Can I build trust one Instagram Story at a time?

More than a few months ago, I began a personal mini project on Instagram Stories to share a part of my work, particularly how to use Skyscanner. The idea started because I have been thinking endlessly about building brand trust. I wanted to put the traveller at the centre of the conversation. I wanted to make sure questions are answered, plus giving travellers a sort-of Level Up, when it comes to planning their trips.

The idea of building trust on my Instagram Stories did not come easy. I wrestled with the thought of whether this was a good idea. After all, I am no Kylie Jenner. But what really pushed me was finding out that the people around me, both friends and family, were unclear about the kind of business Skyscanner is (meta-search vs online travel agent; what's the difference?) and that some of them don't even have an idea who Skyscanner is.

Obviously, I needed to do something.

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The hypothesis was that I could start building trust for Skyscanner by being more transparent about what we do and why we do things.

Instagram Stories became an easy medium to start with. It has a lower barrier to entry than say, a beautifully created post to go with an equally curated feed. Stories is the poster child of behind-the-scenes updates and, thanks in large part to stickers, is now a more engaging format. Did you know 70% of photos posted on Instagram don’t get seen? Yep, Stories are where it’s at. 

Of course, this endeavour is not without its challenges. In fact, there are many. Questions that continue to bog me are:

  • How do I measure this?
  • Is Instagram Stories the right medium?
  • What if I run out of content?
  • Am I talking about us correctly?
  • Am I even the right person to be saying this?

Nonetheless, after doing this for a few weeks, I realise that there’s little to lose and a lot more to gain.

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Things I learned

1. Building trust can start with me

It doesn’t have to be a strategic partnership or a well-thought media plan. I needed to rethink what our idea of “influencer” is as being not just about celebrities and hundreds of thousands of followers. My own sphere of influence makes it easier for others to trust what I say. Brand advocacy starts with myself. Also, passion is contagious. 

2. There is value in doing things that don’t scale

Sometimes I worry that I miss out or get blindsided by being too data-driven. That I end up not wanting to do things because they’re not measurable or that it doesn’t have an impressive reach. But then, I get these comments that make me put these doubts aside. 

Even if I only convert just a handful of people to start using Skyscanner, to start kindling that loyalty and continuing educating them about our product, I think it’s already a win and a step towards the right direction.

What's next?

This idea was born out of the desire to solve a problem in how and what travellers know and feel about Skyscanner. The positive response, while being validated through my own channels, does not mean we can't do it on Skyscanner-owned channels too. The challenge is creating a more personal voice. Something more organic and less-stylised. Something that shows there are people behind the brand; travellers for travellers.

If you’re keen to find out how #SkysTheLimit panned out, check out my profile. I would love to know your thoughts, feedback, and ideas.

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