You’re good at your job, you have experience and expertise in your field but how do you let potential customers and stakeholders know you’re credible and can be trusted?
As a new start up credibility can win or lose you business, it all depends on trust. Social Media can be harnessed to demonstrate your credibility and begin to build trust with your audience, and here’s how to achieve this:
Share your experience, knowledge and skills of your industry to position yourself as an independent thinker and thought leader in your field. Write in your own style in your own words and don’t be afraid to go against industry norms. Personally I don’t care if I don’t agree with what everyone else in my industry is saying, if what I believe will benefit my customers then that’s who I aim to please.
Be controversial, not argumentative by always writing with substance and evidence to back up your beliefs. Be unique, be different and in the words of Seth Godin, be remarkable.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+
Join and create groups on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ relevant to your industry and provide comments on what you think is right and wrong. Be seen and heard by the very audience you aim to influence. Open up your views to constructive criticism, you might even learn something by being open-minded.
Everyone can see what you Tweet, your words are not just limited to small groups. Let people see you connect and engage with other people and businesses, and make sure your sales-related posts are well targeted. Nobody wants to engage with people who just sell themselves, take a genuine interest in your audience.
Network with top industry experts and thought leaders to demonstrate that you can hold your own with the best in the business.
Invite and answer difficult questions, don’t shy away from subjects that people want to know about. Use Social Media as a Customer Service tool to answer queries and even complaints let your audience see how quickly and effectively you handle their queries. Your business is precious to you, not your customer – they want results and you must respond quickly and effectively.
If people see that you’re not just trying to sell then you’ll become more approachable, credible and trusted.
Offer Free Advice
If your business isn’t offering free advice, then your competitors certainly are. This is where I get a little controversial and say don’t always have a call to action to buy buy buy. Invite comments yes but don’t always use your blog to sell. If you raise awareness, be transparent and engage with real people in real time then you’ll be a credible and trusted source.
Don’t ever buy followers or likes! Build your followers and fans organically and aim for volume (not at the expense of quality). The 1st thing people see on your Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn profile and Facebook page is the number of followers and fans you’ve amassed. Shout about your achievements from the rooftops, let your audience know that you’ve reached 1,000 Twitter followers or 1,000 Facebook likes – it helps to build credibility.
Promote client testimonials and share comments from people to prove people like and trust what you have to say. When people tell you that you’re good – let everyone know.
Are you a new business? How do you build credibility and trust on Social Media? Let me know what you think, thanks.