People have had less trust in social media since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in early 2018. The news headlines that surrounded the alleged data misuse meant that marketers would struggle to persuade their customers to trust them – even if they are collecting and using their users’ data ethically. According to the Business Insider Intelligence 2018 Digital Trust survey, about 81% said they have little confidence in the enterprise to protect their privacy and data. Customer trust has plummeted.
Most people are aware that companies collect and harvest customer data for advertising purposes. However, they don’t think about it and brands haven’t been open with consumers in the background. With these headlines about the misuse of data, people are becoming more worried about how businesses use their data. With the falling trust in social media, people place more faith in experts, journalists, and their immediate circles on social media. In turn, all of this has put specific trust-building strategies at the forefront when it comes to current marketing trends.
- Building Employee Advocacy Programs
Brand advocacy includes using established voices to promote your company where possible. You can go with academic and technical experts, customers, or your employees. The best and easiest brand advocates are people who believe in your mission and products. People trust their peers. Social media advocacy includes leveraging the social networks of those who like you or invest in your success – your employees and customers. These are your most significant untapped resources.
Employee advocacy is still in its early stages, so it would be smart to take advantage of it as a young marketing tool with lots of potentials. According to Cisco, employees’ posts on social media generate 8x more engagement than the posts from the company employers. Also, your employees already have their social media profiles and are probably present on some networks that your brand isn’t. To establish a good employee advocacy program for building and reinforcing your customer trust, you should:
- Prioritize your workplace culture. When employees believe in your company mission and love more about their work than just their paycheck, the engagement and loyalty with your company will increase. Make authentic connections with your employees to develop a high-trust culture. Support open feedback, help them in times of need, give back, and inspire innovation.
- Ask them for help. Once you’ve created a high-trust culture, ask them openly to help by promoting your brand on social media.
- Make advocacy easy. Have them promote something fun or interesting (like a humorous video or a new product announcement.) Also, create a branded hashtag and have them use it in their posts.
- Show enthusiasm. Give updates on fresh, shareable content and remind them about the program.
- Set clear goals and KPIs. Employees can help if you define specific goals. There has to be an organized system as well as a way of tracking results. Offer goals that might include expanding your demographic, increasing traffic from social media, or improving organic reach.
- Guidelines and practices. Educate your employees on the message, but also on the best ways to communicate it. How often should they post, how to respond to comments, and what language to use. That way, you’ll ensure consistency across accounts and platforms.
- Track the right metrics. There’s no point to your employee advocacy program if you do not measure your success. Track brand mentions and hashtags to find out which employee generates the most engagement. What’s the commitment you’re getting per social network? How much website traffic did your brand advocates drive?
- One-to-One Messaging System
Today’s customers, especially Millennials, don’t want to listen only to their favorite brands. They want two-way communication. Also, they want meaningful conversations and faster responses. Social media platforms are networks intended for sharing content and conversing. You gain trust as a brand by talking to your audience and being present. That’s why social customer care is so urgent and why you’ll need to set up a coordinated communication system.
Social media is the perfect platform for communicating with your customer daily. And by limiting your advertisement messages, this system will work better. If you’re present on more than one social network, staying on top of all your social media conversations could be difficult. On the other hand, if a message from your customer remains unanswered, you’ll fail to develop a relationship with them (not to mention build customer trust.) That’s where you need to rely on technology. Use an excellent social media management system with a unified inbox feature.
Connect all your social accounts and manage your conversations from one unified dashboard. Choose a plan that allows for team collaboration, and have all your social media marketing team members use it.
Social messaging platforms reign supreme over traditional communication channels because:
- They are engaging with customers.
- They are convenient.
- They offer better transparency.
- They accelerate response times by automating certain communications.
Remember that you shouldn’t over-rely on technology because people don’t want to talk to robots but with human beings.
- Renewing Social Communities
As people have grown distrustful of social media and celebrity influencers, their trust has reverted to friends and acquaintances on social media as well as trusted journalism outlets. If you have a social media community where you interact with your customers, you will have to renew and reinforce customer trust.
- Take part in social media conversations
For example, you can engage in Twitter chats, which are mostly public discussions. It’s a great way to build and join your community by generating or participating in dialogue around your consumers’ interests.
- Run Q&A sessions
In retaining your customer trust, it is essential to be as transparent as possible, address problems proactively, and communicate often. Q&As, Facebook Live, and Instagram live are an excellent place to start. When there’s someone to talk to customers in real-time, it makes the brand feel more human. Also, these sessions are budget-friendly and easy to manage.
- Create a public or a secret group
On your Facebook page, you can offer general information. On the other hand, you can target your superfans and address niche interests in your Facebook group. Your group is a space where your fans can talk to you or one another. As for secret groups, it’s a great way to add intrigue or exclusivity. The members may feel freer to share ideas because they’re free from the prying eyes of the public.
Social media management tools, such as eClincher, are designed to support all your social media endeavors. From staying on top of your social media conversations, monitoring mentions and hashtags, and finding content to curate to analyzing the performance of your social media marketing strategies. You can add dozens of profiles to allow your entire SMM team to collaborate more effectively.
Users have come to expect a different experience as the awareness of new consumers rights grows. Brands can build brand loyalty and customer trust by delivering greater control and visibility of the data being processed, used, managed, and shared. As a result, brands will be signaling that they are thankful for their community and customers. On the other hand, consumers will be able to relate more easily. These tactics touch on authenticity and trust while humanizing the brand.