In Part 1 of this series I discussed leaders of companies stepping in front of consumers to regain trust and consumer confidence. When asked most business people initially say the value of trust is immeasurable, undeniably critical but immeasurable. Let’s go back ten years and ask the question, “How do you measure trust and consumer confidence with your company?” (I am not talking about the Consumer Confidence Index and all their blah blah blah, mind numbing surveys. I am talking about good old common sense does a customer trust your business.) Many would say just look at stock prices increase as confidence in a company increases, or, the company has had business success for 50 years and countless years of success can’t be denied and is very measurable. That may be true but in todays age of technology and Social Media you have numerous ways to measure how customers feel about your company. I would like to point out one of those credible sources of your company information- your friends and peers.

One out of four friends/peers was considered to be a trusted source for a company’s information. Is this a sign of the power of Social Media? The survey from the Edelman Trust Barometer of January 2010 surveyed consumers aged 35-64. Granted, the numbers are down, but 25% is still a substantial base of reference/referrals and when this number returns to its 2008 percentage of 45% your efforts will be multiplied. Word of mouth and influence of peers is the number one reason for leading brands in shifting marketing dollars to Social Media.

Again this sparks the question, “How does this relate to my dealership?”

For me the true goal of Social Media is to turn my customers into friends or at a minimum establish a valuable business relationship with them. This is something that is practiced at Liquid Motors where the belief is, “If we put the people first good things always happen.”

Now here is the hard part. As type “A” people, success is expected yesterday. Try to remember when you went into business you did not plan on immediate success. You expected to build it over time and most certainly did not plan on shutting down in 3 years. Remember that when it comes to your Social Media efforts. Social Media is not just a new wave or avenue of marketing. It is your trust factor, your reputation, and your lifeline to current and potential customers/friends and yes to their friends/peers. Stay on course and follow your Social Media plan. In fact, make sure you add your Social Media plan to your business plan and mission statement. This will force you to believe and follow it. Please leave your comments on this blog and be sure to follow all of the Liquid Motors authors on Twitter and Facebook today.