Brand honesty and social media

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For all the hype over engaging with customers over social media, problems still remain with the platform, not least the fact that many Britons are uncertain whether they can trust an interaction they have over Twitter or Facebook.

Naturally, people can be dishonest in the flesh, but when speaking to someone in an official capacity the tendency is to trust them.

Over the web this bond disappears, as recent research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) revealed.

Almost half (44 per cent) of survey respondents said they find it difficult to trust brands over social networks, reports Marketing Week.

People within the industry agreed that change needs to take place if consumers are to engage with their material over Twitter and Facebook. More than half (52 per cent) agreed that the channels will become devalued if brands spread dishonest or erroneous information online, while 51 per cent admit to having seen companies behave in this way in the past.

Interestingly, almost all respondents said they had never engaged in this kind of practice.

While this may simply represent an understandable embarrassment at admitting to sharp practice of some kind, it also suggests that many of the problems that occur on social media come about due to mistakes, lack of information or a failure to unify content strategies across different platforms.

Margaret Jobling, marketing director at Birds Eye, said: "Marketers have to figure out a way to live in this space comfortably without trying to be something they’re not as a brand."

One way of managing a series of social media accounts comfortably, while ensuring that staff have access to the information they need to avoid any discrepancies or inaccuracies, is to install a CRM system to help with the process.

Social CRM can have a major impact on how brands connect with consumers.

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