When most people start a business they begin with things like getting a logo designed, getting business cards printed, coming up with a mission statement, making a website, brand positioning and creating social media profiles.
That’s all good stuff!
However, for many this is usually as far as it goes with visitors not really spending time on your site, opting into email lists, buying products or spreading the word.
What could possibly be wrong?
On the outside everything looks great. You have the design, branding and image but for some reason people don’t trust you yet. This is called the social trust factor.
As you know, just like in life with friendships and relationships, it takes time to build up trust with people. We are emotional creatures and rely far more on word-of-mouth, referrals, opinions and our own perceptions than we do some flashy branding and graphic design. This type of reputation takes time to cultivate and is not something that just springs up overnight.
You have to earn it.
However that’s not to say it’s going to take forever. There are some proven steps you can take to make sure your business wins over the hearts and minds of your customers quickly and efficiently growing your market share over the coming years.
Here are just a few of the credibility factors you can cultivate to swiftly move ahead of your competition and win boatloads of trust:
These days it’s impossible to trick people into believing you’re an expert in your chosen topic if you’re not. You literally have to become an expert and authority in your market. Social media fakes are quickly weeded out so you need to be honest and true in everything you do. Make sure your content is the best in your market, write insightful and deep blog posts and backup everything you claim with testimonials, references, authority endorsements and you’ll be just fine.
2. Social Proof
Social proof is one of the most powerful ways to show people you’re serious. While some people have a negative connotation with this term it’s actually just about being honest. If thousands of people are raving about your services then you must show the world what they are saying. Don’t hesitate to collect written and video testimonials, reference any authorities you work with, write guest posts for other big blogs in your niche, publish white papers, write ebooks and build up a large, thriving social community on your chosen social networks.
A lot of business owners are frustrated with the term “social media” because people throw it around like it’s super-easy to get started, and when they do try it, they don’t get any result.
The real reason why people “fail” with social media is that they do not really understand what it is, and how to tailor their approach based on that.
This article is an attempt (hopefully a successful one!) to clear the confusion and put you on the right track.
The Importance of Social Media
We wouldn’t say that social media is crucial to a business’ success, but we strongly believe that it is important, and not only because everyone is doing it.
A strong social presence is slowly (but consistently) becoming like mobile phones. In the past, many people tried to resist it, saying that they have always been able to get away without having one, and that it’s not going to change anytime soon. Sure, people can probably survive without having a cellphone, but it’s kind of hard in today’s world, isn’t it?
A social presence is the same. It won’t make or break your business (for now), but it can definitely make things easier, and the earlier you adopt social media as part of your marketing strategies, the earlier you can take advantage of its benefits (people who started using cellphones early are now using smartphones with email, camera and productivity apps, while those who are just starting to use it are still stuck with the basic “calling and texting” capabilities).
Don’t Use Social Media to Make People “Buy Now”
Have a bunch of “Buy Now” posts on your Facebook page, and you will be rewarded with absolutely no sales.
Social media should NOT be used as a direct selling tool. Instead, it should be used as a way to build trust.
How? By showing that you are a real person or business, and that you care about your customers. For example if someone is having an issue about your product, you can share the solution right on the social media page solving it. But what if no one is having any issue? Then you will want to share tips and tricks (within the niche, but independent of your product); for example if you sell a lawn mower, you can share gardening tips that have nothing to do with lawn mowing. This always encourages comments, likes and shares. And that gets other people to join in the conversation (you got to love social).
Social traffic is rapid traffic. It doesn’t like to take too long to read or realize things. Just quickly skim. Quickly press like. Quickly comment. And then move on. Buying stuff is really out of place.
Don’t Use Social Media to Gain More Visitors
Actually, you should. But don’t just make a post and expect it to get a 1000s shares and clicks on its own.
People need a reason to do things. What’s in there for them to click or to share?
People will click if what you post can solve a problem they have, and they will share if what you post is of value. It’s not your tweet or post that will drive traffic; it’s what you write in them.
A well thought out tweet will definitely bring in more traffic than 10 quickly whipped up ones.