Familiar feeling: Establishing a trustworthy brand voice on social

Trust is a key element in any relationship. For the partnerships that form between customers and brands, it is highly influential. After all, with the amount of information the average consumer is bombarded with, they rely on companies they are confident in.

Ultimately, a well-established brand name can be one of the most valuable entities a company possesses.

Twenty per cent of Asia-Pacific's consumers make the decision on a new product, service or offering based on whether the brand is familiar to them, according to research collated by Nielsen.

With that in mind, what can companies do to develop their brand voices? There are several strategies, but the digital world is opening up a number of unique avenues - namely social media.

Even the biggest corporations may have a social presence that is a little rough around the edges.

Brand building on social media

Even the biggest corporations may have a social presence that is a little rough around the edges. Total follower numbers, likes and shares may skyrocket, but they won't mean anything unless those users are engaging with content.

In fact, research collated by Gallup found that 34 per cent of the social users it polled 'liked' companies on social media, but were not actively engaging with them or pursuing their services. 

Consequently, finding the defined target audience for content, and who is most likely to consume it, is made much easier when the applicable data is collated using social media monitoring

However, doing so from a starting point of zero can be particularly time consuming. The best way to build a social brand voice quickly is to target influencers, according to Entrepreneur contributor Aaron Agius.

Identifying influencers in its own right can be challenging, but it is a must for any entity looking to build its brand on social in a cost-effective and timely manner.

Businesses need to cut through the noise on social, if they want to effectively build their brands.

A forum for identity

Much of the aforementioned trust is built when consumers sense a level of authenticity in interactions. One of the most effective ways to garner this is through communication. Of course, it can be difficult on a huge scale, but honest, open, personal correspondence on social media is key to bettering brand identity.

Research from Google highlighted that social media is effectively the perfect forum for this, as the relationship between a brand and its customers gets stronger when both parties contribute to its success.

Social media is disposable by nature.

The mobile, social landscape

"The on-the-go consumer is becoming more mobile in their social media usage," explained Chuck Martin, Director of the Center for Media Research at MediaPost Communications. 

Mr Martin sums up a caveat to any social media brand-building mission - the content has to be digestible. While it's perfectly acceptable to publish a research paper occasionally, today's consumers are more time poor than ever.

Add this into the disposable nature of social media, and you're presented with a concoction that must be met by palatable content. Of course, getting this practice right is difficult, and it can vary from company to company.

For example, a corporate organisation appealing to an older generation may not feel especially comfortable engaging its users with anything other than long-form dialogue. Moreover, businesses looking to tap into Generation Y will perhaps use text-speak or slang.

It's certainly a balancing act, but it again reinforces the main point: identifying target markets on social is critical.

Ultimately, too many companies will look to run before they can walk when building their voices online. In practice, it's better to leverage the applicable media analysis tools first, define the kind of people that are talking about the business's existing offerings, and craft future strategies accordingly.

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