Base your business on trust not social media

by Carl Natale on June 24, 2011

“This is a business soley based on trust.”

That’s what Scott Whytock, owner of August Wealth Management, LLC, an investment advisory and financial planning firm, said about financial planning at Friday’s Social Media Breakfast on social media in highly regulated industries.

That’s probably the most valuable thing I heard in the morning. Yes, all the speakers had good insights.

But Scott’s words stand out because they need to apply to every business. No matter what you sell, you’re not going to succeed unless people trust you. Luckily you can earn that trust with social media.

This isn’t mandated by law or regulation. Yes there are a lot of rules about how certain businesses need to conduct themselves. How social media fits into those rules is what fueled Friday’s presentations.

But that’s just the beginning. “Trust requires more than legal requirements,” says J. Trevor Hughes, the president and CEO of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).  I say people are pickier than lawmakers and regulators. You need to satisfy their expectations.

And it’s not social media that’s going to get you in trouble. It’s not understanding your customers expectations of privacy and appropriateness. Social media is just the way everyone will learn about your mistakes – and strengths.

It comes down to helping people and protecting their interests. Focus on that. Shape your messages accordingly. That’s what will make you or break you.

Thus you can’t build a reputation on social media. You build your reputation – online or offline – on trust.

Social media is just a tool to make it happen.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Previous post:

Next post: