In light of the recent privacy breech on Facebook, it’s no wonder most internet users don’t trust social media. Only 16% have faith, says a study by Vision Critical with forums and blogs scoring even lower.
Who do we trust? The only online source is news, I’m assuming they mean from a known source such as CNN or the New York Times. TV, radio and print all came in much higher on the trustworthy scale.
Seeing as most of us are using social media for marketing, how do you get over the trust hurdle? The key is responsiveness. Says Professor Judy Olson,
“In e-mail, Linkedin and Facebook messages, much of the traditional markers of trust, such as voice intonation and body language, are hidden. . . when only text is available, participants judge trustworthiness based on how quickly others respond.”
She recommends always sending a quick response to any queries, even if it’s only to say you’ll follow up with a more detailed response at a later date. It’s a simple step but easy to ignore.
Another commonly mentioned issue is transparency. Folks are more likely to trust what you’re putting on Facebook if they know where it’s coming from. Are you a real person? Do you have a home base of operations? Use a real photo of yourself on your social media accounts and make sure there are plenty of ways to contact you. Not everyone is comfortable dashing off a complaint in a Twitter message, but you want to give them every opportunity to get it off their chest and get help.
One of the simplest and most overlooked ways to gain trust is by saying thanks. I’m guilty of this and it’s not because I’m not thankful, it’s just. . . well, honestly, I don’t know why I don’t do it more often.
This morning, I was talking with a group of colleagues who mentioned that they get annoyed when they aren’t thanked for an RT on Twitter. To me, that’s odd. I don’t need six more Tweets thanking me for passing on information I thought was useful. Apparently, I’m in the minority on this. So, right now, let me stop and say thanks to all of you who retweet my posts here at Marketing Pilgrim.
The point of all this prattle, is that to most folks, social media is one entity, so when Facebook gets caught with its hand in someone’s private pocket, we all get punished with a lack of trust. Make sure your efforts stand out by not ignoring these blunders. Tell your customers that their information is safe. Tell them you’re there to answer questions, and most importantly, tell them thanks for their patronage.
Trust me, it’s good business.