I don’t need to tell you how big trust in business and marketing is.
Trust is everything.
You can pull every clever trick in the book, invest thousands of dollars in slick, sexy advertising and work tirelessly on conversion optimization tactics.
But at the end of the day, it’s trust that leads to sales.
That’s probably why word-of-mouth marketing is just as important as it’s ever been.
A new study from Ogilvy, Google and TNS found,
word of mouth is the most powerful factor when it comes to consumers’ relationships with brands.
According to that study, 74% of consumers cite word of mouth as being the most powerful factor.
And this totally makes sense.
I’ll trust the input of a friend or family member over some hotshot salesman any day of the week.
So, when it comes to your Twitter profile, trust-building should be given top priority.
You obviously want to grow your following.
But more importantly, you want your followers to trust you and take your opinion seriously.
Which elements should you focus on to build trust?
In this post, I share 16 essentials mandatory for creating a trust-boosting Twitter profile.
What’s the first thing Twitter users see when landing on your profile?
For most, it’s your background image.
Of course, it needs to look great and have the right pixel dimensions.
But it also needs to incorporate the same branding elements you use in your logo, on your website, other social accounts and so on.
Here’s a good example from Burt’s Bees:
Here’s another from Mashable:
Both incorporate a color scheme, style and message congruent with their overall brand.
This is important because it typically takes being exposed to your brand five to seven times before customers will buy.
Equally important is your profile picture.
Again, it needs to be appealing and be in line with the rest of your branding.
Here’s the image I use for my Neil Patel Twitter profile:
It’s simple yet professional, and visitors can instantly recognize me.
Here’s the profile picture for The Art of Manliness:
It’s matches the central theme of the Art of Manliness website.
I’ve mentioned before that adding a trust seal to your checkout page can increase conversions.
Twitter has its own version of a trust seal, which is a blue check mark.
It looks like this:
Although it’s just a small, simple icon, it can pump up your trustworthiness considerably because Twitter users instantly know your account is authentic.
I know I always look for the blue verified badge when I’m searching for a celebrity or major brand.
To get verified, you’ll need to submit a request, which you can learn about here.
And here are some of the basic elements you must have in order to be approved:
Twitter allows you to include some brief biographical information on your profile.
This is the perfect place to explain your credentials and what you bring to the table.
Use this space wisely.
Here’s the info I include on my profile:
Here’s the info Chris Ducker includes:
Just don’t go overboard tooting your own horn to the point of being annoying.
Twitter also allows you to include a link to a website in your profile.
This is great for driving referral traffic and can also serve as a trust-booster.
Just like Facebook, Twitter gives you the option of pinning a top tweet to the top of your profile.
At the moment, I’m using this feature to promote my podcast.
Pinning a top tweet is a simple way to maximize the visibility of a particular post and is great for increasing trust.
Pick what you feel is your absolute best tweet, and pin it to the top of your profile.
Ideally, it would have already received plenty of engagement (e.g., retweets, likes, etc.) because this will make you seem more legit to first-time visitors.
Keep in mind this is the first post they will see.
Pinning a top tweet is simple.
Click on the downward arrow on the top right-hand corner of your favorite tweet.
Then click “Pin to your profile page:”
That’s all there is to it.
This is a no brainer but definitely worth mentioning.
At the end of the day, you’re only as credible as the content you tweet.
If you post genuinely insightful, relevant content, people will trust you more.
If you post garbage content that’s worthless, spammy and overtly self-serving, it’s going to kill your trustworthiness.
That’s why I always try to make sure my content hits its mark and matches the interests of my audience, which fall under the umbrella of digital marketing.
Retweets are a big part of Twitter’s appeal.
With just a couple of clicks (or taps) you can retweet interesting content and share it with your audience.
But here’s the thing.
People will assess your legitimacy based on the type of content you retweet.
If you’re retweeting epic content from a credible source, you’re good to go.
This is going to enhance your image and increase your followers’ sense of trust toward you.
But if it’s crap, it’s going to diminish that sense of trust.
In other words, don’t retweet posts from spammy, irrelevant sources.
Again, the content you associate yourself with can help or hurt your brand.
Sprinkle in a few articles each week from major publications such as The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, etc.—whatever matches your industry or niche.
It needs to be relevant to your audience and cover a topic of genuine interest to them.
And here’s another thing.
It’s best to include the URL of the publication so that people can instantly recognize it.
The idea here is you can inform/entertain your audience while benefiting from the trust people have in an established, trusted site.
A big component of gaining trust is being seen as an expert or an authority on a particular subject.
To achieve this status, you have to be selective about the type of content you post.
For instance, you won’t catch me tweeting about interior design or cooking.
You’ll find me posting content strictly about digital marketing.
That’s my MO.
Be clear about what your niche is by sticking with a consistent theme.
Of all the social networks, people tend to post the most frequently on Twitter.
According to a recent study from CoSchedule, “15 tweets per day is recommended.”
Don’t be afraid of going a little crazy with your tweets.
The most important thing is to be consistent and not have any major gaps between posts.
I’m sure you know how huge video marketing is right now.
Brands that use video report more traffic, more leads and a higher ROI.
I also find video to be perfect for breaking down walls and making deeper connections.
Why not throw in a few videos on your Twitter page?
I’ve been doing this recently and am seeing some great results.
Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income does the same.
Just link content from your YouTube channel or website.
Hashtags are an effective way to increase the visibility of your tweets.
Their overuse, however, can backfire, especially on Twitter.
While it’s fine and even encouraged to use 10 or more hashtags on other networks, like Instagram, it’s considered best practice to use a maximum of three hashtags on Twitter.
However, two hashtags is ideal and is the number I typically aim for.
Recent research shows that
engagement drops significantly once any more than two hashtags are used, on average.
“Loading the box” with hashtags looks spammy and can be a trust killer.
Let’s say someone has 100k followers.
But what if they’re following 500k people?
All of a sudden, they don’t seem as legit and trustworthy.
But let’s say someone who has 100k followers is following only 50k people.
You’re probably more likely to take them seriously because their number of followers outweighs the number of people they’re following.
It may seem like a popularity contest, but you should try to reach a favorable ratio of followers.
I would like to think I’ve got a nice ratio:
According to Kred Stories,
it is essential that you get at least 20% of the users you follow to follow you back before you move on to the next group of followers.
In other words, don’t follow a ridiculous number of accounts unless you’ve got a sizable following.
It just looks bad if you’re following thousands of people and you have only a handful of followers yourself.
There’s evidence that indicates poor spelling and grammar costs businesses millions each year in sales.
Just like you should double-check your blog posts and emails, you should always look over your tweets before publishing anything.
Otherwise, blatant errors will make you look amateurish.
More and more businesses are using Twitter as a platform for handling customer service these days.
You’re likely to receive some complaints at some point along the way.
The worst thing you can do is ignore them.
Your followers will see them, and you’ll look bad.
The best approach is to respond as quickly as possible and try to resolve the situation.
Here’s a good example of Domino’s pulling this off perfectly:
Psychological studies have found that we have an innate desire to connect with others.
based on perceptions of trust, people reported positive interactions with a ‘close friend’ to be more rewarding than interactions with a stranger or a machine.
They also found that two specific brain regions—the ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex—were actively engaged when someone thought they were trusting a close friend.
Your goal on Twitter is to maximize your trustworthiness and create more positive interactions.
You want to bridge the gap and make people feel a sense of camaraderie with you.
The essentials I listed in this post should help you accomplish this in a variety of ways.
This should make first-time visitors more willing to follow you and help you strengthen your rapport with your existing followers.
How do you decide whether or not you trust a person or brand on Twitter?
Trust has always been important from a marketing perspective.
But in my opinion, it’s never been more important than it is today.
That’s because so many consumers have an underlying cynicism about brands and companies.
And why wouldn’t they be skeptical?
Marketing communications account for 70% of today’s spam complaints.
Just think of all the scam artists, false advertisements and deceptive advertising techniques people so frequently encounter.
Not to sound pessimistic, but modern consumers have a good reason to be suspicious.
As a marketer, you have to put your audience at ease.
And social media is a great way to do that.
Facebook in particular is ideal for creating trust.
You can even use it to turn casual fans into die-hard brand advocates.
In fact, Facebook has been instrumental in helping me expand my following.
As of right now, I have nearly 1 million followers on my Neil Patel page, and it’s growing every day.
In this post, I’d like to cover 18 essentials mandatory for boosting the trustworthiness of your Facebook page.
These tactics have worked for me and countless other brands, and they can work for you too.
Just like on Twitter, Facebook has a feature where you can add a verification badge as long as you’re a public figure, media company or brand.
It’s a simple way to prove it’s actually you and not a fake account.
Here are the steps involved in getting your Facebook page verified:
Check out this guide from Facebook for more information on the process.
In order to build a solid brand, you need to have identifiable branding elements like a formal logo, recognizable color scheme, style, etc.
Facebook gives you an excellent opportunity to reinforce your brand, which helps with trust building.
Include a profile picture and a background picture that incorporate your core branding elements.
Take TechCrunch for example:
They use their signature green and white color scheme along with their logo.
The About page of your website is important.
In fact, “52% of people” want to see it on your website’s homepage.
It only makes sense to create a robust Facebook About page.
Here’s a good example from Chris Guillebeau:
Notice how he succinctly fills visitors in on his key info?
According to the same study from KoMarketing I referenced above, including contact information on your website is even more important than having an About page.
They found 64% of people want to see your contact information after arriving on your homepage.
Of course, you’ll want to include this on your Facebook page as well.
Include as much info as you can.
Ideally, also include a phone number because this tends to be a significant trust factor.
Here’s what I have for my contact info:
Any time you can create a link pointing to your website, you should do it.
This is just another opportunity for referral traffic.
It can also add to the trust users can feel from your Facebook page.
Even if you’re a massive, big-name brand, you still want to create a genuine connection with your audience.
You want to come across as being transparent and authentic.
One thing I love about Facebook is that it enables you to combine business with pleasure.
I know it’s helped me increase my credibility by allowing me to show a bit of my own personality.
If you’ve ever scrolled through my pictures, you’ll see stuff like this:
That’s my mom and me.
That’s my nephew and me having an epic intergalactic battle.
You want to be professional, but don’t be shy to share some personal information on your Facebook profile to help you gain trust and to be more likable.
Another way to forge a connection with your audience is to let them see what’s bubbling beneath the surface.
Give them a glimpse of what your team culture is like by including some behind-the-scenes content.
Here’s a great example from HubSpot:
I’m sure you know by now just how powerful leveraging key influencers can be.
Associating your brand with an influencer in your industry is almost guaranteed to elevate your trustworthiness.
The bigger the influencer, the bigger the impact.
One of the best in the business at doing this is Tim Ferriss.
Scroll through his Facebook photos, and you’ll see him with countless celebrities and influencers.
Here he is with the founders of Shopify:
And here he is with author and tidying master Marie Kondo.
I know this isn’t viable for everyone, especially if you’re a new or small brand.
But it can have a profound impact on how much your audience will trust you if you can pull this off.
Again, this won’t be realistic for everyone.
And I know this is easier said than done.
But including any type of media coverage you’ve received can increase your trustworthiness significantly.
Here’s a quick snippet of me on Viceland as an example:
We all know video marketing is blowing up.
Just look at the massive rise of mobile video over the last few years:
Why wouldn’t you want to get in on the action?
I’ve found that adding video to my Facebook page has helped me increase engagement while establishing myself as a trusted voice in the digital marketing realm.
I make it a point to include videos toward the top of my page.
By clicking on the “Videos” section of the sidebar or on “See All,” visitors can check out my full archive of videos.
If you haven’t experimented with videos yet, I strongly recommend giving them a go.
But why stop there?
Facebook and several other social platforms now allow you to create live streams.
You should be interested because “Facebook Live Stream search popularity has risen over 330% since Facebook Live’s rollout.”
Engagement is off the charts, and I can’t think of a much better way to quickly boost your trustworthiness.
Just think about it.
People can watch your videos in real time and get to know you intimately, and you can instantly respond to their questions and comments.
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger takes full advantage of this new trend with great success:
You can check out his archive of videos for ideas and inspiration.
The beautiful thing about inbound marketing, and content marketing in particular, is that it gives brands a way to advertise without overt selling.
Rather than blasting your demographic with mind-numbing marketing messages, content marketing allows you to educate, inform and entertain them.
This way they’re learning about your brand and getting real value in an unobtrusive way.
My Facebook policy is to inform my audience—not to sell to them.
This has been a huge contributor to my success, and I recommend you take the same approach.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
This is what you want to avoid with your Facebook page.
In order to establish trust, you need to focus on your core competencies and not try to be everything to everyone.
Let’s go back to Darren Rowse.
His name is synonymous with one thing: blogging.
Not home renovation or gardening or crocheting.
It’s just blogging.
This is what has allowed him to be one of the top experts on the topic.
Be sure you’re doing the same and sticking with a central theme.
According to an article from CoSchedule that analyzed research from 10 different studies, one post per day is the recommended posting frequency on Facebook.
Unlike on other platforms, like Twitter or Pinterest, where posting several times a day is acceptable and even encouraged, one post a day tends to work best on Facebook.
I do at times post more often as do many other brands, but this research tells us one important thing.
You need to get in the habit of consistently posting or at least curating fresh content.
You know if you’re getting a lot of engagement, you’re winning on Facebook.
But to keep the momentum going and keep people interested, you need to respond as much as you possibly can.
That’s what I try to do.
I know it can be time consuming, but this is a must for building real trust with your followers.
Looking for ideas on which features to include in your new product?
Or wondering what topics to cover on your blog?
Just ask your Facebook followers for their input.
This is a great way to perform market research, crank up engagement and make your audience feel valued.
Here are a couple of specific examples from Mavrck:
You can get more ideas in this post.
Polls are another awesome way to engage your audience.
It’s a quick and easy way for them to give their opinions, feeling included.
Visit this page from Facebook to learn how to publish polls.
One last thing.
Social media is meant to be fun.
It’s not meant to be overly formal or rigid.
So another key factor in trust-boosting is to have fun with it and let your personality shine through.
Letting your hair down, so to speak, can help you get the trust you’re seeking.
When you get right down to it, trust equals revenue.
Gaining trust is like knocking down the initial domino, which leads to a host of other benefits like engagement, a big following, leads, conversions and ultimately sales.
And the way I see it, Facebook is one of the best platforms pound-for-pound for creating trust.
You just need to understand which elements to leverage and put in the work to give your audience what they’re looking for.
What makes you trust a brand on Facebook?