The more you are convinced of this, the more you can benefit from it. I have seen a lot of skeptics, tons of them. The opinions were very often the same. Social media were seen as platforms to exchange a whole host of entertainment… if you can call it that.
On the one hand, we can’t really deny this aspect because it is so predominant. But still, I assure you that social media can be used for more than just sharing photos of cats wearing sunglasses.
The question you might rightfully ask me now is: How can social media help you shape your credibility?
Well, first of all, credibility cannot be decreed.
It arises from the opinion of others. Without the world around you, you are nothing. The words are heavy, I know. But that’s the point. To confront you with reality.
With the web, the world that is watching you is in front of their computer or smartphone. They scrutinize your every move. A blog post, a press article, a tweet. The smallest message you could send is analyzed and used to give you credibility points (or take them away).
I like to say that social media are like a jury that is open 24/7.
You’re on a stage and you’re playing your own role. The question now is whether you’re a good enough actor for people to believe you. Internet users’ belief is intimately linked to your level of credibility. But it’s not just that.
Social media play a very strong role in building credibility. I repeat it whenever I have the opportunity, social media affect just as much:
- the trust people have in you
- your reputation
- the level of expertise that people attribute to you
- the behavior of internet users towards your brand
Okay, but how does it work in practice?
If I wanted to summarize the role of social media in building your credibility, I would say that they serve to:
Demonstrate your expertise
Show that you know your stuff in your field. It seems simple. It is and it’s also very effective. Where do you prefer to buy coffee? In a specialized shop where the staff knows the origin of its merchandise. Where the staff has a refined palate and can describe every flavor to you? Or do you prefer to buy coffee in a supermarket… after all, it’s cheaper.
Who do you think is more credible? Who will be able to guide you in your choice? Who will be able to understand your coffee consumption habits?
You’re right, the answer is obvious.
Social media remain one of the best channels to educate your audience, provide prevention, give ideas for using your products, etc.
Maintain a relationship
You may not have noticed. In social media, there’s the notion of social. I know it’s a shocking revelation. If you want to maintain your credibility, you have to socialize.
One of the worst things that can happen to you is to become a self-centered company. One that doesn’t have time to connect with its audience. Exchange and proximity are vital to your functioning as a system.
Just posting content is a good start. I can’t take that away from you if you do it. However, content that generates comments, discussions, and questions from people who read you has more value. In that it allows you to build relationships with your audience.
You will have to nourish this relationship. It takes extra effort to maintain the trust your audience gives you. And a confident audience is more likely to buy from you or talk about you. The result of this digital sociability is the sweet name of community.
To show who you are
Your company is not just about products, processes, and innovation. No, it thrives thanks to humans. People like you and me who put their skills and intellect at the service of your audience.
So why not put them in the spotlight?
Using social media is also about showing your face. Making yourself heard. Moving. The more you humanize your company through your content, the more you increase your likability and credibility.
We can no longer hide behind cold and meaningless slogans like we did 40 years ago. Today, meaning comes from the men and women who bring your brand to life. Who make it exist as an entity.
You might think that what we just saw has nothing to do with credibility. Think again. It has everything to do with it. Credibility is built from subtler elements than you imagine. And real elements above all.
It’s up to you now. It’s up to you to observe yourself. To understand who is in relation to what in your company. The key is to be able to have both a big picture and a detailed view. The more you succeed in analyzing yourself and knowing who you are and how you exist in your universe, the more you will be able to take advantage of social networks.