The Dark Knight Teaches Us About Building Trust in Your Business… Wait, What?!

Over the years I have come to believe that I better understand information when I can relate it to a hobby or personal interest.

It took me a long while to figure out just how I can relay the psychology of social proof in a fun, yet informative way.

Just a few days ago, I spent an enticing 2+ hours engaging with Bruce Wayne on the television, dominating all villains who dare step in his path.

While reviewing the various components of social proof in reference to business, clips from The Dark Knight replayed in my head.

The combination of this unbounce article and my steadfast belief in the power of “nerddom”, allowed me to construct this article relating the legendary story of Gotham City and the psychology of social proof.

Our spin on the Dark Knight movie poster from Google. It's better, now.

Our spin on the Dark Knight movie poster from Google. It’s better, now.

Let’s establish the scene:

You’re in Gotham, a city where crime and corruption are frequent (think of this as your industry). Luckily, the city is overseen by the legendary Batman, who steps in when summoned by the bat light (remember when you felt a calling to enter into the industry in which you currently reside? That’s your bat light).

You started your company and spent years trying to establish yourself as the expert in your field, as Batman established himself as the hero of Gotham City. You spent long hours helping your customers and answering questions; you assigned your marketing team to blog and distribute content to social media so that you can expand your brand’s presence online (Batman’s true identity, Bruce Wayne, the hard-working business man).

One day, you have a  run-in with a customer who just doesn’t like your product or service, and he thinks you haven’t payed enough attention to his needs, even though you’ve talked to him on the phone for hours on end. Whatever the reason, he has a bad taste in his mouth about you and your company.

Oh, no!

This guy (or gal) becomes the legendary villain, the Joker. He tries with every fiber of his being to smash your reputation; he tells his friends, his co-workers, his family, and all of his social media followers that he hates your company.

What the Joker is really saying behind his painted face... Thanks Google.

What the Joker is really saying behind his painted face… Thanks Google.

Now, he may not go to the extreme of bombing your company headquarters or robbing you of every penny you have (as said Joker did), however, he is verbally abusing your business and the successful reputation you spent years developing. The industry starts to question whether you really are a beneficent company who treats their customers well.

This is an example of social proof. Well, a negative result of social proof.

Luckily, there are ways you can build stable trust in your business that will prevent the Joker from succeeding in his efforts, and I am overly enthused to share them with you.

*Note, Batman had to bounce back from a relatively threatening blow to his reputation towards the end of the movie, but like all trustworthy and honest individuals, he was able to prove to his city that he is the hero of the story, worthy of the trust and confidence of his people. If he can do it, so can you!

There are 6 easy ways you can build trust in your business that will protect you from the potential villains in your story, they are as follows:

  1. Create a testimonial page with reviews of your product or service. If you receive a sincere and appreciative email or Facebook message from a customer, after asking their permission, post this to your testimonial page. The more positive reviews you have on your page, the more credibility you establish.
  2. Use your connections (preferably on LinkedIn) to accumulate endorsements. Endorsements are a biggie. When I see a website with an endorsement from well-known individual in the industry, I immediately put the company in the “important” folder in my brain. Message your contacts from LinkedIn and ask them to endorse you; if the answer is yes, post this to your website with a picture of the individual and a brief bio.
  3. Allow your customers or website viewers to “share” your content on their favorite social media platform. Ensure that your website blog has a “share” feature, so if people like what you write, they can share it with their followers. The more exposure you get, the better.
  4. Integrate Twitter & Facebook widgets into your website. This is a simple feature that will immensely help your company. Be proud of the followers you have accumulated over the years on social media sites! These widgets will show website visitors that you engage with your customers and people “like” or “follow” your company.
  5. Broadcast your big wins. If you landed a deal with a big company, you definitely want to show website viewers. When you see a service or product that is used by a big-name company,  you are more likely to invest your money into it. That’s just basic psychology.
  6. Lastly, insert a “trust” banner into your site. If you are a member of an association, or you have special security features on your website that sets you apart from the rest, be sure to show your viewers this! The more seals you can add, the better.

With these simple tips you will maintain your legend as the “hero” of your industry, and encourage potential customers to trust your brand as the providers of a fantastic product or service that will save the lives of many and prevent the darkness of the industry from destroying a beautiful city! Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme, but I get carried away by the Dark Knight sometimes, don’t you?

If  you will be in the Las Vegas area next week, stop by the PPAI tradeshow and visit our booth #536! We would love to chat with you about any questions you have, or whether we think the Dark Knight Rises was the best of the trilogy… We hope to see you there!

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