As a business, you may spend a few months on building a strong online profile, logo, digital and social media marketing strategies, and may still fail to achieve your desired results. You might only get a little response from your audience, remaining far away from your goal.
So where did you go wrong?
The odds are that your audience is probably not able to trust you.
Building trust among your target customers is the key to creating a positive brand image. And with so many advanced features in social media today, the process of establishing that trust factor has become complex and easy at the same time. While it’s difficult to get people to vouch for you, you know exactly what to ask for from them as your feedback.
Before we move on to discuss the metrics that determine your credibility online, let’s understand…
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Why do you need to build credibility?
Credibility is directly proportional to conversions. The more the credibility of your brand, the higher the conversions. People like to see relevant and authentic content. To be precise, they find content shared by their peers as authentic and reliable.
Word-of-mouth marketing is more effective than any other form of marketing. While it gives you expanded exposure on social media, it adds leads to your marketing funnel for free. This is purely user-generated content that is trusted by 92% of consumers.
When you have people speaking for your brand, you can utilize this content in your Facebook ads to earn more engagement.
How to build credibility?
Start with leveraging your relationships offline to build trust among your target audience. Because trust-building doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and effort along with a few other things including:
Before you start talking about it, make sure you know what you are saying and doing. You must be an expert in your niche to be able to establish authority. They say, “Fake it till you make it”. The social arena doesn’t welcome this approach. People know whether you are being real or fake, with the kind of references you have, recommendations you have, or clients you have.
Your content should depict that you are really an expert of your field. Therefore, you must keep it original and give proper credit to the sources.
Lead by example
The key is to walk the talk. Whatever you say you provide as a service or whatever it is that you say about your website or blog or social profile must well be reflected on your brand. Own what you claim. If you say you are the best web design and development company, your website design should look like it. It should not look like an amateur has designed it. Everything from the font to colors to content should be appropriate.
If you can’t fix it for yourself, you can’t do it for others. You yourself are your social proof first.
Create Social proof
You may have a customized blog design or an interactive Facebook page, but you need something more than that to build credibility among users. People need to see that others have said good words about you, your customers are recommending you, and experts are appreciating you. They want to see that you have testimonials, real-life examples of work done by you, and content that offers value and information. Those are a few elements of social proof that you need if you want to be trusted. In fact, your social proof should be clearly visible when someone visits your website for the first time.
Show up Consistently
Another factor that decides your credibility is whether you are consistent or not. Ensure your consistency across all platforms. No matter if you are offline or online, what people perceive of you should be the same.
What you do on a weekend should not differ from what you show up as online. How you behave offline has an effect on your success online. So be careful and be real.
Interact with your Audience
Anything that you create for yourself, whether it’s your website, online profile, or blog, should be able to initiate a conversation. Make your online presence interactive with things like share buttons, opt-in and contact forms, language, and commenting option. Invite people through these tricks to engage with your content and put forward their queries. Ask your target audience questions like what do they feel about your content, or how they would like to see an improvement. Let them know that you are open to listening to them.
Respond with Integrity
The most important thing is, be honest. People will have issues, be it with a product that you offer, a service, a social media post, a blog, or the software you use. Finding an escape or denying from a mistake is not a solution.
What’s better is to accept the mistake with grace. Handle the negative feedback with wisdom. It helps people build trust in your brand and maintain a long term relationship with your brand.
Network with fellow experts
While engaging with your target customers helps you become a reliable brand, expanding your network is important too. Join groups and forums on Facebook to introduce yourself to new groups of people who might be interested in what you do. To your advantage, you may also get an opportunity to meet and develop a close relationship with an influencer.
This influencer may further introduce you to more influencers in your field, thereby giving you a wider exposure in the social realm. People trust these influencers. So they will trust you too.
What Factors Determine Your Credibility?
- Customer Ratings
What do you do before deciding on which film you should watch in the upcoming weekend? Check ratings and reviews, right? So that’s a sign of trust.
Facebook provides a similar feature of star ratings that shows if a company is worth trusting or not. Anyone who has dealt with the company can leave a rating between 1 to 5. And the average is considered to be the final rating. So make sure that your ratings are somewhere between 3 to 5 to become a trusted organization.
- Customer Testimonials
Reviews are another form of social proof that an organization can be trusted. No less than 84% of people rely on online reviews before dealing with a company. Because reviews are given by real people.
Even if you have got some bad reviews, don’t fret. Because more than 65% of people trust a company that has a mix of both good and bad reviews.
- Brand Story
Telling your brand story through an employee is one way to earn the trust of your potential customers.
On the other hand, Facebook story is another opportunity for you to share your brand’s crucial moments with users. Tell your story visually with this feature. Facebook story is your space to show your human side. After all, humans trust humans. So they would give you a chance.
Leverage the Story feature of Facebook to share any behind-the-scenes moments of your brand or showcase customers’ testimonials or your offerings’ use cases.
Note: Stories on Facebook disappear after 24 hours
- Facebook Community
When on Facebook, build a community. Don’t just build one, but get involved in it fully. Interact with your community members and give them a chance to develop faith in you.
Through your community, you can form an impression that you are available whenever they need any help. Share images that are appealing and informative at the same time. Also, share content that motivates your customers or potentially solve one of their problems.
- Response Rate
Apart from ratings, reviews and groups, Facebook lets you calculate your response rate too. It tells you how responsive you are to customers’ messages. It also shows how long you normally take to respond to a user.
The more responses, the better. Quick response improves your brand engagement and makes people trust you.
- Vanity Metrics
The number of likes and followers you have on Facebook is a direct reflection of how much trust people have in you. Also, the number does not need to be a purchased number, but rather an authentic number. That is to say, you must not spend money on buying fans for your business. Instead, you should be real and earn fans and followers with sheer relevance in your content.
Then, even if the number of fans or followers you have is less, it will let people believe in you. Because they can see that you are sincere in what you do.
Without credibility, it’s nearly impossible to build a successful business. Focus on building a good reputation among your customers. Let them realize that you hold expertise in your niche and can provide a solution to their pain point. As a result, you will be able to form staunch relationships with your customers, who might advocate for your brand. It’s actually a win-win situation when you show people that they matter.