Trust Series | Social Media as the Conduit for Real-Time Conversations

August 4, 2020  |  Sarah Schmidt, Lauren MurrayAlex Boeder

Thinking Big

Amid the tumult of COVID-19, calls for social equity, the impending presidential election, and Facebook boycotts, the stakes have been raised for brands to meaningfully connect with their audiences on social media. These moments have shone a bright light on brands that are able to articulate a clear and compelling vision of what they stand for on social media, while directionless brands have been at risk to be left in the dark.

This make-or-break environment has crystallized and expanded the chasm between brands that are positioned to share their vision quickly and powerfully on social media and those that are not. According to Kantar Consulting’s 2020 research, ‘purpose-led’ brands stand to grow at twice the rate of those without any higher-order societal aim, and this has been playing out front and center on our phones and tablets every minute of 2020 on social media.

So, how can brands rise to the top by building trust with new and existing audiences on social media? The key is to have a proactive, always-on plan to listen, speak, and engage.

1. Listen: Leverage Social Listening to Stay Ahead of Conversation Trends

According to The GDELT Project, more than 300 million tweets are sent each day, which means more than a million tweets will be sent during the time that it takes to read this story. With so much conversation moving so quickly on social media, how can brands efficiently understand what their audiences are saying and feeling and turn that into meaningful and empathetic action? Enter social listening.

2. Speak: Be Prepared to Articulate Your Brand’s Core Values

Narratives on social media move quickly, and silence can be deafening, so how can brands stay prepared to gracefully yet impactfully enter conversations when the moment calls? Brands on social media must resist the temptation to jump on trends or storylines that do not align with their core values. That means staying ahead of the game by making sure that your social media team is connected seamlessly to your brand, so when the time calls for it, there will be no need to scramble.

3. Engage: Your Social Engagement Approach Should Always Be On

Social media is the ultimate tool for building trust via two-way communication, but how can a brand engage in a trust-building way As discussed in our Trust Series Intro post, purpose-based brands drive business. Younger generations nearly demand that brands express their values and beliefs, but even a majority of older generations say that it is important that the companies they buy from are clear about what values they stand for. Thus, trust is driven through purpose.

Now is the time to take meaningful action. Are you interested in leveraging your social media channels to elevate your brand’s efforts and help build trust? Let’s chat. Contact Sarah Schmidt at [email protected] or Lauren Murray at [email protected].

And, make sure to join us next week as we explore how brands can redefine influencer marketing to bolster trust amid change.


is Vice President, Earned Media at BVK


Lauren Murray is a Director, Earned Media at BVK


Alex Boeder is a Social Media Account Supervisor at BVK

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