Are You a Trustworthy Individual, Brand, Organization?
Since the more recent updates of Google’s Panda and Penguinalgorithms, it seems that more and more individuals, brands, and organizations are talking about trust in late 2012 and now in 2013. Just like the world of search engine optimization, organically speaking of course, trust on all levels – individual, brand, and organizational – is now not only a part of Google’s Panda andPenguin algorithms, but a part of everyday life. So, who are you?
If you are an individual, what is your Klout score? Do you even know what a Klout score is? Are you a “trustworthy” source providing valuable, truthful, information and are people following your lead? On social media outlets everywhere, individuals are advocating brands in group and business pages on Facebook and Google+, checking in at their favorite establishments on Foursquare, and re-pinning on Pinterest and Wanelo. If you are a trustworthy source for recommendations, tag the brand or organization, your influence could result in trust from the brand, i.e. freebies!
If you are a brand, do you thank your brand advocates? More importantly, do you respond to your critics? Socially thanking an evangelist of your brand creates a feeling of respect and importance for that person as well as creating an opportunity to reach their network of social connections. Socially acknowledging your critic’s experience builds trust in the online community through empathy and concern. It is not only “how” you respond to your advocates and critics, it is now that you must respond and it must be immediate.
If you are an organization, do you approach new ideas, review new ways of working with an open mind building trust internally and externally? Employee’s trust for their employer is built through leadership, not micromanaging or babysitting. Employer’s trust for the employee comes from responsibility, accountability, and self-sufficiency. “…if you have employees who aren’t these things (and can’t be ‘trusted’ to work remotely) why do you have them (Jenkins, 2012)?” With the latest advancements in technology comes new places to conduct and maintain a business – new ways of working. You can bet that if your organization isn’t an early adopter of working remotely, your employees are potentially looking for another employer who is.
So how do all these factors relate to the world wide web of trust? At the most finite and elementary levels, trust is found,established, and potentially lost…in the blink of an eye. One recommendation from an individual can result in viral interest. One review, good or bad, that goes unnoticed, can convert an advocate into a critic or critic into your brand’s worst nightmare. One employee’s lack of trust becomes a LinkedIn message’s content recommending to steer clear of an organization.