Building upon Trust Agents: Using the web to build influence, improve reputation, and earn trust (by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith), companies should be there before the sale. In short, companies are building relationships with consumers in an effort to win their trust (and attention), before selling them anything.
A case study in trust building: Blue Sky Factory
Greg Cangialosi (@gregcangialosi), CEO of Blue Sky Factory, shared his company’s steps to “being there”
- Found internal champions
- Turned marketing into a publishing organization
- Worked from an editorial calendar
- Used appropriate social tools to distribute information
- Monitored to the conversation
- Used networks to engage and connect (including frequent email communication)
Results: 424,351 inbound links to the Blue Sky Factory website (make that 424,352) and 22% of overall revenue from social media referrals.
The cool idea in this presentation is the synectics approach employed by this organization: Marketing was moved from a release-based calendar to an editorial-style calendar. Strategic communication, in this case, was handled more like a weekly magazine than a public relations initiative. This concept reinforces the idea that social media is in fact a medium: a tool for distribution of information.
In addition, this approach reverses consumer relationship management (CRM) from a reactive approach to one that is more tangential, if not also proactive. Sales have become the by-product of the customer relationship rather than a relationship initiator. Businesses that use the available media channels to gain attention can work to gain trust, and even increase sales.