PR and social media: Trust me, I’m an authentic brand!
Whether you’re selling your products to consumers (B2C) or businesses (B2B) – creating a story that makes your audience trust you is essential. A combination of a winning social media strategy, backed with compelling thought leadership content in a B2B PR campaign that makes the reader want to find out more, will help any organisation create an honest relationship with their customers and gain that all-important trust.
It is no secret that brands are suffering as they continue to battle the test of time in order to keep their messaging innovative and their offerings miles ahead of the competition. By doing so, more and more businesses are finding themselves in muddy water as they leave ‘authenticity’ behind and get stuck in a realm of false promises. As a result, the consumer/brand relationship is suffering and companies are finding themselves clawing onto any trust the consumer may have in their product or service.
Values, trust and authenticity
As a key differentiator that could either make or break a business, customer trust is now more important than ever. In a new digital era, consumers are constantly spoilt for choice and have the opportunity to carefully select the option they are most comfortable with, and that they know will deliver on what they promise. They know how the game is played; they are savvy to any tactics employed to influence their actions so any ‘sneaky’ activity will only be detrimental in the long run.
To stand out, businesses need to take this into consideration and create a brand that is true to their values. Simply saying you’re going to do something, without backing it up with a clear action, is a disaster just waiting to happen. Authenticity and trust go hand in hand, without one the other is bound to suffer.
Step one: stay true on social media
Social media is such an important part of everyone’s lives, so both B2B and B2C businesses need to make the most of it. Social proofing via social media mass opinion (Tripadvisor, Google reviews etc.) has proven to be a natural way of capturing real thoughts and a consumer’s experience, as well as staying part of day-to-day conversations. Having a weighted balance between a positive and negative opinion will only boost a brand’s authenticity.
If you want to rebuild the trust and give your brand the chance to succeed, you also need to work on creating a strong relationship with the consumer. This requires one key aspect: transparency. A great example of this is Ben & Jerry’s, whose focus isn’t just on making ice cream but on creating a business strategy that benefits everyone, from their supplier to their neighbours. This story is not only perfectly executed on social media, but extends further to each of its channels.
And, as you can see from Ben & Jerry’s, gaining trust and promoting authenticity doesn’t require a big song and dance. Consumers and businesses alike want to feel like they are part of something, so being open and honest in your brand’s story is essential.
Step two: back up your PR with thought leadership
Whilst social media is a key ingredient in both the B2C and B2B worlds, thought leadership – talking to the market, about the market – will have a huge impact on gaining trust in the B2B market.
Thought leadership enables a business to speak openly and honestly about the issues in the market; how these challenges are having an impact on numerous organisations and what they can do about it. And it’s not just the content itself: getting these articles placed in highly regarded, reputable industry publications gives the argument extra weight. Quite simply, if an editor doesn’t think the argument is credible, it won’t get published, so the reader automatically has trust in what their reading from the very first word.
Trust us! (Yes, really)
If you’re looking for a bit of advice or you’re ready to take the next step on your quest for a B2B PR and social media agency then yes, you really can trust us! We’re here to answer any questions you have – our take on PR, who we work with and how we do it.