Gaining Trust in Social Media
That is the #1 commodity you are after. The largest commodity you can ever gain in social media is a following. With all the tools and the networks and the power they give you, it has become very easy to build communities that enjoy the content you put out. You can form communities in Facebook and MySpace and countless other communities. Engage those people and start pulling them in.
So the very first thing you want to do is gain trust with people. The only way to do that is to share timely, relevant information that they are interested in. Never sell anything. Never pitch anything (that comes later). Just provide good quality content, which can either be your own, or it can be somebody else’s content that you are adding to or engaging conversation about, or it can be a mixture of the two.
Again, to establish that trust – and you just can’t say this enough times – that content has to be enlightening, educational, or entertaining (more on this later). People will see that and some will engage in conversation. You want to comment on profiles of people you are networking with, so they know you care.
It’s very rewarding to people when you wish them “Happy Birthday,” for instance. Or say, “Hey, thanks for following me. What are you doing?” And every time you do that, you are branding yourself again. After a period of time, that trust gets so powerful that people will actually try to find what you are selling without you ever selling it to them.
One of the key methods of doing that is to establish a hook that leads people to go to your blog or your website to opt in for a white paper or a report or any other type of content that is entertaining, enlightening, or educational.
That’s the start of the process. Once that trust is established, they’ll follow you outside, and they’ll start opting in, and then it’s just a continuation of building that community.
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