whether you’re a celebrity, a multinational corporation, or you’re running a start-up from your garage, once you put something out there on the internet, that content represents you.
This is why committing to honest, transparent behavior through social media contributes to your company’s reputation. You won’t just be judged on the quality of your content but also how you respond to those who engage with that content. Straightforward and approachable language is a must, whether dealing with a positive or negative response. In fact, the more honestly you respond to negative interactions, the more trust you’ll engender in your followers.
Make ‘Em Laugh
Honesty and added value are important to building trust. So is entertaining your audience. Clever, good-natured humorous content, provided it aligns with the image you want to promote for your brand, is just one more effective tool you should be using.
There’s no better way to showcase your brand’s personality than with a solid laugh. It also contributes to humanizing your company, which is an important aspect of building trust and a positive reputation.
The bilateral nature of social media is one of its strengths. It’s not just you posting content in a void for mindless consumption — your followers will respond to that content. Use these moments as opportunities to interact with your audience directly. This shows your followers that you value the fact that they took even just a moment out of their day to engage with you.
This practice isn’t just a good idea — it’s come to be expected. Social media users have grown accustomed to the one-on-one nature of these platforms, so much so that some platforms experience one-one-one interactions 95% of the time.
The Final Word
Social media is an excellent tool for differentiating your business from your competitors. Social media marketing is ideal for showcasing smaller-scale businesses, especially if you focus on building a reputation for being open, honest, and trustworthy. It’s not an easy job, but running a social media campaign can reap some major rewards. Keep the above tips in mind, though and you’ll be well on your way!