In her article How to Use Social Media to Establish Trust, writer Lisa Barone states that “life as a small business owner is all about trust“. I couldn’t agree more. Trust makes your customers buy from you instead of big corporations and also get them to come back.
And social media offers you a huge range of new ways to establish trust. Barone highlights 6 ways to use social networks to ensure your customers trust you:
1. Turn customers into allies: social media allows businesses and customers to talk more intimately. It also allows businesses to share information without selling, and to seek customer’s advice on matters related to their business. When you show customers that you value their opinion and how important they are for your business, they’ll become part of your company forever!
- Build up online reviews: More and more studies are showing the correlation between online reviews and consumer trust. One of the most powerful things social media has done is to make important purchasing information available to the consumers looking for it. For a small business, establishing trust means soliciting reviews from customers, as well as managing and responding to the reviews that you do get. And don’t worry about hiding from negative reviews; as long as you handle them correctly, they actually help your trust and credibility.
- Establish social proof: studies are also showing that customers expect to be able to find certain information about your brand on the Web. If they don’t, it makes them wonder why it’s not there. And not in a good way. Nowadays, the more visible you are to customers and the more places they can find you, the more they trust your business.
- Follow up after purchase: Social media offers additional customer service options and it is a great way to show customers that you value their business. Whether it’s an after-purchase email or a tweet to check on someone’s experience, the customer will feel great knowing that you took the time to reach out to him.
- Respond well to feedback: showing customers that you understand their side of the story (even if it is different from yours) builds trust. Customers don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to listen and care about what they have to say.
- Bring value: show customers they can trust you. Social media gives you tons of opportunities to do it so. By acknowledging a customer’s problem and showing them how important they are to your business, you don’t only bring value to your products/services, but you also boost loyalty.