// what do you think?

The Book

How Much Does Trust Cost?

Paying people to hold signs is one of the olde...
Image via Wikipedia

Because of some of the reasons I outlined in my previous post, Corporations, The Government and The Media are all struggling with a severe loss of trust.

Who’s trust is it that they’ve lost exactly? Well that would be The Public, aka everybody. I’d like to break down why it’s important that these groups regain trust and how they can do it. Some of this may seem like a no-brainer but I figured it would be better to cover everything as opposed to leave some pieces out or up for debate.

Loosing Trust is expensive.

Well, I guess that didn’t take long after all. Why should you, dear reader, care if people trust you? A lack of trust costs you money. It’s that simple, it really is. Let’s take a closer look.

The obvious example is your customers. If they don’t trust you they won’t buy from you. If they don’t trust that you will deliver to them a decently functioning product no amount of advertising will help them believe you. Why? Well they don’t trust you, or The Media (double whammy). They don’t trust you to tell them the truth so anything you say is a lie.

If your employees don’t trust you it is probably even more expensive. If your employees don’t trust you then they won’t be as productive or work as hard. They just won’t give you everything they have because they don’t trust that they’ll be adequately compensated.

If your employees don’t trust you they’ll take the first reasonable offer to leave. I’ve seen employees leave their existing company for a position that paid less because they felt it had more long term potential.

If your shareholders don’t trust you when you tell them that this next quarter will be better than the last then your stock price suffers.

To overcome this lack of trust many “Social Media Experts” (SME’s) advocate complete transparency. I don’t adhere to this notion. There are some things a company should never divulge. There are the obvious things like employee records, customer data and trade secrets, but there are non obvious things that vary from company to company and situation to situation. Things like: new products, product features, strategic partnerships, the list could go on. These are often things that will become public eventually, it’s just a matter of how long before they come out. I may be splitting hairs here but to me complete transparency isn’t subjective to timing.

Despite SME’s loudest and most ardent cries I find it laughable that the biggest violator to their rule is one of their most beloved brands.

Apple is the most opaque company I’ve ever seen. I would argue that they are as opaque as Big Oil or Big Tobacco. That may seem harsh but how many companies in the tech sector could get away with forbidding and even terminating employees for blogging? How many companies could get away with suing bloggers who blog about their up-coming product releases? When Apple does this where are the cries of “Foul” or “Transparency”? Sure people cry out but it is quickly forgiven. Why? It’s simple really: People trust Apple.

People trust that Apple will continue to deliver cutting edge products that astound and redefine any market they enter. People trust Apple to to deliver on the promises they make. Apple never promises to be easy to communicate with. Apple never promises to be a low cost leader. Apple never promises to be transparent. So they don’t need to be.

Transparency is a bandage for lack of trust.

People think that if we see everything a company is doing that there’s no way they can deceive us. Companies just need to be trustworthy. The problem is, how do you regain trust once it’s lost? If we extend the metaphor that trust is capital, then it should behave as any other capital when the rules of capitalism are applied to it.  If we go back to my earlier definition of capitalism it’s this:

Capitalism is the belief that the more freely you distribute capital the more capital is created.

So how do you gain trust? You first have to trust.

This has been one of the major hurdles many corporations, governments and other entities have struggled with when it comes to social media. They don’t want to blog because they don’t trust their employees to not say the wrong things. They don’t trust that their customers won’t leave nasty comments. They don’t trust those that they want trust from, and their customers and employees know it.

Instituting a company blog really has little to do with being transparent. It has everything to do with trusting.

You have to trust your employees. You have to trust your customers. If you don’t how can you expect them to trust you. If you’re fortunate enough to not have lost trust then consider yourself lucky. But if you feel that your company would benefit from increased trust than you need to start trusting. The actual implementation that you use will vary. You may start internally first. You may start externally first. You may start a blog, you may start a forum, you may start a wiki or any other number of tools but don’t do it if you aren’t willing to trust.

It’s been well documented that people trust other people they perceive are like them. Glossy messages from the company don’t seem real. Real words from real people like your customers, or better yet, other customers will have a much stronger effect than any press release.

This is why social media can be so effective. It’s also why so many corporate blogs aren’t effective. Rehashing the same marketing junk in a blog doesn’t make it any more effective.

Technorati Tags: ,,

This post is part of my ongoing effort to blog the book I’ve been working on for too long before the end of the year. These are all rough first drafts that have not been edited or even proofread. Comments and patients are requested. You can follow the whole series through the category The Book.

Image via Wikipedia

Similar Posts:

Share This Post
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Diigo
  • Posterous
  • Tumblr
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Scridb filter

About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com/creating-smarter-organizations/ Creating Smarter Organizations. - New Comm Biz - New media strategies for business

    [...] Comm BizNew media strategies for business   « How Much Does Trust Cost? | Main Creating [...]

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com/web-20-has-a-higher-return-on-total-investment/ Web 2.0 Has a Higher Return on Total Investment - New Comm Biz - New media strategies for business

    [...] model can be applied to every area that we’ve covered in this series. How much does trust cost? What’s the value of knowledge? Your company is spending some amount on all these activities [...]

  • http://www.onlinemarketingconnect.com/blog/2010/03/we-need-to-completely-rethink-how-business-operates-using-social-media/ Online Marketing Connect — Blog — We Need to Completely Rethink How Business Operates Using Social Media

    [...] How Much Does Trust Cost? [...]

Follow along and stay updated.

Subscribe via RSS


Bad Behavior has blocked 2885 access attempts in the last 7 days.

site arama kelimeleri porn, porn, sex, sex, porn, porn videos, porn videos, online porn download, sex videos, free porn, porn video sex, porno film, sex film, porno, porno, Turkish Porn, Porn Videos porn, porn, free porn, free porn and best porn video, hd porno, Turkish porn, hd porn, hidden porn shooting, high quality porn And live as virus-free porn, sex, sex tracking site Turkiye'nin En Buyuk sikis izleme sitesi. Turkiye'nin En Buyuk sikis izleme sitesi. Turkiye'nin En Buyuk sex izleme sitesi. Turkiye'nin En Buyuk porno izleme sitesi Turkiye'nin En Buyuk sex izleme sitesi Turkiye'nin En Buyuk rus porno izleme sitesi. Turkiye'nin En Buyuk Online porno izleme sitesi. Turkiye'nin En Buyuk Online lezbiyen izleme sitesi. Turkiye'nin En Buyuk Online porno izleme sitesi.