Trust is the foundation on which brand perception is built. In fact, 76 percent of consumers develop opinions about a brand long before they reach the point of purchase, and those opinions can affect your bottom line.
Information about brands is more readily available than ever before, with the advent of online reviews and social media word-of-mouth platforms, all accessible in minutes with a few clicks of the mouse. Consumers turn to friends, family and online reviews for advice prior to purchase, and specifically, more than 63 percent of moms ask other moms for advice and consider them the most credible experts when they have questions.
Consumer trust, or confidence in a product or brand, is a huge factor in sparking conversations, influencing consumer purchasing decisions and building advocacy. To help build online consumer trust and generate positive conversations around your brand online, you need an online presence and a share of voice. The most successful online marketing strategies develop that presence to build awareness and trust with key target demographics.
Read on for The Motherhood’s ideas and suggestions on successful tactics for building trust among consumers online:
Have a Plan
Develop a strategic plan that identifies who you want to reach and why, along with the specific messages you want to communicate. To get started, try “dipping a toe in,” testing small programs on a variety of platforms to identify where and how certain approaches, messaging and outreach resonate with your audience.
Your brand voice should be consistent over time across social platforms, but content on each social platform should be unique. All efforts should support your overarching communications messages and goals, too, as this content will live on the digital bookshelf for years to come.
People pay attention to content that matters to them and makes a difference in their lives. Foster a deep connection with your audience by sharing thoughtful, helpful and entertaining content that resonates with your key demographics.
It’s also critical to engage consumers in a two-way dialogue rather than dominating the conversation with promotions and advertising. Consumers trust each other’s opinions more than twice as much as online ads, so your most powerful social “advertising” will be interacting with your influential advocates and sharing the good things others are saying about you.
Engage Target-Right Consumers as Advocates
Brands and influencers each have a story to tell and insights to contribute to the conversation. There’s great potential for good when brands and influencers share interests and goals.
Consumers are more likely to seek information from and trust influencers who share their core values. Identify and engage with people online who influence and inform your target audiences, who share their love for your brand and who encourage word of mouth. Engage with these individuals to create authentic content and effectively leverage this content.
Effective, authentic interaction begins with listening to what consumers have to say. Connect customer service to the company social platforms, and determine how to handle questions and complaints quickly and transparently online. Be quick to reply and personable with consumers, so they feel you are right there with them.
Even if you do not know the answer, show consumers you care about their problem by responding in a positive manner. This will help build trust and increase the likelihood that they become a return customer.
Select a few top-performing social platforms where your consumers are most active and engaging, based on the strategic testing you did while developing your social media plan. Be active and attentive there, rather than spreading your resources too thin and trying to be everywhere.
As you create an editorial calendar and share content, remember that what works well on Twitter doesn’t necessarily translate on Instagram. Differentiate content between platforms and focus on approaches you’ve found work well based on analysis of past programs.
Building consumer trust through social media takes time but can have a huge impact on brand perception and your bottom line. Sharing compelling content gives you an opportunity to educate your most important target audiences, organically sparking conversation and action.
The Motherhood helps moms connect with brands on a deeply personal level to drive engagement, increase sales, build reputations, provide insights, generate rich, searchable online content and spark deep loyalty among your most important constituency: moms. Visit www.themotherhood.com or contact us at email@example.com to learn more.
Are you building trust authentically with key demographics online?