Trust Issues. Because We All Have At Least One.

Hmmm... I don't think I trust you...

You have trust issues. Perhaps yours is with dishonest government officials, a cheating (ex)boyfriend, or a backstabbing friend. Some trust issues are trivial, some are deep-rooted. Nevertheless, they do exist. We all have them. Trust issues. Yes. You. Me. And every single person in the World Wide Web (WWW). Especially every single person in the World Wide Web!

The foundation of every healthy and functional relationship is trust (I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!). Without trust, the relationships you build are superficial. Whether you’re trying to run for a seat in the government or trying to win someone’s <3, you’ll have to gain the other person’s trust in order to succeed and it proves to be a very difficult task. More so in the world of the Internet where everyone is made up of pixels, hidden behind html, and deprived of nonverbal cues. People have become distrustful of who and where the in the WWW information comes from. And this comes with very good basis.

 

Trust is about covenant relationships, not about contract relationships.

With New Social Media around, the network of every single internet-user continues to expand. Now, our social networking accounts are practically extensions of our human relationships. To the brands and bloggers, it has become an extension of their customer relations efforts. The New Social Media has enabled brands and bloggers to infuse themselves in the networks of their consumers. But it’s not just the people’s networks that they want to break through; they want to be in their Circle Web of Trust.

No one wants to be outside anyone's Circle of Trust

Where are you in the Circle or Web of Trust?

Even if it’s seemingly impossible with the absence of face-to-face communication, building trust through computer screens is very much doable. New Social Media has provided this whole new platform where brands and bloggers can overcome trust issues to gain (or regain) consumers’ trust. But just how can it be done?

Tell a story. Your story! The idea of big corporations makes me think of profit-driven and power-hungry moguls while bloggers make me think of egotistic, self-proclaimed experts. If you put a human face, post your story, or upload a video on your website, you’re proving your readers that you are indeed human and not merely an avatar or a brand logo. Do not forget to add a touch of humanness. :)

Schwartz, Sun Microsystem’s CEO placed his bio on his official blog

Tell a TRUE story. Honesty is key to trust so do not make up stories and do not pretend to be anyone or anything. Don’t just tell any story. Tell a TRUE story. ;)

Be transparent and private at the same time. They say secrecy in this generation is obsolete, but that does not mean you shouldn’t protect information. A healthy balance between transparency and privacy will make consumers feel that you share information but are discerning when it comes to selecting the right pieces of information to post. They’ll feel that they know what they deserve to know, and you keep what you ought to keep. :)

 

Oh no you didn't Mr. Zuckerberg! You better protect my info!!!

Reply and respond. People trust brands or bloggers who respond to them. It shouldn’t matter whether their posts and comments are positive or negative. What matters is that you work on gaining their trust by making them feel that you listen to them, that you are available to them. So say thanks. Tweet back. Reply to your readers. :)

"loathes DMs but lives fo replies"

Be constant and consistent! Let your readers know that there is an actual living breathing person behind your website. Don’t let your page or website go stale. Update and keep your readers on track, but in terms of updating, always prioritize quality over quantity. ;)

Stop selling, start communicating! If you want to sell or promote something, then you are in the wrong media. In New Social Media, your goal is to communicate with your consumers and not bombard them with advertisements.

“Trust is earned and its stature is representative of our collaboration and contribution over time. If the Social Web is an ocean, trust funnels into distinctive and distinguishable rivers.”

By gaining the trust of consumers through New Social Media, brands and bloggers are fostering good online reputation. Fostering good online reputation increases referrability and fame in the WWW (conversely, both do not always guarantee good reputation). Referrability and fame broadens the brand or blogger’s consumer base. A broader customer base consequently opens up a greater sphere of influence for brands and bloggers. In short, trust is the building block. Being in people’s Circle of Trust is step one to influencing their decision-making.

Listeners have to trust the storyteller in order to believe in the story. Without trust, you won’t have listeners. And that’s what precisely what New Social Media is for. Listening. Without trust, you won’t be able to build meaningful relationships. Not with anyone.

What about you? How do you think can one build trust in the world of new social media? :)

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12 thoughts on “Trust Issues. Because We All Have At Least One.

  1. Very well said! It is very witty to relate the internet with trust issues. It makes perfect sense! :)

    Everyone, organizations specifically, should learn how to “listen online.” It might sound vain but always search for your name online. You’ll never know what other people are saying about you, what they are posting about you. And no one improves by not listening.

    My point: It takes a certain level of empathy to make others trust you, to make others see you as credible. Be sincere, and you’ll gain their trust eventually.

    And again, “Do not forget to add a touch of humanness.” Nice Kits! :)

  2. New Social Media has provided this whole new platform where brands and bloggers can overcome trust issues to gain (or regain) consumers’ trust. But just how can it be done?

    Stop selling, start communicating! If you want to sell or promote something, then you are in the wrong media. In New Social Media, your goal is to communicate with your consumers and not bombard them with advertisements.

    – this reminds me of the class i had last week about debate. dalawa kaming irregular students sa class na yun… and then reporting. that guy/gay, haha, was discussing about debate and our professor asked him do marketing students need debate in our field of work, parang sakin ata tinanong or so? haha cant remember so well, ayun and then i answered that we really need debate much because we dont argue with the consumers, most of the time we convince them but not argue with them, ayt? and then he insisted that we need it because as marketing students we know how to manipulate(?!) the consumers, and blah blah blah… i wasnt able to answer back kasi nagtanong na uli yung professor namin. in my mind, the idea was, kasi diba, nowadays we dont really need to insist products to consumers kasi hindi na tayo more on products, we are more consumer-related… we serve what they need and we dont insist products that they dont need. cant explain further. hahaha brain cells are not working anymore… hahaha nagshare lang din ako. :D

    • Hi Deng! I believe so too the debate shouldn’t be between marketers and consumers. Marketers do have to convince consumers to purchase or avail of their product of service but it shouldn’t be through a debate! Brands have the components of the marketing mix to use and choose from (debate definitely excluded) in order to persuade consumers to purchase their product or simply establish brand presence. If there has to be a debate, I think it should be confined inside the marketing department. :)

  3. That’s a perfect way to put it, dear! Trust is key to any relationship, in the world wide web or in the real world, and thou art most correct! LOL It’s something that you really have to earn, and earning it isn’t always easy, but it can be done – and this is one great guide to the right way of doing so. Excellent job Kits!

  4. Trust holds every good relationship among peoples. Credibility, reliance, care, responsibility and faith are just some words that go with it. In addition, communication really is the key to the attainment of trust.
    The article is about New Social Media, which is good, meaning it’s timely. Good job enumerating how people or groups should go about New Social Media! 

    • Hello Iris! >:D< Awwwww, I like how you raised care and faith. Today's brands should be less product-biased and be more consumer-biased. They should care and listen more. :)

  5. A very insightful entry on the new social media and trust! :)

    If there were a password to access the system of building and maintaining good reputation online, it would not be CHOKI-CHOKI or TAMAGOCHI. It could only be T-R-U-S-T!

    Businesses nowadays have identified a worthy investment that establishes genuine customer relations and strong brand reputation. It’s trust built upon a well-told truth.

    I have “unearthed” a reading material from our PR class (Hello Sir Ed :)) about leveraging digital influence to drive sales and reputation. Ogilvy quoted Pete Blackwell in his book Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000–

    “Credibility rules the day, and if a company’s story doesn’t foster trust, if it doesn’t convey transparency and authenticity, if it isn’t informed by listening and responding to customers, and it isn’t positively affirmed by what customers are saying to one another, then it’s just another phony story.”

    Today, if companies are striving for meaningfully established relationships whether with the stakeholders, employees, or consumers, they need to master the art of story telling. And it is not like any simple story telling. It must be a balanced conversation between the company and the audience which places into light a credible story founded on three Ts—truth, transparency, and trust. :)

  6. Indeed, with trust in a relationship, you can never go wrong. :) After you worked hard to earn it, you should be able to keep it as well. Like what a Parokya ni Edgar song says (yes, I quote Parokya ni Edgar after Anne quoted Ogilvy): “Parang tiwala, pag nasira na, mahirap nang ayusin pa. ‘Di kayang ipagdikit ang tiwala pag napunit…” This song is not only true for people who are in a relationship, but for companies and consumers. We really have to be careful, and you have given excellent points to follow. Love you, Khits! :D

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