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Building Trust: Social Media Marketing Resolutions for 2011

trusting handsSocial networking has impacted everyone in the world, and businesses are no exception.

Like any technology, you must make sure you’re using it correctly to achieve your goals.

Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are excellent tools for spreading your marketing message, but getting consumers to invest their trust involves so much more.  To that end, here are a few social media marketing New Year resolutions we should all make:

 

Dialogue with your followers and fans.

I can’t tell you how many Twitter accounts I see that have thousands of followers with no follow backs, or Facebook fan pages with no recognition from the owner when fans comment. These are bad business practices that can cause you to lose trust quickly; it goes against everything social media is supposed to be.

If you want to have a one-way conversation, use a static website instead of a Facebook fan page. Thanks in advance!

 

Engage your audience with subjects that matter.

If you want to lose trust quickly, use the social space to advertise your products and services.

Social media is not another channel for advertising; it is designed for engagement and the sharing of relevant information that improves the visitor’s life.

People buy the results of your products and services, not the products and services. If you own a hair salon, you are selling sexy. If life insurance is your livelihood, you are selling peace of mind, not a policy!

Use social media to engage people with the results, not the products and services.

 

Take relationships offline.

 Once you have developed relationships online, take them offline if possible. There are hundreds of tweetups forming around the country and I frequently see Facebook pages listing live events that their fans are invited to attend.

Nothing builds trust faster than face-to-face interactions. If possible, take it offline – develop a real relationship in the real world.

 

Respond magnanimously to negative comments.

It happens! A fan or follower isn’t happy about something and they post tweets to let the entire world know. Along with having a reputation management plan, it is important to respond quickly.

Remaining silent or appearing defensive does more harm than good. Respond graciously, see if there is something you can do to fix the problem. Many times there is a solution and your complainer will appreciate a listening ear and an understanding heart.

I was impressed by AT&T’s response after a barrage of negative comments flooded their Facebook page last year.

Be human.

People like to conduct business with people, not businesses. Once in a while, step out from behind your brand and speak candidly about your business and its personnel.

This approach builds trust and rapport. Zappos and USAA are excellent examples of how to attach a face to a brand, and reap the rewards.

It’s a new year.

What will you do differently to build trust among prospects and customers who spend their precious time reading your tweets, sharing your blog posts or leaving comments on your Facebook page?

More from Women Grow Business and the Network Solutions blog communities:

Image: Sherri’s world via Flickr, Creative Commons

Regular contributor Terri Holley is the owner of Creative Blog Solutions and a social media strategist, plus a certified life/business coach. A forward-thinker and relationship-centric gal, Terri supports small businesses who understand the value of using social technologies to build deeper relationships with prospects and customers.


    1. Hi Terri!

      This is such valuable and honest information. Thank you for sharing it. I recently wrote an article that touches on the same subject matter and I’m seeing it all around the blogosphere this week, so I think it’s something that is on the mind of many social media users these days.

      Social media can be such a powerful tool and by implementing the principles you’ve shared here we can leverage it’s benefits rather than erode its power.

      1
    2. Hi Marlee,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      “….we can leverage its benefits rather than erode its power.”

      I don’t think I could have said this any better!

      2
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