How to build trust with your company’s online audience

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It is a well-known fact that trust is probably the most important aspect in a relationship. This also applies for the business environment. So, if you have a trustworthy blog or company site, you will be sure to get more visitors than a usual site. Also, this will help you build an audience faster and develop a brand that will become more profitable. However, trust does not come at an easy price. It may be a cliche, but trust DOES need to be EARNED.

The people that run their own blogs will always have to gain from projecting a persona to which people may relate to by offering them a face to the name. Anonymity, although it may be unintended can be a great hurdle in your pursuit to gain trust and empathy. For example, people tend not to connect with other people on social media sites if their profiles lack photos. This offers the impression that those people are actually hiding something.

Mystery is not always the best option and especially not in this case. Prove that you care about your audience and create content that provides useful solutions that encompass personality and character. So here are five ways that will help your site increase and maintain the audience’s trust:

1. Always remain genuine. Be authentic and inspire passion through your words. You don’t have to be a world known expert in a particular field to be able to earn the trust of your audience via a website. Take into account the intelligence and the sensitivities of the audience but also offer a unique perspective on things and eliminate the predictable. Audiences usually prefer to catch a glimpse of the author behind the posts and if they like what they see they will consume more and more the information you provide.

2. Two-way conversations are crucial. The comments of the audience are a good way of indicating the health of the website. They are extremely useful as they are endorsements for new site members who will be determined to read more after seeing the presence of activity and also be encouraged to comment themselves. Always focus on encouraging a dialogue by asking the readers for their opinion. Also, respond to their comments or have someone from your company post comments on other sites.

3. Social proof and testimonial sharing is essential. Praise from other sites, lots of page-views for an article are just some of the markers that may serve as social proof for a website. Make sure to celebrate, accentuate and share all the positive aspects. To ensure more views and to build trust you must obtain also third-party validation.

4. Transparency goes a long way. Remaining honest will keep your readers loyal and will generate more. Should your business site or blog display sponsored posts or paid reviews, make sure to inform the readers. Also, the audience should be aware if your site carries affiliate links, which means that you’re paid to send traffic to another site. Acknowledge the mistakes you make and take criticism as a gentleman.

5. Last but not least, creating visibility is essential. You can achieve this by using social media to reach out and make connections. Take into account that your followers in the social media environment are not only potential customers, but also sources of information, feedback and knowledge. Do your best in engaging them and really get to know the individuals.

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