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8 Ways to build brand trust through positive social media interactions

8 Ways to build brand trust through positive social media interactions

Felicity Miller
Felicity Miller

A few months ago, Sensis released the results of their annual survey into how Australian consumers and businesses are using social media—who’s doing it well, who’s doing it poorly, and who isn’t doing it at all. This blog post is the first in a short series that will take a deep dive into some of the key issues uncovered by the Sensis Social Media Report 2017.

Today we’re taking a look at the way your social media interactions can build brand trust…or break it. Why? Well, for a long time we’ve known that building brand trust has a positive effect on purchasing and customer referrals. Thanks to Sensis, we now also know that “64% of consumers are more likely to trust a brand if it interacts positively on social media”. That’s almost two-thirds of all consumers—up twelve percentage points from last year’s survey, and impossible to ignore.

2017 Sensis Social Media Report- customers are 64% more likely to trust a brand if it interacts positively on social media

Source: 2017 Sensis Social Media Report

1. Be helpful

Current and prospective customers will often hunt you down on social media when they need something from you. They might be looking for customer reviews, checking your opening hours, or seeking specific help with a product enquiry. Help them out by

  • filling in all the details on your profile
  • pre-empting their enquiries with regular posts about your products
  • answering their messages promptly
  • posting your answers to recent questions publicly, so everyone can benefit.

2. Be interesting

Give your customers the credit they’re due: they are intelligent, multi-dimensional human beings with interests that are more diverse than this season’s latest commercial offerings. Get to know who they are and what makes them tick, using the information from your order histories, customer loyalty programs, online surveys, or even a poll on social media.

At the same time, it’s a good idea to avoid any particularly sensitive issues unless you’re willing to put your reputation on the line for them. For example, your customers are likely to appreciate articles about environmental issues or corporate social responsibility if you built these core values into your brand strategy; otherwise, you may be alienating potential customers.

3. Be approachable

A part of this one goes back to how helpful you are—if customers can see you helping others through a particular social media channel, then they’re more likely to trust that you’ll help them. That’s why posting public responses is such a great way to build trust.

One great way to encourage customers to send messages on Facebook is to consistently respond quickly whenever they do—you’ll earn a “very responsive to messages” badge for all visitors to see. You can also invite users to “Call Now”, “Contact Us” or “Send Message” with a call-to-action button immediately beneath your page’s cover photo, and Instagram offers a similar feature with the contact button.

Facebook homepage - messenger 'very responsive to messages' badge

Facebook Messenger responsiveness Badge


4. Be real

No retail brand will get everything right all of the time. We all make mistakes. But if you own those mistakes and make an honest attempt to fix problems, your customers will still trust you. Like this response from American Airline, Jetblue, to a customer who tweeted a complaint about a TV that did not work during his flight.

Jetblue customer complaint -build trust through social media

Instead of deflecting or making excuses, the airline humanises their brand by owning up to their mistakes and empathising with the customer, offering a credit as compensation.

Jetblue twitter response to customer complaint -build trust through social media

So don’t be tempted to delete complaints or negative reviews that appear on your social media pages. Respond to them positively instead, and show customers that you’re listening and taking action to resolve their concerns.

5. Be proactive

Don’t wait for opportunities to interact with your customers. Sometimes you’ll need to seek them out, by tracking all mentions of your brand name (not just tags) with the monitoring features built into your social media platforms and tools. You can also use Google Alerts to find mentions of your brand name on other forums and websites.

6. Be funny

…but be careful. Humorous posts are more likely to get shared and go viral, but they come with risks. Humour requires an awareness of culturally sensitive issues and many brands have found their reputations at stake when a joke has gone down badly.

7. Be generous

You’ll have more positive interaction with your customers if you share the love. That means different things for different businesses, but most customers appreciate discounts, giveaways and competitions. If they’re avid social media users themselves, sharing your customers’ content will put a smile on their faces and create a great impression of your brand.

8. Be attentive

Listen carefully to what your fans and followers are telling you. Their responses to your social media posts should guide your future strategy, but keep in mind that not all likes and follows are created equal: some translate to increased sales, whereas others just earn you kudos.

Neto is the only Australian retail management platform that provides a complete solution for ecommerce, point of sale, inventory, and fulfilment. Our integrated back-end technology enables exceptional and consistent customer experiences via any channel, be it in-store, online or through a marketplace. We automate repetitive tasks and integrate with multiple sales channels to manage orders and shipments. We even offer inbuilt social media sharing, a wide range of add-on integrations to digital marketing platforms, and inbuilt analytics to help you track your campaign success. By streamlining your retail operations, you’ll free up time to focus on your customers and build brand trust by “playing” (working!) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media platforms you choose to use.

Of course, positive interaction isn’t the only thing that builds consumer trust in your brand. Shoppers still need to know you’ll sell them quality products at a fair price, and that you’ll look after them if there’s a problem with the goods they’ve purchased. Even in social media land, there are other influences: they’re more likely to trust a brand that shares engaging and relevant content (63%) on a regular basis (59%), and consider these factors to be more important than simply having lots of social media followers (44%). We’ll be taking a look at content in a future post, but if you can’t wait that long, check out our previous posts on social media conversion or digital marketing tactics.

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