How To Build Trust On Social Media

3 Oct 2016
Alan Martin

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One of the mistakes I see in social media is that marketers target their sales messages, both organic and paid, at people who don’t have a strong enough relationship with them, and then wonder why they don’t buy.

It’s a bit like going into a bar and asking a stranger to marry you, before you have even dated or properly got to know each other. Obviously this example is ridiculous but perfectly illustrates how many businesses behave online.

To be successful online, you need to first understand something called ‘Traffic Temperature‘.

 

How Hot Are Your Fans?

In this article I’m going to introduce you to the important concept of traffic temperature. This concept is absolutely vital to grasp, yet something that not many social media marketers are talking about. By reading this you are going to put yourself head and shoulders above your competitors, who have never heard of this before.

Traffic temperature should underpin not just your social media strategy, but also your approach to email marketing and the content that you share across all your platforms. It’s that important!

So what exactly do I mean by ‘traffic temperature’? Well, put simply traffic temperature is a way of evaluating your various audience types and providing them with content that’s appropriate for the strength of relationship that they have with your business, with the objective of moving them closer to the sale.

Traffic temperature can be described as being either:

  • Cold
  • Warm
  • Hot

The aim is to strengthen the relationship with your target audience over time by moving them from cold to hot using a variety of different content and engagement techniques.

Cold Traffic

Cold traffic is people that have no current relationship with your business whatsoever. These people are likely to have never heard of your company before, so are the hardest to convert into a sale straight off the bat.

If you try to pitch your products and services to cold traffic, which is a mistake a lot of businesses make, you are unlikely to be successful. Why? Well, because they don’t ‘know’, ‘like’ or ‘trust’ you yet so they are likely to be skeptical of any sales-type messages you put out there, so it’s best to avoid the temptation for the time being.

What works best for attracting cold traffic is to introduce them to your best content in order to establish trust and credibility. Over time people will learn about your company through the content that you share.

Here are some content ideas for warming up cold traffic.

  • Blog posts
  • Podcasts
  • Social media updates
  • Free Give-aways
  • White Papers
  • Content videos
  • Quizzes

The best ways to reach cold traffic is through social media (both paid and organic) and search engine optimisation (SEO). Social media advertising can be used to target the exact type of people that are most likely to become customers. Profiles or buyer personas can be extremely helpful at this stage. If you are not sure what a buyer persona is, read ‘Everyone is Not Your Customer‘.

Once they have interacted with your company in some way they become ‘warm’ traffic.

Warm Traffic

Warm traffic is people that know you exist and already have a relationship with you, however tenuous. They may have liked your Facebook page, followed you on Twitter etc or they may have visited your website in the past but not bought anything from you yet.

The main goals for a warm traffic campaign are to encourage people in this category to opt-in to your mailing list (if they have not already done so), so that you can continue to nurture the relationship through email marketing; generate leads and even introduce low ticket offers. If you want to learn how to set this up, read ‘Getting Started with Email Marketing: From Fans to Customers‘.

Here are some content ideas for engaging with warm traffic.

  • Focused Give-aways
  • Webinars
  • Surveys/quizzes
  • Demonstrations
  • Live streaming videos

One way to reach warm traffic is with organic social media posts, custom audience advertising such as a ‘website custom audience’, and ads that are aimed specifically at your fans.

Once people are in your email funnel it is up to you to continue to nurture them and over time you can introduce targeted offers. In my experience, people don’t mind the occasional sales message provided you have given them sufficient up-front value, and what you are pitching is relevant to them. Not everyone will buy from you of course, and that’s fine, but the key here is to always give value first.

Hot Traffic

Hot traffic is people that have already bought from you! They already ‘know’, ‘like’ and ‘trust you, so it is much easier to persuade them to make another purchase from you.

The goals with hot traffic campaigns are usually to increase the value of a sale (up-sell) or to introduce a different product (cross-sell) or encourage a repeat purchase.

Here are some ideas for engaging with hot traffic:

  • Events
  • Paid Webinars
  • High-ticket offers
  • Done-for-you services

The best way to reach hot traffic is usually through email marketing or by creating a Custom Audience within Facebook and then targeting them with relevant ads, or you could go old-school and just pick up the phone. 🙂

Conclusion

Once you grasp this important concept it will allow you to plan your marketing messages and campaigns to reach people at their level of trust which will ultimately lead to greater success and efficiency.

Remember, just like in my wedding invitation example at the beginning of the article, the aim is not to rush in like a bull in a china shop and scare people off by asking for marriage up front, but to start by asking for small commitments from your audience, which can increase in size over time as you establish trust and credibility.

Developing a Social Media Mindset

How NOT to Advertise on Facebook

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