Fact No. 1: People want to do business with people they like and trust.
Conclusion: Social media offers a golden opportunity for small business owners to build credibility with a vast number of potential customers.
Whether it’s a Facebook® profile, Twitter® handle, Google+™ or LinkedIn® page, or even a presence on relative newcomers such as Pinterest® and Instagram®, small business owners who leverage social media can gain a competitive edge. Social platforms offer a cost-effective and fairly easy way to connect with customers, raise brand awareness, and establish expert status within a specific industry.
If you own a business today or hope to launch your own enterprise down the road, check out these tips for boosting your credibility through the use of social media:
1. Provide educational tips and tricks.
Keep a well-rounded profile by providing links to informational posts and videos that relate to, but are not directly connected to, the products or services you offer. Doing so can help position you as an industry insider who wants to truly help customers, rather than a business owner with sales tunnel vision.
2. Create helpful videos.
All you need is a smartphone and some imagination to raise your credibility meter through video. Create a series of short, interesting and helpful how-to clips and post them on a video sharing network like YouTube®. Then share them through your other social network streams.
3. Promote the positive.
Whenever you receive positive feedback, ask that customer’s permission for you to share their experience on your social media sites (and the Testimonials page of your website, of course). Positive comments and reviews build credibility and encourage new customers to do business with you.
4. Share your guest blog posts and media coverage.
It takes a bit of time and effort, but reaching out to the top blogs in your industry to pitch them exciting guest post ideas—and then sharing those published posts on your social sites—will do wonders for your credibility factor. And it’s a given that good press ups your expert quotient.
5. Post consistently and respond quickly.
By establishing a manageable social media schedule—and sticking to it—you demonstrate consistency and reliability. These are key factors for establishing trust. Check out some tips and tricks for posting on social media sites.
Ultimately, the goal is to make your business as successful as possible—and social media can help get you there by establishing your status as an expert within your industry.