Tag Archives: trust

Relationships Are Built On A Foundation Of Trust

One of the things I think marketers forget about social media is that trust is a key factor in establishing, building and maintaining trust. It is the on AND offline foundation that all relationships are built from, yet so many do not consciously take this into account.

Social media relationships and trustWhat is Trust?

Trust is the reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing.

In a word, trust is confidence.

Taking it a bit further, trust is the underlying ability to rely on someone or something. it is a foundational element in all relationships, but THE crucial component in business. Trust is underlying because it is conscious and unconscious. It comes from the thinking consideration, yet is always behind the scenes affecting our gut level processes.

Some Thoughts On Trust:

– It is my firm belief that trust is earned, not expected or demanded.

– Trust comes from doing, not saying what you will do, but showing who you are and what your brand is about through action.

– Doing is the catalyst that either builds or destroys trust with ones following, community and prospects.

Trust In Business and Social Media:

Business relationships can be described as a connection with a person or brand that includes emotional and personal affinity, appreciation and trust. In today’s business world, the lines between personal and business relationships are highly blurred. In social media marketing they no longer exist in the traditional sense, in that business IS personal on many levels. Relationships often drive the connections, communication and willingness to investigate or buy.

Three Stages Of Relationship Trust:

In social media marketing, there are three distinct stages of trust that brands and marketers need to be aware of.

Establishing – Whether a social connection will be established is often governed by first impressions. Similar to the offline world, a bad first impression will result in no further engagement with a brand, person or company representative.

In social media there are numerous components that make or break a first impression and determine whether you are going to be able to establish the beginnings of a relationship. Some of those are:

  • First contact: The first contact you have with a connection sets the stage. If that contact is spam, you have likely killed any possible relationship. What is spam in social media? Anything that tags or direct messages a connection while pitching what you do. There’s nothing worse to kill an opportunity of building a relationship.
  • Bio: Think of your social media profile/bio as your store front. If your windows are dirty, your message unclear or anything looks bad, your prospect won’t bother walking in the door.
  • Stream: Most people in social media check a new connection’s stream to see how they conduct themselves. They look to see if you are spamming or only posting about yourself or if you are engaging, sharing valuable content. What they see in your stream is what they believe they can expect in a relationship with your or your brand on social media. Remember – people are watching!

Building

  • Value: Building relationships is predicated on value. Do you provide selfless, relevant value to your audience? Do you share their content? Do you help them achieve their goals?
  • Grateful: Do you show you’re grateful when your relationships help you? When they share your content, do you thank them? Just as in real-life, showing thankfulness to relationships builds those relationships. Social media is no different.
  • Response: One of the most important ways to build relationships once they are established is to respond. All too often people ignore mentions, questions or conversations. Nothing does more to kill furthering of a relationship is to be “too good” to respond.

Maintaining – Maintaining trust you have earned is a continuation of repeated impressions and the three components of relationship building. It is active and ongoing, constantly being evaluated by others subconsciously. Your conscious choice to engage in relationship building advances the opportunity with the connections you have and dramatically increases them with the relationships you have in process.

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Filed under Audience, Brand, Community, connection, Content, Engagement, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Spam

Why Ello and Tsu Entered The Social Media Scene and Why They’re Doomed

There are so many strong beliefs, perspectives and views within the social media industry, and therefore this post is going to be more controversial than we normally publish. The different “camps” of social media enthusiasts, professionals and celebrities are almost as Why Ello and Tsu came about and why they're doomedpolarized as the political parties within the United States and that means emotions can run rampant. Nevertheless, I am known for saying what needs to be said and I will attempt to do that without the emotionally charged words that often spark heated words.

There are several key reasons why new social networks like Ello and Tsu appear on the social networking scene with frequency. Having an understanding of these reasons is essential to make informed decisions on whether to chase after these numerous shiny new and incredibly distracting sites.

A Few Reasons Why Sites Like Ello and Tsu Appear

Trust – Facebook has a long history of building mistrust with its users and business customers. Constant changes, privacy issues and a lack of care or concern for their users. In recent years, Twitter has begun to make users and app developers weary with massive changes to API’s, announcements of things users oppose and other concerns. This leaves the door open to new ideas and competing social network entrepreneurs to believe there is an opportunity.

Limited Results – There are literally millions of brands and marketers using the top social networks, however few are getting real results. The lack of focus, understanding and results being achieved on the main platforms, gives way to a desire for something different that could magically change the results marketers are getting.

Human Nature – As human beings, we are programmed to often take the path of least resistance. Fight or flight as it were. Sometimes as humans, we want the easy way and sometimes something new, entices us that it could be possible.

Boredom – Also being human, we get bored easily. We are often attracted to shiny new things when we get bored and new social networks that get a lot of attention on blogs and from those we are connected to, gets the best of us. We want to be a part of the crowd and be entertained with new a new look, new capabilities and ideas.

Market Size – The overall social networking space is massive. If you come up with something that takes off in this industry, you are assured to become the next billionaire. Even though playing the lottery has better odds than that actually happening, some are allured by the chance and a new startup is born.

VC Gambling – Venture capital firms exist to invest. If they do not invest in new startups, they have no returns. Their models are based on hitting it REALLY big with a tiny percentage of the startups they invest in and losing everything on the majority. The pressure for VC’s to find and invest in the next really big thing is enormous.

When social networks are not trusted, not innovating anymore and polarize their customers and users, newcomers that hope to take advantage of that will appear. It’s that way in any industry.

Why Are Ello and Tsu Doomed?

Understanding a few of the reasons that we will continue to have so-called “Facebook killer” new networks continually popping up, is to also ask whether or not they will actually succeed, gain long-term traction or fail miserably. There are a few things to consider about the ultimately doomed fate of these two specific networks.

Polarizing Niche – Unlike the early days of Instagram and WhatsApp for example, Ello and Tsu have very tight niches that fuel their initial traction. Niches of new social networks are required if they are going to virally scale to critical mass as Pinterest, Instagram and WhatsApp have. But when the niches of these new shiny social networks are largely polarizing, it dooms the network to obscurity very quickly.

Let’s take Google Plus as an example. Starting out it was “largely” made up of two main niche groups of people, those that hated Facebook and those that were employed somehow in the social media industry, with a subgroup of Google fans that will use and love anything they produce. As we jump forward, these polarizing groups have dominated the Google Plus active user presence and prevented it from becoming mainstream, achieving critical mass and prominence.

Conversely, with Instagram and Pinterest,  the niche groups were made up of largely females and iPhone users. These early niches were not at all polarizing, enabling these two new social networks to easily grow and obtain the larger populations, thereby reaching the critical mass we see today. Neither of these two social networks were devised on negative branding or user messages against any other social networks, but rather positive features and capabilities that the industry and users clearly wanted and would use.

Both Ello and Tsu were born out of negative messaging that focuses on how other platforms suck. Although some of the points might make sense, at the end of the day shiny, new or anti-something never wins, market share does. When you look at the niche market segments of users that are attracted to these two new networks, polarizing would have to be considered an understatement.

To be clear, if you like a social network, by all means use it. But if you are doing social media marketing I suggest you focus on the ones that already have critical mass, accepted methods and reach, and leave the chasing of shiny new objects to those that have plenty of inexpensive time on their hands. Real social media marketing requires substantial knowledge, patience and consistency of proper strategies and activities.

There are no shiny objects or new networks that will magically create real results. Let those that don’t have real social media results spend their time chasing the newest shiny thing. If in the end it begins to get traction, becomes mainstream and can realize long-term sustainable results for you or your brand, then consider investing the time to add it to your mix.

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Filed under Brand, Facebook, Instagram, Marketing, Pinterest, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter

How Social Media Actions Within Relationships Build Trust

There seems to be a new round of social scoring and now “trust” based sites that purport to either determine a persons social influence or business trustworthiness. As if we did not have enough of these sites already, it seems every geek that can code is trying to jump into social media software to try to get a piece of the pie in this ever-growing industry.

Seeming to coincide with this new rush of social media influence and trust score platforms are some bloggers telling people to shut up about them. Not to stop talking about them because they are tired of it, but telling people like me that are highly skeptical of such services ability to accurately measure social and e-commerce influence and trust into a score to shut up. Really?

“Actions Within Relationships Build Trust, not easily manipulated false scores.” #quote

  • Actions that result in trust with your online community are what is important.
  • Real results, actions and revenue are the measurement of trust and value you deliver to your community.
  • Relationships that go beyond conversations with your peers is what truly measures your successful social media marketing.
  • The right social relationships that are earned through proper actions will result in something well beyond an inaccurate score, something that imparts monetary value to both you AND your community.

I was approached a couple of times recently regarding a newer social scoring site. One conversation went something like “I think u would want to because #TrustCloud is like your online credit score. They evaluate profiles & give u a score.” To which I replied, “No algorithm can do that. A credit score is based on your payment history. These social scores can easily be manipulated.”

So let me be very clear. I will not shut up about easily manipulated social media influence scoring sites like Klout, Kred and the like. I will continue to preach real results and help guide my audience to things that will help them achieve those results in their social media marketing efforts. I will continue to battle against all efforts by those people in this industry that have high scores, but no real results to show for it.

Dare I say that ROI matters? You need a return on your investment of time and resources from your social media management that goes beyond your ego and the perception others have of you because of your score!

If your social media marketing success story is about your book, seminars and speaking revenue covering the social media industry, that does not qualify you to preach the validity of scores to a restaurant, entrepreneur or brand. Having done social media marketing successfully for one does. I can and have “gamed” these scoring platforms to get my score to increase. Doing so has always resulted in a reduction in “real” effectiveness and results.

Focus on your actions within your social relationships, so your social media marketing achieves a clearly defined goal, not a high Klout score that doesn’t buy groceries!


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Filed under Community, influence, Klout, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy