I place a lot of value on trust in my personal relationships, meaning those that transcend an online presence and include “real life”. How can our relationships thrive without trust? Online and in social media, trust is also important, but perhaps not equally as important. Trust on social media is more difficult to give and receive. The anonymity and veil of secrecy in online and social media personas eliminates a truly personal connection that would inspire real trust. However, I do think that this “online trust” is important and necessary in branding and business.
I have trust (get it?) in Steve Rayson’s Trust Formula. While I am not sure an emotional feeling like trust can be equated in a formula, I do feel that the elements in the formula are all key. One element that was omitted (though it may fall under authority) is brand recognition. Strong brands are trustworthier, even being vouched for by “verified” status on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
The brands/accounts that I trust the most are verified and accountable. They don’t post stories without fact checking, the correct themselves when mistakes happen, and they have attentive and responsive CRM. I think self-promotion is inevitable, and a large part of social media. The key to self-promotion is not being annoying while self-promoting. If anyone knows the formula for non-annoying self-promotion, please, let me know.
For my own brand, intimacy takes on a different meaning. It definitely goes beyond friendliness and incorporates more authority. Women trust me to fit them for their most intimate clothing items, which require a lot of trust and faith, in the brand, the experience, and myself. If I tweak the meaning of intimacy to skew slightly more towards a womanly meaning, than Rayson’s formula is spot on for me.