Building trust in your social media marketing can be a daunting task. The every day consumer has heard just about every marketing message, and too often has a general distrust for brands themselves. It's hard enough to hone your message, let alone address the many security and compliance risks that can erode the trust of your social media marketing in a flash.
To help address this issue, we're creating a blog series entirely devoted to the topic of building trust in your social community. In this first of our three-part blog series on community management, we'll look at the importance of trust in social media marketing.
Trust and community management go hand-in-hand
It's no secret that building community is good for business. Not only does a company's community management strategy shape its customer base, but it also determines the duration of business-consumer relationships. But community management is no easy task. A recent article from the leader in social CRM, Salesforce, says, "Building lasting, personal relationships is one of the biggest challenges for any business, large or small."
Salesforce suggests that companies use their social media to engage with their community. Social media outlets provide an effective way for businesses to interact with customers on a regular basis, creating brand loyalty, a strong follower-ship, and, ultimately, brand meaning and value.
While social media is a great tool for community management, it's also important to consider the issue of trust. And, in particular, there are two grave threats to your brand's trust: Hijacked accounts and bad content.
Hijacked social media accounts
The integration of social media into virtually every aspect of life, especially when it comes to social selling and reliance on referrals, means that online reputation is more important than ever. Yet the world of social media is wide open, with few barriers to creating accounts and methods of enforcing regulation. This means that trolls and hackers can negatively impact your brand and erode trust with little effort.
It takes just a few minutes for a bad guy to make a Facebook, Twitter, or other social media account that looks and sounds like your brand, and that'll trick your fans. BP is one of the brands that discovered this first hand after the 2010 oil spill. A fake Twitter account called "@BPGlobalPR" began sending out parody tweets that mimicked the official BP account.
Offensive content and malware
Content moderation is a great way to build customer trust by preventing undesirable content from being published. Objectionable or dangerous content on your company's page can negatively impact brand perception and followership, which means a lower ROI on your social programs. For example, offensive content creates undesirable associations with your brand, while malware leads to unhappy customers. Both forms can be damaging when it comes to building trust between your company and consumer, but can also easily be prevented with the right protection.
Social media marketing isn't just about getting your message "out there;" It's about building strong, mutually beneficial relationships with your customers and partners. They key to doing so successfully is simple: trust.