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Are customers wary of companies using social media?

A company’s integrated communications strategy is likely to incorporate some aspect of social media. Most companies have now established which platforms are best to engage with their customers, but do customers relate to the messages companies send over social channels?

Establishing a voice

The most important aspect of a social media strategy is to establish a voice which reflects your brand and brand values. This means if you’re working in a very corporate environment such as financial and professional services, it’s probably not wise to be cracking jokes. The key point is to be sociable: imagine you’re at a party and you meet someone who constantly tries to sell you something and never responds to any of your comments. You’d walk away from that person pretty quickly, and similarly a purely sales-focused social channel is not likely to inspire trust in customers. Brand consistency is important, but empowering staff or a supporting agency to be creative in the generation of content will ensure it’s not simply a channel for pumping out company sales messages.

Responding to customers

It’s important to have clarity on what your social channel is for, and what is appropriate for each channel. Make it clear when the channel is staffed to ensure that customers don’t get frustrated by a delayed response. When responding to customer comments, remember that everything is public. When it is done well, social media can provide a boost to a company’s image even if the customer feedback is initially negative. Responding quickly to complaints can inspire trust both in the company and more specifically in the people behind the social channels if they can see problems fixed quickly.

Think about what interests your customers

While your company may be running a campaign on particular products or services and have sales targets to meet, these aren’t your customer’s priority. For a social feed to be valuable – and therefore trusted – it’s important to share useful information. That doesn’t mean you have to ignore your commercial plans, but articles, videos and images demonstrating thought-leadership on a related topic, and providing case studies and education on the value of your services can support the campaign indirectly and build trust with customers and prospects.

Humanise your communications

Building trust in your social channels helps to build a relationship with customers and prospects. People need to have a sense of the person behind the keyboard – staff who are empowered to respond and active in sharing the personal touches make all the difference. This might include sharing details from the team when someone is celebrating a new qualification, welcoming a new major client or even staff training and testing new products. You may be able to schedule a certain amount of your communications, but the facility to be able to respond day to day to new events and trending topics as well as those personal touches is vital to give a sense of the real people behind the social channels.

Social channels you can trust

We provide complete, strategic management of your social channels, beginning with a discovery stage to define your tone of voice and a broad content strategy. We are also skilled at helping clients to uncover the expertise, stories and messages that may be untapped within their business. This can help you present the people behind the corporate messages to build trust and engagement. We’ve helped many clients grow their social channels and include regular activity reports to allow customers to get a clear picture of their ROI. Our integrated approach includes the design of brand-consistent banners and visual content as well as copy which helps to build trust in your brand online.

If you’d like to learn more about how In The Box could help your business, please get in touch.

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