The results of a recent survey of 1,000 consumers in the USA, conducted by Sprout Social, revealed a fascinating insight into the style of posts on Twitter that do most to create a positive perception of that brand.
Accordingly, 84 per cent of respondents cited that the posts which carried greatest weight in terms of positively influencing attitudes, are those where the organisation gives an explanation as to its reasons for a certain decision or course of action. For example:
- ‘Company X partners with Y in a move that will strengthen its position in Z market’
- ‘Company X announces partnership with charity Y to raise greater awareness of mental health in workplace’
- ‘Company X appoints new CEO in a bid to recover from fall out caused by…’
What this tells us is that consumers – your current and prospective clients and customers – are keen to understand the reasons you do what you do or have done. Or as Simon Sinek puts it, it’s about your ‘why?’
Indeed, the years since the end of the last recession have seen a continued rise in demand among consumers for greater transparency from the brands they engage with. And so, organisations are having to work harder than ever before to both gain and retain the trust of their publics, and to regain it when the actions of a brand cause their stakeholders to question.
The results above also show us the importance of brands to show they ‘get’ the issues facing their customers. Too many organisations claim to be the best, the leaders in their space, but they offer little by way of evidence that this is the case.
By articulating their viewpoint, sharing their experts and insights and doing so in a way this is devoid of hyperbole, brands will be default be perceived as more trustworthy than their competitors because they are giving something away (their knowledge) without asking for anything in return.
The final key finding from this survey is the need for brands to open the doors to their world and allow people a sneak peek behind the curtains. We do this all the time with the clients we work with. This is particularly the case with those who are looking to attract and hire new talent.
People want to see who they may be working with, get a feel for the environment and culture of the organisation. On the flip side, people really do buy from people, so seeing the faces of those behind the brand can make the customer relationship a more personal one.
Social media remains, in my view, an underutilised resource. Those who questions its effectiveness are usually the ones who haven’t figured out how to use it correctly or understand what style of content has the greatest impact.
Focus your posts on sharing your expertise in a way that adds value to your audience, let them inside your organisation to see your brand ‘personality’ and share stories from the business itself. Get the basics right, and social media will deliver more traffic to your site, drive new enquiries and positively shape the perception people have of your brand.