How People Establish Trust, Virtually

by | Mar 18, 2018 | How People Use The Internet

In this lesson we will go though how people establish trust, virtually. Why is this so important for you to invest your time and study? Well this lesson improves your understanding about the billions of people that use the internet every day. It will give you a bigger picture about their habits for you to devise a plan on how you can turn these users into your customers.

Trust doesn't look like this anymore

Back in the pre-internet-explosion days people actually talked to each other when they were looking for a new CPA, plumber, jeweler, roofer, or handy man. Today we just read business reviews online and choose the companies we're going to call on.

This is a massive behavior behavior in how people choose whom to do business with when they have access to the internet. And, it has massive implications for how you run your business.

Let me take you through the process Jim used to find a jeweler when it was time for him to get engaged so that you have an example:

  1. Jim knew he wanted a custom engagement ring, a one of a kind
  2. Jim had a few minutes to search while he was riding the bus, so he searched on Google for Custom Jeweler Near Me
  3. He saw four paid Google AdWords advertisements at the top of the page followed by 10 "organic" search results for local jewelers. He noticed that the closest jewelers he knew of were not in this list. Some of the listings showed a Star Rating which caught his attention
  4. Jim clicked on the first paid advertising spot, didn't really like the website, and then looked at the list of business names with high star ratings with more than 5 or so reviews
  5. Later in the evening, at his desktop computer, Jim did the google search again and then did a search in order going down the results for the businesses with good reviews by name
  6. Each Google Search for a jeweler by name showed him 0 to 4 paid AdWords advertisements, a Google Business Listing, and 10 "organic" search results
  7. Jim scanned the star ratings presented by Yelp, Facebook, Google and other Social Trust websites
  8. When he found a company with 4.5 stars or more across all the review platforms, he visited their website
  9. On their website he wanted to know what they really sold, where the store was, and if he thought he would want to do business with them
  10. He also checked out a couple Facebook or Instagram profiles when they were listed in the search results
  11. Jim created an informal list of businesses that had 4.5 stars or more with 5 to 10 reviews on each platform, had a modern website, and had an active but not over-done social media profile with interesting rings
  12. Now, Jim started visiting jewelers

As you can see, Jim relied heavily on Google to show him jewelers in his area and on Social Trust platforms to tell him whether a business was worth his time. He then looked to the website and social media profiles to confirm that he was interested in a visit.

Now, realize that Jim may start this whole search differently, for example on Yelp or on a map like Waze or MapQuest or Google Maps. He would look for the same sort of information during his search but the path may be significantly different. Along the way he would see ads too.

Knowing all this, there are several important aspects to your online marketing:

  • A modern website
  • Social media profiles with accurate business information
  • Posting interesting social media content every so often
  • Advertising to get the best search results positions
  • Generating 5-star reviews on a variety of Social Trust platforms

The Critical Design Considerations is the first lesson of longer series…