Sharing great content through social media channels is the single-most effective way to build trust in online communities. I’ve explained before that my Twitter strategy, and thus tremendous growth of the number of followers over the years, has been simple: share good shit. But building a network of trust to that level, however, takes time. Is there a way to jump start your trust building and get more people interested in what you do faster?

Maybe.

I’ve shared with you before that I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors for the National Center for Family Literacy. As I’m consuming content from blogs, newspapers and more, I’ll make a note of interesting articles that have to do with education and literacy issues. Sometimes, I share them in the traditional way – by posting links on Twitter or on the Social Media Explorer Facebook Page.

But the audiences there don’t necessarily look for literacy information from me. My Twitter and Facebook followers look to me for social media, public relations and digital marketing expertise. While literacy articles might be of occasional interest to them, relevancy becomes a question.

The audience that will find that content relevant can be found on the networks for the NCFL. So, I jump over and share the links on the NCFL Facebook Page.

Share beyond your boundaries and build trust

This does a couple of things for me while doing something for NCFL and its audience:

  1. It gives the literacy-interested audience good content to consume
  2. It gives NCFL an extra hand with putting interesting content on their social pages for their audience
  3. It attracts people perhaps not currently in my audience to find out who I am and potentially become members of my tribe, particularly if I share content consistently
  4. It builds a level of trust in me from the audience and organization

The catch to doing this is that if you do it too much, or at least skirt the boundaries of what is really relevant to the audience on those networks, you can easily deteriorate your trust, too. So it must be done with care. Self-promoting in this fashion, in my opinion, is almost a no-no. The occasional link to your own blog is probably okay, but only if it’s ideally relevant to the topic or conversation at hand.

If the other content you find is relevant to the audience, shared with being helpful at its center and isn’t at a volume that can come across as noisy compared to other messages shared there from either the brand or other users, you will expand your trust building through sharing in a way you may not have thought of before.

If you regularly find good content on digital marketing, public relations, social media and communications, I’d be thrilled if you shared it on the Social Media Explorer Facebook Page. It will help you build trust with my audience there and perhaps lead them to be in yours as well.

Other thoughts? Have you tried sharing with communities other than yours? Tell us about it in the comments.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Britta

    How do you do that when you want to promote and built trust for your company page and not your personal page?

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Wow, what a great question, Britta. And not an easy one to answer. Oddly

      enough, I saw a lengthy question on LinkedIn this morning that had to do

      with the same general topic … individuals responding to crisis

      communications on Facebook when they prefer to respond as the company/brand.

      While there's no magic fix or easy answer here, I would consider (not saying

      I'd fully recommend this but Facebook doesn't have an elegant solution to

      this) establishing a customer service profile on Facebook for an individual

      or group of individuals at your company. Make that individual profile a page

      administrator for your brand page, then log in as that profile to comment on

      other people's walls. This gives the credit to the company, not the

      individual.

      Technically, though, this crosses the terms of service and ethos that

      Facebook wants you to abide by. They don't want non-individuals creating

      profile pages. Profiles are supposed to be reserved for individual human

      beings.

      The only other way is for a person or persons in your organization to gear

      their Facebook activities mostly to work related actions, set their privacy

      settings well so that customers don't necessarily get to see too much behind

      the curtain personally and outwardly show folks that the people working at

      that organization are real and worthy of trust. This requires the people in

      question, though to be very careful about using Facebook for too much

      personal communications and/or lock down the privacy settings and just tell

      customers “That's my personal space. If you want to interact, we'll do it on

      the company page.”

      Again … no perfect answer yet. But I'd expect Facebook to acquiesce at

      some point.

      • http://thinksync.com.au Kelsey Brookes

        Don't forget you can post content on other's walls as your company page.

        While on your company page, just post a status update as per normal, but start by typing @other-company-name (where other-company-name is the name of the page you're wanting to post on). This will allow you to post content to other fan pages (or user pages) from your company page.

        Of course, I'd suggest you use this sparingly, you don't want to start pushing yourself in where you're not wanted. A recent example is when I worked together with a fantastic copywriter on a client project. Once my portfolio was up, I posted a link on her company page from my company page to let her (and her fans) know what a great job she did.

  • http://twitter.com/bruceserven Bruce Serven

    The problem though is that great (valuable) content like that shared to pages gets lost in all the spammy noise, so I suspect a lot of page admins (as well as users) don't even look at it anymore (because they've learned that most of the third party stuff is spam/malware/linkbait) and simply flag it. So many people have been sharing irrelevant, inappropriate, and off topic materials to pages and page comments that people have been desensitized to it and now simply gloss over it.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, Bruce. I think on some pages you certainly have that, but if you

      find a brand that has a page that is moderated well or doesn't quite have

      the volume to warrant the spam-like attacks, then you have an opportunity to

      add value. So long as the administrators know or can easily see you're just

      trying to make their page better with your contributions, you should get the

      “thank you” rather than the “delete.” Of course, if they routinely delete

      your stuff, move on to someone who will appreciate it.

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I haven't started using Facebook Pages properly yet. But Twitter works great. I guess it's the same with Facebook. I use a Twitter account for each keyword, and only Tweet about topics related to this keyword.

    But, I believe that in the end, it's about building relations with people in your niche. Sharing good shit is a great advice, and easy to remember :)

  • Janperez5

    Thanks, Jason. I am new to your blog and have appreciated the content very much. However, I will have a problem with tweeting or linking your articles that conatin the “four letter words” in them. Just a personal standard.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Fair enough. You can always edit the tweets.

  • http://twitter.com/CinciWebDesign Citrus Interactive

    Whenever someone describes themselves or something as ninja, this is what I think of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  • http://twitter.com/garious1 Garious

    Hi Jason… trust is something that takes time to earn – online or real-time. I think that self promotion can help if done with care — and not shouting out loud stuff about you every single minute. It can really be annoying. Yes, I've tried posting on other fan page at Facebook, but not to advertise.. but to engage in conversation. Sadly, most of them are engaged in one-way communication. I've experimented with a single response…and after two months, no one replied. But, upon checking, the wall of that page has been very active with self-promotions from various folks. Strange.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Agreed, G. Hard to find anyone who gets it enough to trust that the

      motivations are pure. Keep plugging away, though. Sooner or later, they'll

      catch on.

  • http://twitter.com/JGoldsborough JGoldsborough

    So I like this post a lot because it's not necessarily flashy, but covers a tactical, practical example all your readers can use. So props for that.

    One question…Did you already know the NCFL FB page admin before you began sharing info? Did you reach out to them and “ask permission?” Or did sharing it in the non-promotional way you outlined above work ok without any additional outreach.

    Thanks, Jason. Cheers!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, J! I'm actually on the NCFL board of directors, so yeah, I know all

      the people behind it. But I use the approach because I — a board member

      not necessarily associated with the core team providing content there — can

      contribute meaningfully to their Facebook page to take some of the burden

      off them, or at least add to what they're doing. It also helps build some

      trust in me from their core audience … not that I'm necessarily looking to

      become influential in literacy circles, but I'll get some residual benefit

      out of the effort down the road. The core reason I'm doing it, though, is

      that I'm a sharer. When I find good stuff, I like to make sure people who

      would appreciate that content get to see it.

  • http://www.whitevector.com Mikko Rummukainen

    Thanks for the post Jason!

    I would agree that this is a very good way to grab attention within Facebook, especially if you have a B2B-approach. However, as you mentioned, being delicate here is quite important, as you can overdo sharing content on other FB Pages very easily.

    Then again, this is probably one of the best ways to build relationships to your stakeholders, as you can really prove that you understand your peers, clients and even competitors, when you share content and ideas that are relevant for them.

  • http://www.dfwsocialmediamarketing.com Dallas Social Media

    I agree completely. Sharing is a great way to build trust. We share tips and tutorials all the time but still keep some of our more strategical practices for ourselves just to keep the value of our work. but you know the old saying sharing is caring!”

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