As the owner of a small business, you want people to buy your products or services – it’s as simple as that. But why do consumers buy products? Features alone used to be the driving force behind sales, but in this digital age, things have changed. Consumers have the world at their fingertips, so it has become essential to do more than just convey what your product or service can do. To really sell it, you now need to connect with them and build trust.
Much of the reason why social media has become so successful and widespread is because it allows businesses to build trusting relationships with customers. Posts on social media can help you come across as far more genuine than mailers or even a television commercial; it’s important to take advantage of this when trying to influence a buying decision.
A Trusting Strategy
Social media allows businesses to post constant updates and images in real time – this shows your current and potential customers the human side of your business. This content is shared in an effort to connect on a more personal level with consumers, and when done properly it has the added bonus of creating a trusting relationship.
Instead of going to a traditional search engine, consumers might go directly to a social media channel to search for content and to learn more about products or services. Brands can no longer ignore this opportunity for communicating brand value and building brand trust by engaging with existing and potential customers. —Forbes
As both a brand manager and small business owner, one of the best ways you can accomplish this is by telling stories which evoke emotion in potential buyers. When your customers become emotionally connected to your brand, they tend to trust you more – and trust leads to sales. Not only will it influence the initial sale, but it’s likely to keep customers coming back. It’s a natural tendency to want to come back and spend our money on a brand that we trust.
Adding Trust to the Mix
If you want to generate trust among your current and potential customers, here are a few simple social media tips to keep in mind when posting content online:
- Be creative: Creative content sells. You can take ideas from other social media campaigns when you need them, but always put your own spin on things to keep your brand fresh and appealing. You’re sure to lose the trust of consumers if they notice you blatantly ripping off other brands’ social media efforts.
- Be a storyteller: Create emotion by telling stories about your brand such as your journey, your founding principles, and how you’ve overcome struggles. Stories help create an emotional connection, and emotion can sell products.
- Showcase reviews and testimonials: People trust other people more than they trust companies. You need to show how your product has genuinely helped real customers in order to gain the trust of new customers.
- Be transparent: Being honest with your customers helps facilitate trust. If you are having issues, or need help with something, be as honest as possible (as long as it won’t hurt your image).
- Involve your fans: Your customers and fans follow you for a reason – they want to be involved! Get them in the action however you can: ask for suggestions on new products, advice on how you can improve, and anything else you can think of.
- Always be responsive: When someone writes on your wall, tweets at you, etc., it’s usually because they’re expecting a reply; make sure to reply to people timely and accurately.
These are just a few concepts to keep in mind in order to help you build trust on social media. Your customers are the lifeblood of your company; treat them with respect, and always give them reasons to trust you. Trust will help you build a loyal fan base and develop valuable relationships with your customers, ensuring your business grows over time.
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