Credibility in the Misinformation Age: building trust means building loyalty

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The only thing that spreads faster than pandemic is misinformation. That’s not limited to just the Covid-19 outbreak, misinformation is a pandemic of its own that covers the globe in the digital age. Social media was founded on individuality being sent out to the masses during the rise of internet access over the last few decades. Now, it has become a place for people, politicians, influencers, companies, and governments to inform and raise awareness, as well as share pictures of cute puppies and cat videos. 

Recent studies from the Pew Research Center have shown a rise in how American’s get their news; up to 55% of Americans get their news from social media sites. They found that 52% of Americans get their news from Facebook alone. The rise in the public using social media as a way to receive information led to an increased concern in the credibility of information shared on social sites. Misinformation is considered to be a common problem on social sites and 51% of Americans believe that the news available is inaccurate. Facebook has taken this seriously increasing their misinformation protocols to reduce the false news found on their site.

How does this affect you?

Businesses face an uphill battle when it comes to building credibility because American’s have already decided that social media is not always reliable. That means that your social media sites need to contain consistent, quality, and reliable information that can hold up against a truth meter. Just as companies have to build trust with customers in a face-to-face environment they have to do the same online. 

Tips for Building Credibility

  1. Stay out of politics. When you comment or display political information it leaves your posts, captions, and comments open to being scrutinized for accuracy. It will also keep you from alienating any one demographic.
  2. Post reliable information. Statistics can boost your credibility but only if you can document the source! Make sure to back your claims with reliable sources. 
  3. Be consistent. Taking too long to respond or not answering when your customers comment or message you can make them feel unheard. It will devastate your credibility. 
  4. Be informative. Social media gives you the opportunity to translate information to your public in a personal manner and that’s important. Make sure to provide information about what is going on with your company, your products, and be transparent. 
  5. Establish connections. Don’t let your page become an ongoing advertisement. You need to nurture the public and give them reasons to trust you even if they are not yet a customer. That credibility will perform positively in the long run. 

“Consumers aren’t just reading reviews, 89% of them also read businesses’ responses to reviews. So make sure you join the conversation and engage with the good, the bad and the ugly. According to a Google study, consumers said that businesses that respond to reviews are 1.7x more trustworthy than businesses who don’t.” – Sprout Social

Creating a credible and consistent platform for you customers can be difficult when it comes to managing a business and your own social media. Often, we see companies experiencing lacking engagement or worse. Having social media can be the driving force for company growth but poorly managed social media will negatively impact your business.

Digital media management goes beyond typical marketing instincts and understanding the unique platforms in the ever-changing social media world takes consistent dedication.  

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Staying up to date on the changes in how social media platforms are shutting down misinformation will help you manage your own content. Even more importantly, the response of the public to these changes will tell you exactly what you need to establish a strong connection with your following. 

For more information on building credibility for your business, changes to media regulations, or help with managing your social media- follow our blog:

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