In the age of social media, it is natural to be leary of a company that puts on a good front without some social evidence that they are worthy of your trust. Consumers are more aware today than ever of how to look for the proof in the pudding. So how do you create a website or social branding platform that builds trust with your clients?
Start With Your Home Page
Time spent building a well-laid out home page on your website will return to you seven-fold. This is a place where your new business can begin building trust by showing your credentials. Are you a member of your local Chamber of Commerce or the BBB? Has your business won any awards? Are you a member of any industry organizations? This is also a place to link to any other websites that can attest to your credibility, such as LinkedIn or Angie‘s List, where there may be references from others.
Generate & Utilize Reviews from Clients
As you grow your business, ask clients to provide feedback on their experience with you. Save all communications, e-mails, thank you cards, or social media comments, to utilize in promoting your business. Nothing sells your business better than a happy client. This builds trust with potential clients by giving them an impartial testimonial on what they can expect from your business.
Using these reviews effectively can be tricky, however. No one likes to feel like they are bragging about themselves. By carefully integrating reviews from clients into your website or social media pages, you can gracefully promote yourself without being blatant about it. This is one reason to never create a ’Testimonial Page’ on your website. These pages are rarely visited. Instead, choose several of your best reviews and insert them under your social media widgets on individual pages of your website.
Social Media Widgets
It is expected on websites or blogs that there is an automatic connection between your website and your social media platform. Providing these links through Social Media Widgets is an easy and simple process. Social Media Widgets can help you build trust with potential clients by allowing them to see how many people are following you, find connections to people they may know, and view posts or interactions.
Update, Update, Update!
As you begin building your website, blog or social media pages, be sure that you are keeping content current and updated. There is nothing more frustrating to a potential client than being sent to a Facebook page or blog that hasn’t been updated in 3 months. This does not give them any reason to follow you. It is sometimes better to not have that ability to connect if it is not showing you at your best.
Create a Community
Social media is a great branding platform if used properly. One of the keys to utilizing social media to your benefit is to create a community. Let down your walls and connect with your followers on a personal level. This doesn’t mean share your weekend escapades or gripes about your mother-in-law. It does mean using the common ground of your products, services, and company values to connect socially with others.
Create discussions that encourage participation by your followers by promoting content. They love your product. Give them a reason to love the company by providing them with a way to interact and connect while sharing your content.
Building trust is an essential key to growing your business. Starting at the ground level and building your social branding platform slowly and methodically will be a great investment of your time and effort.
What tools have you found most effective in building client relationships? What areas would you like to work on improving and why?