Jaci Russo joins Acadiana's Morning News every Monday at 6:40a for the BrandBuzz segment.

8 Tips for Becoming a Credible Resource on Social Media

It’s easy to be leery about most of the things you read online and in the real world. We’ve been conditioned to think, “What’s the catch?” when we hear an offer that sounds too good to be true. It’s easy to gloss over, or even worse, distrust an organization just based on its messaging. Establishing trust online can be the entryway into much bigger opportunities for your brand. So how do you show that you’re a credible resource in your social media?


1. Speak From a Level of Expertise

People follow organizations on social media because they’re looking to benefit from special offers, humor, or education. Education is, more often than not, the most useful thing you can offer your followers. So become a valued resource for them. That’s called “Thought Leadership,” and it’s the practice of making yourself an authority through content sharing.


2. But Talk in “Real Talk”

You’ve got to have a balance of sounding like an authority figure and speaking to someone like an actual person. It’s a fine line to walk, but it’s crucial to gaining trust. The trick is to not talk over someone’s head. Remember that these are real people following you on social media, so speak to them that way. Instill a human sensibility in the things you write and people will feel the person behind the keyboard.


3. Own Your Presence

Many users think business Facebook pages or Twitter accounts are being run by an intern or even someone outside the company. Make yourself visible by regularly posting pictures of your team.


4. Use Testimonials

Current or past customer testimonials can help you supplement the point you are trying to convince your prospective customers of. Why? Because we’re more inclined to believe another person than a company. You’ll trust a friend’s referral before an ad, right? Use the person’s picture [obviously with permission] and have them provide a quote from the heart. And try to avoid clichés when you can.


5. Like What You’re Doing

Social media can feel like a grind for some companies to undertake. It can be cumbersome, scary, and in need of lots of attention. And if you feel that way, it’s quite possible that those feelings are coming through in the writing. People will be less likely to trust a business page if there’s a lack of enthusiasm or passion behind it.


6. Attribute When Necessary

You learned how to site your sources in elementary school, and all of those principles still apply to social media. If you’re sharing someone else’s content — even if yours is inspired by someone else — give credit where credit is due. It’s an extremely valuable tool for appearing trustworthy.


7. Talk Back

Social media offers something you can’t find in any other form of media: Conversation. So if you’re running an account, use it as a vehicle to talk to your followers. If someone comments on a post, comment right back. It’s another form of “being human” on social media. Be a real presence and people will recognize that.


8. Rely on Your Culture

Earning trust is tough for any business. Use your own organization’s advantages to leverage trust that other businesses don’t. Rely on your culture to let consumers have the opportunity to feel more emotionally invested in you and your people.

You are expected to be responsible, trustworthy, and deliver on your promise. Hold your business to a higher standard to become a trusted, credible resource online.

For more everyday branding tips, subscribe to the Razor Branding Blog.

Founded in 2001, RUSSO is a strategic branding agency with offices in New Orleans, Lafayette and Nashville. RUSSO uses consumer insight to develop branding initiatives that effectively change the conversation — forming emotional connections between the consumer and the brand. To learn more, visit brandrusso.com.

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