Building your credibility in social media written by: Stefan Building an online persona and brand is an art. It is not a one-step stage but rather a series of events. It begins with basic aspects such as colors, promotion of your messages, and logo, among others. These are what some people call foundation to success. What follows after is development of your plan, platform, creation and launching of your brand presence, integrating social with your business mission, and then commencement of social media engagement. However, you may realize after several weeks that these efforts may fail to yield results. No sales are forthcoming. No client is opting in to your email list. What could have gone wrong? Is it an issue of trust? Do they think you or product does not add value to them?
There are several reasons why people may be unwilling to engage with you. Mistrust is one of them. A great possibility exists that your community do not trust you. In both the real and internet world, trust get build from word of mouth, as well as clients and partners referrals. It is important to know that, you earn reputation depending on the quality of services and goods you deliver. More so, the person you are. You may have a good reputation and credibility offline. However, achieving the same online may be an uphill task.
If you are one of those people struggling to build an online profile, worry not. You are not alone. Chances are this is the first time you are starting an online relationship. May be your colleagues, friends, partners and even your other offline contacts are not yet online. The good news is that, you can build your online credibility using your offline relationship. However, this will not happen in a day. You need to work on it. Here are some things you can do to increase your credibility in social media.
1. Establish Social Authority
First, you need to ascertain social authority. You must be acquainted with your stuff like the back of your hand. Do not fake it, as it will not last. Social media is not the same as handing a prospective client a business card. In social media, just with a few clicks, it is so easy to authenticate who you are, past employment, referees, clients, and contacts.
All your contents on the social platforms must speak loudly for themselves. It must come out that you know your stuff well. A short paragraph or one sentences description is enough. It clearly shows that you are an expert in your niche. It gives you a good social score. Acknowledge other people’s work. Do not personalize them. Support your claims with references, blog posts, consumer reviews, among others.
2. Social proof
You need to prove to your online profile visitors who and what you are. This is a very critical step to take. This may sound difficult. However, it is easy than it may appear. You need to update the content periodically. If not daily or weekly, at least once a month.
Excellent examples of social proof may include citations of concluded assignments, list of publications like guest blogs, studies, white papers, eBooks, etc citing your work, testimonials, client and partner referrals, and so on. These should be available with a single or no click. If possible, let it pop out in the front page. However, you need to be cautious here. Always have testimonials and work experience to back your claims up. Purchasing leads or followers is not a proof enough.
3. Walk the walk
You must translate your online persona, post and profiles into action. For instance, if you claim to be the a professional graphic designer in New York City and know how to manipulate photos or images, then the photos or images in your online persona should not appear as they were developed by a student in grade five. Work on the fonts, colors as well as the content.
Take a considerable amount of time to do what you claim to do best. Do not overcrowd your profile with many jargons. Few, if not, nobody will read them. Just explain yourself in simple language as an evidence of what you can do for your clients. Nobody will believe you if you cannot take time to fix your own online persona, content, brand, identity, or all. The best social proof is you. The social score you will obtain once you start doing this will amaze you.
4. Be consistent
In modern world, physical and online business is inseparable. Who you are when you are online depicts your behavior in real life setting. You are entity whether you are online or offline. This is critical especially when you are running the business single-handed. The person you were in a pub last week is the same person you will be the next week. What you do offline directly determines the success of your business online. Be yourself. Avoid faking it at all times.
5. Be social with the right people
Socialize with the people whom you can learn something from them. In brief, people who can empower you. Keep off distracters, critics and those who ridicule your success. Hang out with people who have a vision. Establish a mutual working relationship with them. Learn more about the people whom you socialize with. Do not trust anyone on your first encounter.
6. Build relationships
It is important to engage with different masses. If you are finding it difficult to build real relationships on social media, then there is a great probability that you are not sparing some time to get to know someone. The best way to connect truly with others is by asking questions and commenting on posts. Build a relationship with people you feel comfortable with, and if possible, start your own community or page.
7. Invite conversation
Make your post, colors, images, languages, and any other aspect inviting to obtain a good social score. It is important to conduct an external evaluation on your social profile and persona online. Never underestimate the power of your relationship or community.
There is much to talk about in this area. However, we have to sum up this post here. Trust is simply invaluable. It has no price tag.