How to Earn Trust in Social Media through a Clear Message and Careful Listening
Trust is essential in maintaining a brand-building social media engagement effort. Without trust, your social media engagement efforts can do more harm than good. The trust of your audience can develop in two ways:
Your audience engages with you, already believing that you're worthy of their trust. If this is the case, you're in the clear unless or until you break that bond of trust.
Your audience demands that you earn their faith.
If your following is the former, lucky you. Aim to continue building — not breaking — their trust.
How to make your social media message clear
Diving in to engage in the social media sphere without ever having given thought to how your brand should be viewed or the messages you should convey is dangerous — and even more so if your brand uses social media publicly as a team. Take the time to flesh out your messaging — not simply its content but also how you express it.
How to listen carefully to your social media community
Broadcasting to your community and never stopping to listen to what they have to say in return makes it impossible, in the long run, for others to trust you. Think about the times you've had conversations with friends or colleagues and suddenly realized that they weren't even listening to you. "Listening" online usually requires reading.
Finding the most relevant information to read — in this case, people's opinions about your brand — starts by monitoring online conversations. Though you should stay attentive and responsive in your own social networks, you also have to listen beyond them.