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Six Ways Brands Can Build Trust Using Social Media

[Originally posted on the Down Under Blog.]

Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships. Stephen R. Covey

The construction of a brand is to construct an idea that customers can trust.  How do you do that?  Well its worth reading this investigation by Entrepreneur Magazine earlier this year into how the ten most trusted brands have built that trust.  The conclusion: "'s most trustworthy brands have created relationships with consumers through experiences that trigger a visceral response"  - meaning get close and personal, get emotional.

Social Media is proving an incredibly effective tool at getting closer to your customers.  It has the ability to enable personal 1-2-1 conversations with your customers, and to get to know them.  If you've ever spoken directly to a brand on Twitter, you'll find it strikes a chord in you.  It does evoke that visceral response Entrepreneur speaks of.  Great evidence of this is the Bain & Company report "Putting Social Media to work" that found that 83 per cent of those who complained on Twitter about a Brand, liked or loved the company's response.  So the power to turn around off-side customers is imense.

This week, Brent Gleeson (@brentgleeson) and Carrie Peterson (@carriesavvy) got together to list out 6 ways to build brand trust through social media at Forbes Magazine.   We thought we'd summarise that list here.  But also - if you are interested in finding out where your brand currently sits, fill out the Marketing Cloud Social Scorecard and discover what you need to do make your brand more Social.

  1. Communicating Thought Leadership: Social media is the perfect platform for a brand to communicate their expertise, and do so by providing great content that people will share. This is how companies can become thought leaders in their space.
  2. Transparency: In today’s digital world, transparency is an inherent reality, as people will be talking about issues associated with your brand online. Companies need to embrace this and get involved in guiding that conversation.
  3. Quick & Responsive Customer Communication – If consumers know they can reach out to your company via social media and are encouraged to do so, this is a good opportunity to provide great service in front of a large audience.
  4. Ensures Accountability: In using social media aggressively, a brand can essentially hold itself accountable for providing great products, services, and customer service.
  5. Fun & Simple Engagement: Provide value in a fun and creative way through daily content, apps, videos, contests, sweepstakes, and infographics. The opportunities are endless.
  6. Social Responsibility: Socially responsible brands often gain more momentum because their customers know they aren’t just about profits, but also giving back to their communities or the world around them.

For more on Social Marketing excellence, download the Marketing Cloud "Six Principles of Social Marketing" eBook.