Have you been open to the idea of social media for some time now, but are still unsure whether you’re ready to go all the way? Frankly, you are not alone. The conflicting reports are numerous, arguing both for and against “letting go” of control.Unfortunately, the “con” arguments often read as “what were they thinking” stories. Some folks are diving in without a keen understanding of what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and why they need to do it in the first place. All the while, marketers are offering Web 2.0 services without truly understanding what the term actually means.

This reminds me of some old wisdom: “When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch.”

Have a look at the following 6 principles of radical trust, all of which I hope you’ll seriously consider prior to beginning your exploration of social media.

You must radically trust that people:

  1. are best equipped to determine their own needs, and left to their own devices are best equipped to get those needs met.
  2. would rather be communicated with than spoken to.
  3. require freedom of expression, but often require guidelines to create expressions within.
  4. will self-regulate communities to the level guidelines suggest and that the collective group they comprise will accept.
  5. will disconnect with a brand that silences them and will align with brands that give them a voice.
  6. (This one is the hardest) People are inherently good.

If you’re ready to accept that trust is the foundation of any functional relationship, you’ll achieve unbelievable accomplishments.

Do you know why?

People have no reason to trust you, so it is you who must open the relationship by placing your trust in them.

Let me say it again: People have no reason to trust you – particularly in conquest. That we even call it “conquest” should be an indication as to why we’ve never really earned trust in the first place.

When you open the relationship by trusting your audience, you may actually earn their trust in return.

Is that concept so radical?