Build Trust Online and Watch your Profits Soar.
Marketing your business on social media is just as much about building trust as any other form of marketing. I bet no one has ever done business with you unless they trusted you at least at some level.
A different level of trust is required to engage with a financial planner than to buy a litre of milk from the corner store, but without trust there is no business.
Well thought-through social media marketing can be a highly effective strategy to build trust but don’t take the lazy route, because you’ll waste your time and your money.
After years of dabbling in Social media marketing myself and putting the odd toe in the water only to pull it out again a little while later I have finally joined the social media marketing world properly or at least more properly than I ever have before.
I’ve taken on a social media and online marketing guru to drag me along kicking and screaming and make me use the various media they way they are meant to be used. (I’m sure she despairs of me often)
The reason I am finally stepping up is that I can see that trust is becoming more and more important and people expect to be given the opportunity to learn to trust a business before they are prepared to spend any money at all. We expect to be referred by friends, we expect to see testimonials from other consumers and we expect to see star-ratings or similar.
The other day a friend of mine asked his community on Facebook if anyone knew a good electrician. (so as not to end up with an electrical situation like on the photo below!!)
Several people chimed in straight away, and my friend was able to ring an electrician who came recommended by 5 separate people more or less instantaneously.
I see this phenomenon happening all the time now. I myself gained a client in a similar manner a few months ago.
In 2014, we are simply not going to spend money with anyone unless and until we trust them.
What that means is that social media marketing campaigns (or any other single channel marketing campaigns) on their own are doomed to failure.
The electrician and Facebook
There are two approaches that work… the first is how the electrician approaches it, a three step approach:
1) Do Great Work: Create incredibly happy customers, Raving Fans (and he does, look him up if you need an electrician in Sydney, David Jones Electrical)
2) Build Community: Build a community on social media. Make sure that you are connected with all your happy past clients and business referral partners.
3) Engage: Build your community by posting stuff that is of interest to you, for no other reason than that you think it’s fun or interesting or useful. When the call comes, you’ll be front of mind… just like the electrician.
Taking this approach consistently means David gets regular new business through Facebook and other media. David is front of mind with any of his past clients whenever anyone mentions the word electrician, anywhere, be that in Facebook or at a dinner party or in a cue at the local supermarket. The friend who asked for an electrician in Facebook was bombarded with testimonials and as a consequence his trust level for David was so high, he didn’t even look for a second quote for his work.
You cannot achieve that kind of result with advertising or with single-track social media posting campaigns. You have to carry out all three of the steps above.
Give away your best stuff
The second approach can work in a more single-track kind of way: It still relies on building trust but in a different way. As I said people will not spend money unless and until they trust you. The other way to build trust therefore is to prove to your customers that you can be trusted, by giving a lot of your stuff away for free… Your best stuff even. The stuff that is worth real money and that is truly useful. If you give people a big bunch of really good free stuff, you will also slowly start to build trust.
But be aware, it can take a long time and you have to be ok with giving away all this stuff.
So my own marketing strategies are now based on a combination of the two approaches. I do great work, I am building a community with my Raving Fans and my referral sources, I engage by sharing stuff I find interesting regularly and I also give away lots of free stuff (my books, my webinars, a lot of my resources and even one-on-one sessions). I even encourage my clients to give away my stuff to others too.
Pay per click
Notwithstanding the increasing focus of the social media giants to monetise their platforms and the fact that it is getting harder and harder to talk to your customers without paying for it in ‘pay per click’ type of advertising, it is still possible to carry out those two marketing strategies for free. It is possible but in in fact it is starting to become unrealistic. The time required to run these types of campaigns mean that you should look into hiring an expert to do it for you, especially if you want to base your trust building strategy around giving away stuff for free.
Hence I engaged my despairing marketing guru.
So when you are thinking about your marketing campaigns, especially your online and social media campaigns, ask yourself how you can best build trust real meaningful trust. and make that the corner stone of all of your strategies and plans.
It’s a wonderful experience when it works … there is nothing more fun than having customers knocking on your door saying they want to buy from you… because they trust you.
It feels great… I promise you.
Online Marketing and the 7 Big Questions of Small Business
Business owners frequently ask 7 Big Questions about how to Build a Beautiful Business and Life.
The first of these Big Questions is: How do I grow my business?
To answer that question I have identified the 11 most important strategies to create Business Growth.
The third of those strategies is Grow your business with Online Marketing. This is one of many more articles on this site that explain how Online Marketing and Growth hang together, in some depth.
More about online and social media marketing:
Do you need more tips, advice or training in Social Media Marketing?
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