More consumers are becoming wary of who they interact with and trust online. With a world of information at their fingertips, consumers are more likely
to be skeptical and research your business online before working with you. This is the time, now more than ever, that you have to establish yourself
as a business that can be trusted.
1. Be Present
You might already have a website, a place where you can control the conversation. Despite the backlash to some social media platforms over the past few years, you’ll likely want a presence on them as well. This is where consumers can really make their voices heard, which is important to them. There’s no rule that you must establish a business presence on every social media platform. In fact, it’s better to strategize and decide which platforms best suit your brand and your goals. But a business that doesn’t have a presence on social media at all can send up a red flag to consumers.
2. Be Informative
Work to portray your business as a powerhouse of information in your industry by sharing useful posts on your website and social media accounts. That could mean starting a blog or updating your landing pages to ensure they’re answering consumers’ common questions. Showing you’re willing to put in the effort to help can establish a bond between you and your consumers. They’ll begin to look to you for answers involving your industry. Make it easy for them to find this information by teasing it on your homepage, so they don’t have to dig for the information you worked hard to create.
We’ve outlined some ways to provide quality content for your consumers in this blog on content marketing.
3. Be Available
Don’t bury your contact information on your website. Show it upfront so customers can reach you as quickly as possible when they have a question or concern. Putting your contact information front and center shows that you want to be reached by your customers.
4. Be Responsive
Every business is going to get negative feedback at some point. The important thing is to handle each situation professionally.
Think before you type. Other people are watching to see how you’ll react and whichever way you respond could affect your reputation. Instead of working it all out with the reviewer in the open, try to take the conversation offline to a real person who is best suited to help. If you feel like you’re dealing with an Internet troll, those people who pick on your business just to see if you’ll react, still use the opportunity to show your followers you’re genuinely concerned and want to help. Ask for clarification or, again, direct them to a person who could offer more assistance.
We go through multiple ways of monitoring your online presence here.
5. Showcase Achievements
When you feel like you’ve done a great job on a project, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out to that happy customer and asking for a quick testimonial to put on your website. These testimonials show potential customers which businesses or customers already trust you and your work.
6. Be Clear
If you ask for a user’s information, clearly define how that information is going to be used. For instance, if they sign up for a newsletter, should they expect it once a week or will they be bombarded with daily emails? It’s a big deal when consumers hand over their personal information to you, so let them know what your business plans to do with it and use it wisely.
7. Be Transparent
When you accidentally post something that is inaccurate, don’t hide from it. Identify the mistake you made and give your consumers the correct information. A piece of advice if you do this on social media – you might want to make a separate post for the correction, but make sure you put the correction on the original post as well. We all know how quickly messages can spread on social media, and one post you make might not go as viral as the next one. It’s important to be absolutely transparent with your audience and make sure the correction is directly connected to the original post in some way.