Brand trust is the most important currency you can have with your consumers. But in the era of social media, building trust and success for your brand is becoming ever more elusive.

The problem? Many consumers think marketers are not being honest with them, the audience.

For the most part, it’s safe to say marketers don’t lie on purpose. They have goals to hit and a target to reach, and marketing is their way of telling a story to sell their product or service to reach those goals.

But you can’t deny this strategy of getting the most reach at any cost isn’t having an impact on your bottom line.

In a recent study 42% of consumers claim to distrust brands.

Ouch.

Social media Influencers can often help bridge this trust void. Today’s younger consumers have more affinity with an influencer than with any individual brand.

A celebrity endorsement or review can yield more engagement for a product or brand than traditional forms of advertisement.

It’s no surprise that 39 percent of marketing professionals  say they will be increasing their influencer marketing budgets this year.

Before you spend, do your homework first. Consumers want influencers that have credibility, relevancy and authenticity to the brand they represent.

Hiring a celebrity strictly because of their social media reach will only generate what I call “anticipointment”. That’s when you are excited to hear about an opportunity but that excitement quickly vanishes into disappointment. That’s why it’s important to find influencers with brand authenticity. Otherwise, consumers will no longer value influencer marketing as it will be perceived as another way brands fool and mislead consumers.

Consider how you recruit your brand ambassadors.

Open your search for influencers in your local market. If you have someone in your town or city that could be considered an expert on the brand or product, have a conversation with them. While their reach may be significantly smaller than a celebrity, your social engagements may be more meaningful and real. Embrace the idea of authenticity. Interview your influencer like you would any member of your staff. Find out who they are, and if this is someone you think you can TRUST to represent your client’s brand. Find an influencer with brand authenticity and your brand will grow organically.

We need to be transparent with consumers or we risk losing the power of influencer marketing.

For more information on influencer marketing and help achieving your marketing goals this year, contact Linda A. Fanaras, President and Founder of Millennium Agency (www.mill.agency ) located in Boston and Manchester, NH. She can be reached at 877-873-7445 ext. 201 or lfanaras@mill.agency