How To Gain Credibility and Trust With Social Media

By on June 7, 2011

In the online arena there are two features that help your business become more popular and make more sales. That’s right, we’re talking about credibility and trust. But it’s a long road to building these, in a never ending sea of competitors.

A very large part of each marketing goal or social media campaign – should be geared towards gathering as much credibility and trust as possible. Let’s look at how you can do this with social media.

#1: Harnessing The Power of Your Blog

Your blog is the undisputed champion of your business reputation online. It’s a very powerful tool for building both trust and credibility. But you have to do so much more than publish excellent content to make it work. You already know that social media is about networking, and as a blogger – you should be networking with other top blogs in your field. Swap posts, actively look for new guest bloggers, and become a guest blogger yourself.

Most credibility comes from a mixture of visibility and opinion. If the world sees your brand out there, beyond your own social media and website – they will naturally find it more credible. This is especially true if you’ve worked hard to gather social proof to reaffirm that others think your business is great. With blog posts, this happens in the form of discussions, comments and replies.

#2: Social Relationships Build Trust

Just having a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn page, already tells people that you are willing to form relationships based on trust. When you go out of your way as a business to educate, help and share – it constantly reaffirms that your business is in fact trustworthy and credible. A great way to keep in touch with industry leaders is to share their content with your community.

Make a point of not only sharing, but becoming part of their community as well. This means commenting on their blogs, and interacting on their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. You can gain more credibility for your business, if you put yourself out there – teach, learn and develop, along with everyone else online. A social relationship is always a give and take. Don’t forget to take!

#3: Show People, Don’t Tell People

When you get into the habit of constantly publishing new content – in the form of updates, tweets, articles and blogs – there comes a point when you have to realize you are telling, not showing people how great your business is. At least 50% of your social media campaign needs to be built around other people. Focus on truly helping another blog become successful, promote someone else’s product for free – give other people the social proof they need to become credible.

In the end it all comes back to you – and helps you build that trust and credibility you need. Actions are just as important as words when you use social media. Don’t think of your social sites as closed off areas. See them through the eyes of your community members.

They don’t only read 1 blog. They might have their own business, and their own sites to worry about. Where do you fit in? How can you help? Make these changes, and social karma will do the rest.

How do you build trust and credibility with your social media sites? Contribute to the conversation and leave a comment below!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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