“Building digital trust is crucial in driving success for companies,” says Diana Luu, and as LinkedIn Canada’s head of marketing solutions, she would know – over the years, her company has helped “thousands” of brands build trusted relationships with their customers.
After all, she adds, according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, 61 percent of Canadians trust a company’s social media more than its advertising – and with its high publishing standards, both self- and user-imposed, no social network is more trusted than LinkedIn.
If nothing else, she says, trust is one of the primary factors that influence purchase intent.
So when Luu offered to chat with ITBusiness.ca about LinkedIn’s five pillars of digital trust, we eagerly accepted.
Pillar One: Content
Like it or not, Luu says, content is the number-one technique businesses have for reaching consumers – and it needs to be the right content, delivered in the right way.
“At LinkedIn, we’re a members first company, so we don’t do anything unless we know it adds value and utility to our members,” she says. “It’s a major reason we have the least spammy ads – and are the most trusted social media platform..”
In particular, she says, businesses should consider how they can produce aspirational media of their own, whether alone or with a content partner, that business owners and consumers will want to share when looking for inspirational content.
“I was gonna walk you through a couple of date points for each of those that support why we believe these are the five pillars.”
“That thought I just shared, that falls in line with content. Right? We believe that content is one of the pillars because we know that it adds, you know, companies can add value to come out of that moment. At the moments that matter.”
Pillar Two: Communication
Businesses need to establish as quickly as possible the voice they’re using to communicate their company’s point of view, which executive voices to highlight, and how they showcase their content to employee networks.
“Over 50 per cent of consumers say their peers are a more trusted voice than the business,” Luu says. “People want to hear from people like them – folks in their networks. So if your employees are sharing, they’re reaching the audience your brand cares about.”
Pillar Three: Community
The communication pillar does not stand on its own: businesses must establish not just the voices they’re using to communicate their company’s point of view, but why, and how those voices can engage their target community.
“We encourage brands to tell us how they engage on social platforms. How they emphasize their social purpose,” Luu says. “Social purpose is important to customers, and digital media is a really important outlet for brands to talk about it.”
And the more your business’s social media team is seen as part of a community, she says, the more comfortable your customers will be to discuss their experiences with them.
Pillar Four: Being Constant
The fourth pillar, Luu says, is about helping brands move away from only communicating with their audience during a new product or service release and focus on engaging customers throughout the buyers’ journey.
“70 per cent of consumers say that they prefer to know a brand through constant content versus campaigns,” Luu says. “They don’t just want to hear from you during a product or services launch, they want to hear from you on a consistent basis, about things that will be helpful for them personally.”
Pillar Five: Context
As mentioned way back in pillar one, the medium is the message, and here Luu cites her own company’s data.
“The most successful businesses on LinkedIn are the ones that really identify opportunities to build trust with their customers,” she says. “And they do it through purchase intent, purchases, and customer loyalty.”