4 Ways Influencers Can Maintain Trust with Audience
December 6, 2018 by

Years ago, if you followed celebrities on social media, you may have seen labels or products subtly placed in their posts. Even if a company wasn't directly tagged in the post, you might have noticed a specific hashtag or the way the product was positioned on a counter or held in the hand of the celebrity, hinting for you to buy that product, or at the very least, be curious enough to visit that company's website for more information.

Years later, there was a shift. Influencers weren't only celebs, but people like you and me who managed to gain a social media or blog following. Whether or not the following was huge, micro influencers (influencers with 1,000 to fewer than 10,000 followers) have also proven to be effective in influencer marketing.

Micro influencers are viewed as more authentic, seen as regular people sharing with other people. Macro influencers have a huge reach, and although products will be seen by a larger audience, the posts aren't always believable.

Example: the all too common Instagram ad where a celebrity is hired by a detox tea or shakes company.
They're dressed in athletic wear, while posing next to a drink canister, holding a tumbler filled with
the drink. The idea they're selling is that said celebrity became fit by drinking the advertised tea daily.

As influence grows, relationships with brands may seem obvious. It's important to maintain trust with your audience. Here are four of ways you can do so:

4 Ways to Maintain Trust between Influencer and Audience
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4 Things Influencers Must Do To Maintain Trust
1. Be Transparent

Being transparent not only maintains trust, it's now required by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Viewers might have been unaware of an influencer's relationship to the brand advertised in the past, but as of 2017 the FTC required influencers to make that relationship known in each post.

If the individual is marketing on behalf of a company, by creating a post with products received for free and/or where an influencer was paid, that must be disclosed, and before any links. An easy way to satisfy the disclosure requirement would be to add a hashtag like '#ad' or '#XXPartner' at the beginning of a post, or anywhere in the caption before you have to click "more" to continue reading.
Photo credit: Nsey Benajah
2. Don't Just "Advertise", Utilize

Press pause on common photo styles showing a product neatly displayed on the side, and include candid photos and videos of the product in use. Use innovative thinking and make your #ad images and videos stand out.

"Clients could be better served by a more creative approach."
- Behrman and Communication.

What do you think of the sponsored posts from your favorite influencers? Do they look similar to all the others, or do they stand out? If you're not a fan of the style, what would you do differently? Use those emotions and ideas in the next campaign you take part in.

3. Be Yourself

Imagine this; you're a blogger who wrote multiple public posts against the flu vaccine. Suddenly, you upload a paid post for a nationally recognized pharmacy promoting their offer for the flu shot. You just succeeded at losing some of your target audience, or at least their trust.

If there are brands or types of products you do not like and normally would not support, don't suddenly support them for the sake of a dollar. It isn't worth the risk of your reputation or the time it took to build your own brand.

4. Use Your Words

In most campaigns, the influencer will have the freedom to caption the posts however they please. By now, your audience is accustomed to your writing style, your work is recognizable, so use it. Be authentic.

Some campaigns will require you to use captions created by brands. Multiple influencers will have to write the same text. That is not a crowd favorite, but occasionally it is necessary.

Add to this post! What other ways can influencers maintain trust with there audience? Share your ideas by commenting below: