Twitter is the Internet’s version of SMS only more diverse. Save for the succinct 140 characters, Twitter gradually occupies the users’ mind space not only because it is public, but also because of its inherent linking capacity. Unfortunately, Twitter had become a haven for hackers and spammers where they can accomplish devious goals. Despite this, how can legitimate tweeters build trust and credibility on the microblogging site? Answers are explored below.

Arianna Huffington, the founder of the biggest blog, Huffington Post, has these to say about Twitter.

1) Self-expression is the new entertainment.
Twitter is a place where users can display substance and encourage conversation whether it be an image, video or article. This means that, in cultivating trust among your followers, you should be a responsible Twitter user. Make sure that, despite the limited number of characters, you are tweeting contents that others can regard as an informative resource. Contents can be a source of inspiration, too.

Tweet about your company, its people, your products and services. Don’t overdo it though. Make sure there are personal messages aside from brand-related tweets. Certainly, the Twitterers would want to know who is behind those tweets. Put a short bio with an image. Establish authority. The process of letting your followers know who you are also develops trust. The more relatable you are, the more trustworthy you become.

Nonetheless, it is not enough that you create a Twitter account and post links. Take time building relationships. Engagement is an art that not all Twitter users understand, not even the brands which only track mentions without acting on them. Cultivating credibility could be about truly connecting with other users. Ask questions. Comment on the post. Address complaints. Solve problems. Never withhold bad tweets. Hang with the influencers. Treat the users as you brand’s extended community. Better yet, create your own community.

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2) Trust is the new ‘black.’
Twitter is a platform that you can treat as your content hub. While it may be a microblogging site, you should not regard Twitter as a distinct entity from your main blog, overall marketing and brand identity. Twitter is an essential component of all these aspects. So, treat Twitter as a gateway to longer format contents, for instance. Spontaneity and synergism also improve credibility.

In whatever you say you do, people will always look for proofs that you are talking the talk and walking the walk. Be the walking testimonial of what you can do for your clients if you really want to build relationships that are founded on trust. This will never include 20,000 purchased Twitter followers. It would be much better to have less than 5,000 followers that you earn organically by posting valuable and relevant contents.

In building credibility, your goal should be becoming the person or company that people would want to trust and associate themselves with. When you lose the trust of your audience, you will lose them. However, once you have successfully cultivated deepened trusts among them, they will become more empowered, and they will act favorably on your behalf.