“You have to gain people’s trust online” has almost become cliche in the online marketing community. But it’s perhaps the most important thing you can do if you want to have the online presences you’ve always hoped for.
The challenge? Most people are not willing to spend the time and effort it really takes to generate trust online, which may then turn into online conversions: People inquiring about you or your company turning into real customers who are purchasing from you repeatedly.
But consider this scenario: I just met you at an after hours networking event. If within the first few minutes of meeting you I asked you for your business (and a hefty thousand dollar retainer fee), would you give it to me? Of course not. And not because you don’t have a need – but because you don’t trust me yet. How long would it take for us to have a relationship before you’d start to trust me? How many interactions would you have to have with me? The answer depends on how much value you bring to the relationship over a certain period of time.
The lesson? Online trust building isn’t much different than offline trust building. While it may take longer – you can build trust online over time. This happens by providing real value and nurturing those relationships through ongoing interaction and engaging your audience in the content they care about most.
The Eight Pillars of Social Media Marketing?
In David Horsager’s book, The Trust Edge, he states “A lack of trust is your biggest expense.” This hits you right between the eyes. In his book he outlines the Eight Pillars of Trust include Clarity, Compassion, Character, Competency, Commitment, Connection, Contribution and Consistency. These could very well have been called “the eight pillars of social media marketing.” A terrific book for business leaders, I consider it the best how-to book about how to build trust offline as well.
While I’m not going to go through each of his Trust Pillars in this post, below is a video where I share with you some of his key points in the book that WILL help you rethink your approach to how you use social media to grow your business.
What do you think? Can trust give you an edge in social media? If so, what’s your trust edge? Share your comments below.
You can learn more about David Horsager and his book The Trust Edge at TheTrustEdge.com.