Do consumers trust your brand?

trustI’m sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
I’ve had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth-John Lennon

According to Gallup only four in 10 Americans say they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust and confidence in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly. This ties the historical lows on this measure set in 2014 and 2012.  Marketers need to ask “just how much do consumers trust our brand?”.

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Social media has not been kind to Matt Lauer after his interview of Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump. However, much to my surprise many people are pointing fingers to NBC and its parent company Comcast.

Social media has given people a voice to be heard via hashtag activism and people are shouting loud and clear.  Brands that screw up are pounced upon almost immediately and what follows is often a drop in sales.  Even iconic brands like Starbucks and Apple are not immune to customer outrage via social media.

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[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Brands have to earn the trust of consumers and customers everyday, beyond the products they sell[/inlinetweet].  How?

1ne: Keep it real.  Don’t use PR speak or let your PR department speak for your brand on social media.

2wo: Use social media people who understand your brand, its customers and above all marketing.

3hree: Don’t use BOTS.  If I complain to UPS about their shipping of packages I don’t want a BOT to tell me to email help@ups.com and another one to send me an email that says you care about me as a customer.  If you cared you would talk to ME as a person, not through a BOT.

4our: If you screw up, admit it and ask for forgiveness.

5ive: Empower your people to “make it right”.  When I had a complaint about an Amazon shipment they told me to just keep the product and they would credit my account.

6ix: Finally, understand that there a lot of very angry people out there just waiting for you to make a mistake.  They will pounce on you and you just can’t risk those posts going viral.

Trust is earned everyday through your actions.  It’s not given automatically even if your intentions are honest and from the heart.