60% of people no longer trust social media, according to Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer special report. This follows a rocky 2018, which saw the Cambridge Analytica data breach and Twitter’s deletion of at least 50 million fake accounts. It’s easy to see why rebuilding customer trust is a top priority among many companies this year.
Wondering how to regain your customers’ trust, especially in social media? Here are 5 must-try methods.
5 Ways to Regain Consumers’ Trust in Social Media
1. Create Safe Spaces for Close-Knit Groups
Consumers are now more conscious about whom they chat with, and making real interactions is more important than boosts in reach. Provide your target audience with a safe, exclusive social media space where they can mingle, and you’ll regain consumers’ trust. The social media platform you choose should be an audience favorite and a good fit for your community’s purpose. To name a few:
A closed or secret Facebook group is great for sharing personal stories and interaction between users who share common passions.
Business-oriented LinkedIn is suitable for exchanging industry insights and thought leadership.
Reddit, the “front page of the Internet,” is your best bet if you have a very specific niche.
A prime example of an online safe space is the Facebook community for the exercise brand Peloton. The group has become a place for people to share milestones or success stories, such as riding a bike again after recovering from an injury. Members also occasionally hold group challenges related to biking.
TIP: Need help building an online community? Ask a social media firm in the Philippines for help.
2. Tap Micro-Influencers
Last year, several world leaders and celebrities turned out to have droves of fake Twitter followers. Now, consumers are turning to friends, family, and micro-influencers for fresh insights and recommendations.
Micro-influencers are everyday people with genuine passion, proven expertise, and loyal followings in niche communities. Invite them to be your newest brand ambassadors, and you’ll have a passionate team who can easily help you regain customers’ trust. It helps that they charge nowhere near as much as a macro-influencer (i.e. between $5 and $250 for an Instagram post) and are easier to reach.
3. Employ Chatbots and AI in Customer Support
Ever felt annoyed because a simple question of yours went unanswered? Letting this happen to your consumers will make it hard for you to regain customer trust.
Cater to all your customers’ messages by fitting your brand’s live chat function with chatbots and AI. Once programmed, these can send automated responses, answer FAQs, or provide actual advice to consumers no matter the time of day. Some AI applications use natural language processing (NLP) to identify angry customers and pass them to human agents.
4. Be Human
Another way of helping consumers regain their trust in social media is to show your human side. Create content that your audience can personally relate to. Feature a loyal customer or top employee. Namedrop customers who’ve done awesome things to interact with your brand, and follow up with an offline gesture. Your audience will feel comfortable enough to engage with you.
It helps if you use content forms that get lots of attention by themselves, such as polls. You can also repurpose user-generated content after getting the original poster’s permission.
For example, check out this witty post from Cebu Pacific:
NOTE: Being human isn’t the same as being random! A nonsensical post can confuse your consumers and break their trust.
5. Be Transparent
Many modern-day consumers want to know what goes into products before making a purchase. They may ask about ingredients, carbon footprints, employees’ working conditions, and animal testing. Alternatively, if stores are suddenly out of a certain product or experiencing supply chain issues, a demand for answers will follow. Hiding the truth can hurt your brand’s reputation. Instead of keeping the truth under wraps, be honest and transparent on social media to regain customer trust.
One way to be transparent is to take your viewers on a video tour around the manufacturing floor or office. Or, if you’re experiencing internal problems, take notes from American airline JetBlue when bad weather on Valentine’s Day cancelled several of its flights. A week after the incident, JetBlue CEO David Neeleman took accountability and reaffirmed the airline’s commitment to customer service in a three-minute YouTube video.
JetBlue has since become a case study in maintaining customer loyalty and trust, which is remarkable for a company whose industry is full of horror stories from angry passengers.
TIP: Is there anything about your products or services that you know your consumers will disapprove of? Looks like it’s time to update your brand.
Trust is more important than ever in the wake of last year’s social media upheavals. Follow these 5 steps and you’ll make it easier for consumers to trust social media and your brand again.
Need more tips on winning the trust of your social media audience? Check out our blog for more helpful articles.