Building Social Media Trust: Converse Don’t Sell
I’ve been monitoring the great tweets coming out of the SiriusDecisions B2B marketing conference in Phoenix this week (#sds10), and I responded to one in particular caught my eye yesterday:
It doesn’t surprise me to learn that people aren’t feeling the trust when it comes to leveraging social media as a buying source. We’ve all experienced the unwanted spamming of marketers who really don’t understand how to use channels like Twitter to build relationships, so instead they send out 300 tweets a day along the lines of “Download my free video and learn about how to buy my product and make millions.”
Yeah, I’ll get right on that…
In my opinion, marketers who try to engage in this manner are sorely missing the point:
B2B social media shouldn’t be about selling, it should be about conversing.
If you aren’t interested in building relationships, getting direct feedback from your customers and prospects, sharing ideas, and commenting on the ideas of others – and you are only interested in the thinly-disguised hard sell – then social media might not be the best delivery vehicle for your company’s marketing efforts.
Social media enables companies of all sizes to amplify their voices to a volume-level that was traditionally reserved for large corporations with multi-million dollar advertising budgets. But before turning the volume up, people have to be listening. In order to get people to listen, you have to engage and sustain their interest (or be fascinating, as Guy Kawasaki pointed out yesterday in his webcast). It is also helpful to listen and respond to what’s important to them in a two-way exchange.
By doing these things, awareness of the brand will increase, perceptions will be more positive, and trust might start to develop.
And, funnily enough, research shows that people are more likely to buy from people they trust, like, and seem to understand them…