Monthly Archives: March 2014

How to Help Build Trust for Your Brand Through Social Media

There are a tremendous amount of factors to consider with building and managing a brand. One of the most important is having a focus on building trust between your brand and its customers. Social media helps businesses accomplish this goal through relationship building. It is a medium built on a foundation of engagement, word of mouth, and brand loyalty.

Just as with your products and services, customers always seek value when using social media. Social media has evolved from a landscape of vanity and pure entertainment to a valuable platform for meaningful communication, and it can serve a growth engine for any type of business. Unless your target market communally has an aversion to all things social media, there is no reason you should not be trying to engage with your current and future customers online. They are there to engage.

The most important step when building trust through social media is to create valuable, timely and relevant content. But you should be aware of how your customers measure value. Usefulness will almost always be a factor, but maybe humor or stories is the content they seek from you. Cater your content to your audience and format it in a way that is conducive to sharing on the platforms you and your target market use. People have a knack of trusting whom their friends trust.

While social networking is a powerful marketing tool that should not be ignored, you do not need to use every platform. Pick the ones that amplify your tailored content the best. Showing that you understand your audience absolutely builds trust. Engaging with customers and clients on their preferred networks furthers that trust and generates a loyal following—the lifeblood of a brand.

At Wyngspan, we offer a new social platform focusing on word of mouth recommendations. It is a place for consumers to view family and friends’ resources instead of relying on testimonials from unfamiliar sources. Because of this, businesses can showcase their trustworthiness not only though our Trust Score system, but also by appearing more often in users’ Trust Circles. For more information on our new social tool, check out wyngspan.com, Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter.

The Power of Networks: How We Found Resources Before Online Reviews

In 2014, when we need a recommendation, most likely we turn to the Internet scrolling through countless postings by total strangers, trying to guess what’s real and what’s not. Recently, the Wyngspan team took a moment to reflect back and ask ourselves this question: What did we do to find a trustworthy professional before the Internet?

Once upon a time, way back in the 1980’s and 1990’s there was this ancient, huge, overwhelming yellow book that contained every businesses number listed alphabetically, in a specific geographic area. While it was nice to have every business listed, this format also meant that Al’s Plumbing service had the better position to rein in a new customer than Zeek’s Plumbing. Also, if Al had purchased a large advertisement, customers may have been more likely to choose his business rather than a better plumber with no ad. The Yellow Pages may have been an overabundance of information without any filters but it was a start.

In addition to the Yellow Pages, there was (and still is) the Better Business Bureau, which really started the review trend. By engaging the BBB, consumers are able to formally report a complaint and then other consumers can investigate if a business had complaints before patronizing it. It shortcomings are primarily that it narrowly focuses on only the negative experiences of consumers with businesses.

Although these two old-school outlets were available before the rise of the Internet, one type of review that has stood the test of time is word-of-mouth recommendations. These occur between our personal networks, including our friends, family members, and colleagues. We have all asked friends for the name of a trustworthy mechanic, landscaper or dry cleaner. We trust the experiences of those within our network.

Back to 2014, when there are too many untrustworthy online reviews sites to count. Wyngspan, however, is different. We are a place that brings the concept of word-of-mouth references to life on the Internet. Instead of texting ten friends to find one business, fill out a Wyngspan profile for a one-stop shop. To learn more about us visit www.wyngspan.com, Follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook.

News Round-Up: Calls for Transparency in Business Highlight Importance of Trust

News Round-Up: Calls for Transparency in Business Highlight Importance of Trust

Businesses are constantly making the news for being untrustworthy. Consumers feel they deserve to know the workings behind the products or services they consume. The purpose of our monthly News Round-Up series will be to analyze these events in the hope of sparking conversations about restoring trust in businesses.

Here are some recent stories that caught our eye this month:

Deidre H. Campbell, an executive with the public relations firm Edelman, contributed an article to CNBC outlining five tips for improving trust. She mentions that finance and business continually rank at the bottom of the list of most trusted industries. One of the five methods proposed by Campbell to reverse this is, what she calls, the “surround-sound effect.” In other words, companies should find new channels to echo their messages. With online search being one of the primary ways to consume information, Campbell suggests that a company is better served maximizing the value of its content by delivering tailored material to targeted audiences. She also concludes that transparency has become essential, requiring companies to adapt or lose.

The next article, from CBS MoneyWatch, takes us from Wall Street to Main Street. Journalist Aimee Picchi analyzes how advertising revenue factors in to business rankings on review sites. She quotes Consumer Reports senior editor Jeff Blyskal as saying that when consumers pay money for information, there is an expectation that the source can be trusted. Angie’s List has been facing accusations of tampering with what should be organic search results. Nonetheless, marketing firm Yodle found that a vast majority of consumers still place a high value on positive online reviews. Conversely, sixty-eight percent of small businesses say they couldn’t care less. Seems to be a disconnect here.

James Surowiecki, in his recent column for The New Yorker, warns that brands better start caring. Surowiecki has made career of covering business and financial topics. He argues that businesses face more pressure than ever before to deliver on promises, concluding that any brand is only as good as its last product. The Internet is an empowering tool for the consumer. Surowiecki maintains that a company can no longer rely on brand loyalty to generate profits. Businesses now must compete for the best online endorsements. This is a welcome change for some. Smaller players can now challenge the incumbents. Hidden gems can be discovered by a simple search. Shady business practices are exposed.

While consumers welcome platforms that allow more transparency, they are also smart enough to realize the major flaw in the system. The online review environment is a hive-mind for storytellers. Rachel Feltman, a journalist for Quartz, comments on the discrepancies of consumers’ trust in online reviews. She says, consumers’ level of distrust can be multiplied by the importance of the decision. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School, forty-three percent of participants did not trust the information provided online about physicians. Asking a family member or friend is still the preferred method for finding a doctor. The risk of facing bad consequences has always factored into decision-making, and the risk of believing a fake review invites further hesitation.

Why should consumers have to settle for reviews from strangers when it’s honest transparency they are searching for? Social proof can be a powerful convincer. Social proof complemented with endorsements from familiar faces—now that’s a solution you can trust.

For more analysis of trust in business and the online review environment, Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.