With the rise of digital marketing, people have started to unlock the power of social media. The customer journey has dramatically changed. Instead of heading to the brand’s website right away, people often search for them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Developing your presence on social media is no longer an option. If you want to stand out in the overcrowded digital marketing landscape and build brand credibility with your customers, you need to join the social media bandwagon.
You must be thinking, “Is this really necessary?” A customer-centric brand that meets them at various touchpoints builds stronger relationships with the target audience and results in brand credibility and conversion.
To foster brand trust, you should start working on your credibility and work towards being a thought leader of the select group that your audience listens to. Want to know how to cement that brand credibility? Here’s a step by step guide on how you can build a more sincere relationship with your customers.
Share Your Brand Story
Each brand, no matter how similar, has a distinct origin story, which people love to hear. Sharing this creates an authentic vibe from your brand. So how exactly do you tell your story?
- Find out the pain points that your customers experience in their daily life
- Shortlist the ones you believe could be solved by your product/service
- Create a great story and purpose for your brand
If there’s something that people often forget is that we all know how to tell stories. It is through stories that we relate and connect.
Form A Connection
Did you know that people are unlikely to become emotionally attached to brands unless they’ve already interacted with them via social media? The key to building brand credibility with your followers is showing that you’re human. People are social beings and want to interact with other people, not companies.
Remind your audience that they aren’t interacting with bots on your page-they’re interacting with people. Doing so will allow them to identify with your product/service, therefore, building long-lasting brand credibility and social media presence.
How do you help them relate to your brand?
- Be conversational
- Speak the language of your audience
- Convey your purpose and core values
By observing what your followers are talking about on social (e.g., What do they like about your brand? What is it missing? What are they looking for), you’ll discover how to go about your social media content. Expounding on your customer’s concerns through your content also communicates that you are listening to them.
Create compelling content
Part of building that brand credibility would be by publishing educational and engaging content that solves your customers’ problems. Taking this route will allow you to position yourself as a valuable online resource of insights that they can relate to. This content strategy will inspire them to come back to you again and again for more tips and hacks that they can use. Ensure that the language you use is written in a manner that reflects your brand voice and speaks to your audience.
To engage different audience sets, you could experiment with using multiple types of content such as infographics, FB/IG takeovers, listicles, contests, and the like. Since social media platforms are always adding new features, don’t be afraid to experiment—leverage all available features to get the most out of your captured audience or followers. There’s a possibility that the best way to tell your story (and establish brand trust) is through the newly available features of the social media platform you’re using.
If you’re on Instagram, experiment with their new feature “Reels.” They have now incentivized users to try this out by putting at the top of the explore page. This means that if you create your brand reel, you can get more organic reach and exposure to new followers.
For your Instagram stories, you can also try out adding polls. Stickers to encourage your audience to engage with your content. It doesn’t mean all the strategies you implement will work, but it does give you a better understanding of which type of content is effective for your brand.
Just because they’re already your followers doesn’t mean they will be forever. 4 out of 5 people would unfollow brands on social media if they rarely post or create content that is irrelevant to them. For your target audience to recognize your brand, consistency is key. Being consistent on social media allows you to strengthen your brand credibility. From the tone of voice used in your messaging to your profiles’ aesthetics, you want your customers to recognize you easily. Consistently push out content that is relevant, interesting, and insightful for your audience.
Here are some tips on how you can be consistent online.
1. Use a tone of voice your audience can relate to
Know who your target audience is first. If your target audience is millennials, then you wouldn’t use the language of baby boomers. Aim to use a tone of voice that they can relate to and understand.
2. Curate consistent content
Ever noticed feeds where you can’t seem to pinpoint what their account is about? Learn from them, and don’t be scattered in what you post online. Show your audience that you are an expert in your field, whether it’s about career coaching or fitness training. Your goal online would be to elicit a response from your audience by creating content that they can engage with.
3. Create an editorial calendar
Adding a posting schedule to your online strategy ensures consistency when you post your content. Make sure that you schedule each day’s posts for the different channels you are in and make sure that you stick to it. You can leverage the platform analytics as well to see which time slots are optimal for your brand and audience. Being strategic in your posting schedule, allows you to maximize your organic reach and gets you the maximum engagement possible from your audience. You can even incorporate creating scheduled series such as (e.g., Factual Fridays or Webinar Wednesdays); this way, you can give your audience content that they can look forward to.
Building brand credibility can’t be done overnight. You will need to work consistently on your social media pages to establish the credibility and social media presence of your brand.
Provide strong customer service
In today’s era of digitalization, building a customer-centric marketing strategy is vital to succeeding online. One of the most effective ways to build brand credibility among your audience would be to deliver helpful and personalized customer service. Did you know that a happy customer tells 3 people; an unhappy customer tells 10 people?
With the rise of chatbot marketing, brands have opted to automate their community management, and there is nothing wrong with this. Some concerns are better addressed through chatbots. However, the human touch will always be preferred by customers. Brands have forgotten that customer service is a critical part of the customer’s journey, and this touchpoint can be a break or make a deal with your audience.
So how do you ensure that your customers can connect with you and receive helpful information via your social media channels? Here are tried and tested tips on building brand credibility through customer service excellence.
1. Update your business information
Ensure that your name, address (if applicable) business number and email are the same across all your platforms. Updating your information will reassure your customers that the contact details are consistent and that they quickly connect with you. If your contact details on Facebook versus Instagram are different, there is a chance that your customer will think that you are a scam and there goes your brand credibility.
2. Work out a schedule for community management.
Remember that a brand is nothing without its community of brand loyalists. Make sure you create a schedule internally on what time you will check your platforms for customer concerns. If you’ve noticed some brands also create an auto-reply sharing the times, they will be online for inquiries and such. If you’ve played it by ear and have a more reactive action plan, you need to rework your strategy and create a system.
3. Listen to your customers.
Instead of waiting for them to reach out to use, listen to what they’re saying online. In this digital age, customers leverage these channels to voice out their opinion about your brand. And, how exactly do you go about this? There are multiple social listening tools available online that can help you track product mentions (both direct and indirect). Leveraging these tools gives you the advantage of addressing both positive and negative feedback which can be used to develop brand trust. It also gives your customer the impression that you care about their concerns.
These are some of the tools you can use for social listening:
- Google Alerts
- Social Mention
Joining your customer’s discussion helps them resolve their concerns faster. It also allows you to build on that brand credibility because it shows that you are proactive in making their experience as hassle-free and seamless as possible. Even if there was a pain point in your service or product, if you can resolve this quickly and efficiently, you can still turn those who complained into a brand advocate through excellent customer service.
Get others to advocate your brand online
Today’s consumer has become smarter, and traditional ads no longer work on them. With everyone sharing opinions online, they are now using this to their advantage. What does this mean for you as a brand? You need to use this behavior to establish a word-of-mouth marketing strategy. This will help you foster brand trust and strengthen the relationship between you and your audience.
Here are some ways you can get others to advocate your brand:
1. Leverage user-generated content
Did you know that consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content versus curated and polished content from brands? Encourage your satisfied customers to share photos of your product/service online with your branded hashtag. These are what you would call user-generated content (UGC), which are text, videos, or images created by people not influenced by the brands whatsoever. UGC is something brands love using in their social media channels primarily because it serves the purpose of communicating authentic feedback.
2. Post an online survey
This may sound very traditional, but we can assure you that surveys are still one of the most effective means of gathering information from your customers. Just because you are asking for their feedback does not mean they will always give you good ones. Don’t be afraid to share the results of your surveys online; consumers appreciate and value brand transparency. Showing case studies on how you listened to your customers and addressing their concerns will increase your brand trust.
3. Collaborate with influencers
Influencers are experts in their niche, and they already have a captured audience that trusts their recommendations. Ensure that the influencer you would like to work with has an audience that resonates with your brand and values. You don’t just want to pick the one with the most followers; your efforts will deem useless if you aren’t talking to the right audience.
Always remember that trust equals an increase in visibility. If more people are talking about you (in a good way), this will positively impact your brand trust.
Today’s digital landscape is ever-changing, and to be able to survive, you will need to foster an unformidable brand trust between you and your target audience. Consumers are now becoming smarter and pickier in trusting brands. It is more important now, more than ever, for you to create a future-proof branding strategy through social media. You’ll gain the trust of your target audience by creating a customer-centric brand strategy.
If you’re ready to give your brand the ammo it needs to cut through all the noise of your competition, reach out to us at Brightminds.com.ph, and we’ll create an effective strategy for you.