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7 Practical Ways to Build Trust on Social Media and Boost Your Online Reputation

Equinox We Dont Speak January ad

Patagonia Don't Buy this Jacket

There's a debate going online:


Luxury fitness company Equinox launched their 'We Don't Speak January' campaign - which saw the premium-priced gym chain banning new members from joining on New Year's Day.

The brand explained on X (Twitter) that it wasn't letting people sign up on January 1 because it didn't want to 'support the "new year, new me" movement that happens every January.

Which led to Equinox getting a lot of hate on Social Media,


Yet, Patagonia's famous "Don't buy this jacket" ad is often held up as a great anti-Black-Friday campaign.


So what's the difference?

While both ads seem to take the same approach on the surface - Patagonia, has spent decades building its customers' trust via its brand message with its ad being viewed as selfless. Its campaign doesn't feel gimmicky when compared to Equinox which was slammed for being elitist (well they did begin accepting membership applications again on 2 January!)

Bringing me to this issue's topic - that's right I'm writing about Trust.


Social media has become an indispensable tool for connecting with others. We share ideas and build relationships.


And as individuals and business owners, we have the unique opportunity to contribute to the collective pool of knowledge and earn trust within our online communities.


Posting valuable content and sharing your knowledge and experience shows your brand is an authority and is about more than just making money.


It's the halo-effect (a psychological phenomenon referring to the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence our opinion in another area.).


Here's what you can do:

1. Share your Knowledge:

Sharing your expertise on social media not only showcases your understanding of a particular subject but also positions you as a reliable source of information.


Whether you're passionate about technology, wellness, or any other field, consistently providing valuable insights will naturally attract an audience interested in what you have to offer.


And while followers with an interest in your content may not necessarily be customers, if you can establish your brand as a go-to resource it will put your brand at the front of their minds when they ever need what your service provides.

2. Authenticity Matters:

Considering the Equinox/Patagonia example - Authenticity is key to building trust, and social media provides a platform for you to express your genuine self.


Make sure your message matches your tone of voice across all your platforms (websites, blogs, newsletters etc) as well as speaks your target audience's language.


Realise that there is no ONE right way of doing business.


You can confidently share your insights without adopting a self-righteous tone. It's about offering your perspective while respecting the diversity of strategies within our community.


People appreciate honesty, and when they see the real person behind the knowledge, it fosters a sense of connection and relatability.


Share your personal experiences, successes, and even failures.


When you're open about your journey of learning, your audience will likely resonate with your authenticity.

3. Engage in Conversations:

Social media is not just a broadcasting tool; it's a space for dialogue.


You can’t throw your content out there and leave it at that.


Respond to comments, answer questions, and actively participate in discussions.


Don't isolate yourself. Comment on and support your followers' posts.


Ask questions.

Add humour.

Create a discussion.

4. Curate Quality Content:

Share articles, videos, and resources that align with your area of expertise.


Yes, this may sound obvious - but we can still get stuck as to what our audience will find valuable


  • Identify who your customers are, and what they need to solve a NOW problem

  • Identify your competitors and what they say in their content

  • Don't copy others but fill any gaps left by competitors and provide better content that aligns with your audience's needs.


Though you’ll always hope to convert a few followers with your content, never make your content all about selling your services follow the 80/20 rule.

Twitter Post

5. Give Before You Receive:

Generosity is a powerful way to earn trust.


You don't always have to gatekeep your knowledge - share it freely without expecting anything in return.


Some of my best clients conversations came about because I dropped a quick recommendation on their social feed.


Providing valuable information, whether it's through blog posts, infographics, or live Q&A sessions, demonstrates your commitment to contributing positively to your community.

6. Be Socially Responsible:

A great way to build trust with your customers is to let them know that you care about others not just yourself.


Don’t be afraid to post on social media about the causes you are passionate about and how your business supports those values.

7. Be Consistent:

Consistency maintains a regular and predictable presence and schedule on your platforms and reinforces your commitment to your community and establishes you as a reliable source over time, but don't confuse this with being Constant.


Your business won’t crumble if you take the occasional break. If it does, you'll need to restructure your marketing strategy.


Consistency without strategy is wasted time!


If you pick a marketing schedule that doesn’t fit your lifestyle or work capacity - you’ll feel overwhelmed.


Remember: What works for others won’t always work for you and that’s OK. 

Being Consistent also means keeping your branding, tone of voice, and style consistent across all your social channels, and aligning them with your website, blogs, newsletters, emails etc.  

Building trust through social media has never been so important. But it’s not a quick and easy thing to do – if you take the time, the more you give, the more trust you'll earn allowing you to create a sustainable business strategy and a positive cycle of growth and collaboration within your online community.


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