Social credibility. Not all businesses have it.

For many small business owners, marketing has become such a challenge with all the media approaches designed to reach customers that many businesses can fall short in some key areas that affect social credibility. Just because you have a Twitter account, a Facebook page and a website doesn’t mean you are seen as ‘socially credible’.  Social credibility is the collective value assigned to your business from customers and prospects based upon the entirety of THEIR experience with you online and off.

What Defines Social Credibility:

Social credibility is defined as the overall social, emotional and rational perceptions of your brand as seen from the consumers eye.  Today, customers are searching the internet, looking at your social media accounts, checking you out on your website, reading review sites and asking their friends and colleagues about your business product or service before they interact with you. I said interact, not buy….buying comes down the pipe.

How To Increase Social Credibility:

  1. Make sure all of your branded social accounts are actively updated. If your website isn’t updated, relevant and accessible, then do something about it. Everyday I hear business owners bemoan the lack of prospects in their funnel. I also hear those same business owners express frustration with not having enough time to learn all the different tools and platforms to manage their online presence.  Bottom line: if you aren’t a web designer, you have no business designing your website! If you stink at admin, lack the understanding or ability to create a social media plan and tactically execute it, then STOP!  Seriously, just because the internet affords you access to YouTube videos that show you how to do just about everything doesn’t mean you should do everything!!! [insert RANT…yes, this ticks me off to no end].  I’m fairly adept at brushing my teeth but I’m going to leave the professional cleaning, root canals and cavity filling to the dentist.
  2. Craft an engagement plan. Know where you are going to get access to your prospects then craft a touchpoint map to completely illustrate how you are going to nurture those relationships. How often should you make contact with a lead? Dr. James Oldroyd, former Research Fellow at MIT, and with data analysis company InfoUSA shows that for sales organizations who rely on lead generation to create sales, 8-12 contact attempts over a 10-14 day period is the optimal strategy to maximize the value of every lead. [http://www.insidesales.com/tips/number-of-contact-attempts].
  3. Consider advertising in the space your desired contacts are spending time.  Do you need to boost your Adword campaigns? Do you need to advertise in print or on radio or television? Where do your prospects spend the most time looking for the products or services you provide? That’s where you need to be too.

Why It Matters:

Social credibility increases sales and referrals. Bottom line — people shop based upon behavior and perception. You may have the best product or service in your field but if people don’t perceive you as credible then you are sunk. It isn’t as easy as ‘I need this, I want this, this company is a good company so I’ll buy from them’. Today, you have to be seen as credible and credibility taps into a lead/prospect/customer’s whole buying landscape. The buying landscape has become multi dimensional and businesses who embrace the totality of social credibility have a greater chance of reaching the customers who not only buy, but refer.

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