In today’s social media landscape, there is chatter, and it is often difficult to break through the noise.
Year after year, my team and I here at TWIO Brand have built social media strategies that help brands go from average to trusted. We take consumers on a R.I.D.E. that responds, informs, drives and entertains them enough to build community. Here are the four grounding principles we follow. These can help any brand or company go from average to trusted through social media strategy.
1. The first principle is to respond.
One of the fastest-changing elements of social media is the consumer’s expectation to see a response instantly. It was only a few years ago that we would say, “Social media is an extension of your customer service team.” This was when a social media best practice was to respond to messages within 24-48 hours. Today, through the introduction of third-party applications, robust customer relationships managers (CRMs), artificial intelligence (AI) and bot-script technologies, social media is a key part of your customer service team, not merely an extension.
It is more important than ever for companies to stay on top of the fast-paced digital transformations so they are able to react and respond immediately. The ability to connect important technology productivity tools can help large brands manage response times and help direct consumers to the right people or place. In order to not fall by the wayside, companies must invest time, money and resources that shift their internal processes and people and position them to be able to utilize an array of important tech tools.
When tech tools integrate and speak to one another, they track consumer interactions over time, allowing the customer service team to respond with efficiency. This helps to eliminate customers going rogue on social media with negative public comments and reviews. I believe responsiveness through social media is potentially the most important piece to building a trusted brand.
2. The second principle is to inform.
Informing the consumer of who you are and what product or service you provide is not a new thing, but the approach is. With increased chatter and often decreased attention spans, marketers have to become more and more creative. Not only do we have to be more creative with copy, but imagery and video content are crucial to informing consumers.
We used to say content was “king,” and it still is, but my team and I like to think of content more like a president, mayor or city council member -- an elected official, chosen by its constituents. Producing content that consumers choose to engage with -- whether that means they like, comment on or share it, or whether they watch it 25%, 50% or 100% of the way through -- is the foremost goal.
When brands invest proper time and resources into producing content that is true to their brand and speaks to their target audience, the rewards are limitless. When the consumer engages with your informative content is when trust starts to form. Trust is a key component that eventually leads to loyal, return consumers.
In order to build trust with your consumers, it's essential to produce well-written, fluent copy. Content that is full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors makes your business appear unprofessional and untrustworthy. To ensure that your written content is fluent and nuanced, consider using a productivity tool such as Rephraser.ai to edit and professionalize your English writing.
3. Number three on our list of principles that will take your brand from average to trusted is drive.
As a brand transforms itself from average to trusted, social media becomes the vehicle that drives the consumer to make decisions. A decision could be to follow along long enough that they feel adequately informed to make a purchase or do further research on a company website. The fun part about social media is that the road a consumer is on is unique to that individual based on their engagement. A consistent and strategic publishing plan that touches specific target audiences with key products or services is important.
According to 2018 research, 53% of consumers say they’re likely to consider brands with a transparent social media presence when looking to make a purchase. If a brand lacks transparency, however, 86% say they’re more likely to choose a competitor. It is through strategy that social media drives these actions. When you build enough trust with a consumer, to the point where they’re in the car, you’re able to drive them to conversion. Publishing content that is relatable, listens to their needs and reacts to their problems is the gas in your car.
4. The last principle, but certainly not the least important, is to entertain.
Entertaining the consumer goes hand in hand with informing them and driving them to make a decision. This, of course, goes back to content. Content that is made to entertain is the ultimate goal but not always the easiest. It takes time, organization, setting specific goals and proper investment in resources to produce high-quality content.
When your brand produces entertaining content that grabs the consumer’s attention, pulls them in enough to stop them in their scroll and inspires them, that is when you know you’ve got them on the right road to becoming a trusted fan. A trusted fan is someone you’ve nurtured over time who not only wants to buy your products, but, more importantly, wants to be part of your community.
In summary, trust is something that is earned over time; it does not happen overnight. Make building trust your No. 1 goal. Stand by the principles, and listen to the consumers to produce strategic, consistent content that responds, informs and entertains.