Forging strong community relations is a potent marketing strategy for small home-based businesses. And it should begin with cultivating brand trust through transparency and authenticity. Luckily, that’s never been easier thanks to the power of social media.
That’s why your competitive advantage lies in the transparency and authenticity of your home-based business.
It will showcase how your business, products, and people align with the values and interests of your target local communities. And, of course, by then walking that talk.
But you don’t need to break the bank to successfully cultivate strong community relations. You just need the right social media marketing strategy.
As you know, social media marketing is a powerful “community-building tool” making your customers “more receptive to your advertising”. And it’s just as effective in extending the reach and influence of online to local communities.
Their word-of-mouth recommendations, through reviews, user-generated content, and active engagement, are the most effective promotions.
Here are the key steps for nurturing community relationships by mastering the art of building brand trust through social media.
2 Ways To Establish Brand Trust Through Transparency on Social Media
You want your business to build enduring community relations, and establish itself as a trustworthy community member. Then your first step should be transparency on social media about how your business operates.
Transparency in how your small home-based business sources and produces its products builds trust. And it appeals to socially and environmentally conscious customers.
Think about it. How would you feel about a brand revealing how much work it took them to find the optimal leather-painting technique? You’d trust that they are expert artisans, with an obvious dedication to their craft and quality.
That’s why 94% of customers trust a transparent brand more. And a further 73% would pay more to buy from such businesses.
Here are 2 well-established ways you can integrate transparency into your social media marketing strategy to build brand trust.
From Source to Brand Trust: Building Transparency Through Product Origins
Be transparent about the materials and ingredients built into your products in your social media posts, stories, and highlights. And especially emphasize those that are locally sourced.
Using your small home-based business’ local focus for promotion is a proven successful sustainable marketing strategy.
We’d all support a candied nuts business that sources honey from Tom and Delaney, the beekeepers two towns away. Rather than supporting a ‘faceless’ big carbon footprint brand thousands of miles away.
So, share why your business chose a local supplier, who they are, and their own journeys. Tie it to how it contributes to nurturing and protecting the local economy and the environment.
What does the farm that you source vegetables from, for your pickled salads, look like? Is it also sustainably run?
What are your relationships with your suppliers like? Visiting your milk supplier? Show your audience their farm, their dog Elmo, and their warm reception in a live stream.
You will draw in and appeal to your niche community by communicating your business’ clearly defined core values this way.
And creating engaging type of content will make your brand’s trustworthy and down-to-earth image even more compelling.
How It’s Made: A Glimpse Into The Production and Transparency Journey
Your opportunity to shine!
Your chance to share through social media stories and posts, how you turn raw materials into your works of art. Showcase the love that goes into the production that delivers the results you’re so proud of.
But don’t be afraid to also be transparent about the blood (food chopping is a skill), sweat, and tears you’ve invested into your labor of love.
Show and tell your audience, what your farm, kitchen, or crafts setup looks like. What is your creative and productive process? How have you struggled to come up with the best candle-making technique?
When you share how health concerns inspired your business’ gut-healing herb and spice mixes on Instagram, you’re not oversharing. You’re connecting with your audience.
You’re implementing a marketing strategy that humanizes your business. And that establishes it as a genuine and trustworthy member, even a leader, of a target (online and offline) community.
As a result, your business gains visibility, credibility, and loyalty. And a reputation of being invested in fostering real ties with its customers.
Sharing the dedication that goes into your every product is the contribution of your passion to the world. It’s an intimate part of your business that will resonate with your customers on a deeper level.
Go for video and live content because it is more trustworthy in today’s savvy consumer landscape. Live streaming is particularly “natural, raw and authentic” and its inbuilt transparency will guarantee greater trustworthiness.
Transparency is not about the perfected final products, but the human aspect behind them. Allow your audience a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your motivations, inspirations, challenges, skills, and learning curves.
So, share about the mistakes you’ve made and how your business overcame them. Own them, and the progress that they birthed. Be a source of inspiration and education.
The point is to cultivate authentic community bonds by disclosing who your brand is behind closed doors. By being relatable and, well, human.
Because consumers are driven by emotions, rather than reason, in decision-making. And that includes decisions on what brands to trust.
By embracing brand transparency, you position your business as one that values ethics, quality, and the well-being of your customers.
How to Build the Power of Brand Authenticity on Social Media
We hear it all the time. In the age of copy-paste quotes, looks, and trends, authenticity reigns supreme. That’s why trust building also depends on brand authenticity on social media.
How will you compete with the marketing armies of big corporations? Or separate your business from other artisanal pottery artists, cheese, and jewelry makers?
Brand authenticity is about the unique human aspects of your home-based business, and its consistent messaging on social media. Not only will it help you build your brand identity but foster a loyal community around it.
And its imperative to approach it as if likes, shares, views, and your audience’s engagement didn’t matter.
That’s how you will avoid ‘fake’ labels that have been the pitfall of many brand reputations. Because once a brand erodes its consumers’ trust, it’s close to impossible to repair it.
Just consider that only 20% of Americans expressed that they would buy from a brand that they didn’t trust anymore.
So, here are 2 powerful examples of how to master the art of authenticity to build brand trust on social media.
Telling Your Brand’s Story: The Powerful Narratives Behind Authenticity
Humans are storytellers. They’re curious about when, how, why, where, and who created your home-based business. And stories woven into brand images forge strong associations in our minds.
Imagine a business whose origins date back to its artisan’s Guatemalan heritage. They have proudly integrated it into their hand-woven Canadian winter-resistant hats and gloves.
How would this resonate with you? Tradition, quality, sacrifice, pride, and culture are some of the descriptors that come to mind.
Stories move people because of their emotional appeal. And their ability to forge connections based on shared or appealing experiences, beliefs, and values.
In fact, 76% of consumers would rather choose a brand that they feel connected to.
Your focus should be on consistently and authentically expressing your unique business story and craftsmanship.
Brand stories are the business’ origins, inspirations, challenges, skills, wins, and failures interwoven into the brand’s beliefs, values, and vision. And they all comprise brand personality.
So, what does your artisanal card style have to do with your aunt Ivona’s romance and keeping traditional values alive? Where did you learn to bake patterns into your bread and why is it an effort of cultural revival? How does your homesteading align with your beliefs of a society too focused on mass production and consumption?
Brand stories make your business authentic and memorable. More importantly, they are about your brand communicating its consistent values and quality that your customers will rely on and trust.
Craft compelling social media visuals that will do justice to your authentic brand storytelling (and your aunt Ivona’s legacy!). You want to create an experience and a feeling for your audience.
Tell your brand’s story like a writer, through introduction, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution, if feasible. It is impressive what a well-thought out 15 second reel or a tweet thread can achieve in evoking emotions.
Above all, make your social media storytelling formats and techniques diverse. Inspire user generated content, use testimonials, videos, brand history and personal stories.
These will connect your brand to its audience, and help gain their trust, respect and loyalty. And help your home-based business establish itself as an expert in your niche.
And from there on, the word of mouth will do its job.
Why Consistent Brand Messaging Is The Bedrock of Authentic Communication
Consistency, consistency, consistency! That’s the gist of social media strategy for your home-based business’ authenticity building.
Of course, to establish brand trust that can forge powerful community relations, you need more than brand storytelling.
You need to be relentlessly consistent in your brand’s values, vision, and beliefs, and their communication. And you need to match your brand’s actions to its messaging (more on that in our next blog post).
Staying true to your brand’s identity is crucial for your home-based business’ long-term growth. Social media authenticity will help your brand create meaningful community relations, a trustworthy image, and a competitive advantage.
Otherwise, you risk losing 61% of consumers, who have expressed that brand authenticity is crucial in making their purchasing decisions.
So, weave your brand’s personality and values into all engagement with your audiences.
Maintain your brand voice when responding to comments, private messages, or interacting with your customers on live streams. Remain consistent in your use of language, tone, and emoticons.
Use consistent visuals that match your brand’s identity and intended messaging. It will ensure a reliable and trustworthy user experience across all platforms, and build brand trust.
Rely on user generated content and real, instead of stock, images, across your social media. Not only is such content more genuine, but also more relatable and enjoyable.
In fact, unfiltered and ‘raw’ content and prompts are gaining popularity. Instagram’s Candid Stories, Facebook’s Roll Call, and TikTok’s Now features are the prime witnesses to this trend.
Strategies such as these will make your brand more familiar, approachable, recognizable and perceived as genuine.
Building brand trust through social media is the cornerstone of cultivating robust community bonds for small home-based businesses. Embrace transparency, authenticity, and consistency to thrive in the world of social media-driven marketing. These strategies not only define your brand but also create a loyal and engaged community, ensuring your long-term success.