In today’s world of ever-changing advertising outlets and consumer relationships, the idea of trust is not only exploited daily, it’s necessary for businesses to survive. This might seem elementary, but it is becoming harder and harder to keep track of your consumer’s relationships. The saying has always been: trust is hard to gain and easy to lose. This has not changed. Today, however, we are faced with more bridges between business and consumer, and this means the business needs to be on top of their consumer more than ever.
Every day, more and more businesses are using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to promote themselves and build a relationship with their consumers. This can be a blessing and a curse. To those companies that use social media correctly and to their advantage, a true relationship with the consumer is formed. There is a sense of trust between the two. The consumer trusts the business to act in the consumers’ best interests, and conversely, the business trusts the consumer to stay with their product.
As many people know, trust is a volatile thing. It can be lost in a heartbeat, and that’s the fear. Building trust with a consumer can be the most beneficial thing a company can do. Trust fosters communication, and communication between consumers (word-of-mouth marketing) outside the company is often the best advertising you can get, and the most profitable. But what about the flip side? What happens when trust, which was previously established, is broken? The results are catastrophic. Negative word-of-mouth is exponentially more powerful than positive. While positive feedback will allow people to see for themselves what all the buzz is about, negative feedback will more often than not prohibit consumers from ever trying the product in the first place.
It may seem tedious, but there is only one way to keep the trust between you and your consumers: stay on track! If you have a Facebook page, and a consumer writes on it, answer them. If you get mentioned on Twitter, respond, and respond in a timely manner. Keeping the consumer happy is the name of the game, and social media has not only given businesses access to a near infinite amount of consumers, but has made it easier to keep in touch with them. Social media is a blessing, helping companies to maintain a standard of excellence with their consumers. With a little focus, that blessing will never become a curse.