If you listen Cynthia Boris, no one trusts you.
Actually, what she said was 15% of respondents in a particular survey said they don’t trust brand blogs (like this one). But the survey also says that only 12% of respondents trust their friends on Twitter. Hey, if you don’t trust your friends then who do you trust?
There’s the rub for us marketing folks. If the people we’re marketing to don’t even trust their friends then how are we going to get them to trust us? Should we stop Twittering?
I wouldn’t suggest that you stop Twittering. I think, for the most part, that the people we reach on Twitter have a completely different mindset than the audience we reach through our own blogs. But I also think that the mass popularity of brand blogs is leading to its own problems in trust. Audiences know that not everything said on most brand blogs is completely transparent. After all, they are being written by marketing types, right?
Or maybe it’s just that people online have a general lack of trust for other people online.
Whatever it is, it means that we’ve got to work harder to build trust. How do you do that? For starters, you’ve got to be totally honest about the way you represent yourself. Don’t pull any punches. Also, when you make a comment about your brand (or someone else’s), try your best not to misrepresent it in any way. If you don’t know something then say you don’t know it. Don’t make it up or pretend that you know something that you don’t.
I suspect that marketers will always have a problem with trust, but we don’t have to give people reasons for not trusting us. We should be giving them reasons that they should.