With over 2 million blogs published a day, half a billion tweets, 300 billion emails and 2 billion Google searches we are all becoming a human firewall.

As humans, we receive a massive amount of information every day. We hear and read so much content we don’t know what to trust. In a sense, we have turned into human firewalls pushing away content and information. What truly allows us to trust the information we receive and let it in?

human firewallIn 2012 McDonald’s Canada found that their food quality perception scores were at the bottom of other leading fast food chains. Their target customers were three times less likely to eat there because of it. They launched a campaign called “Our food. Your Questions.” With over 13 million video views, 132 media impressions, 2.3 billion social impressions and 18,462 questions answered (and counting) they raised their food quality perception scores up to 76 percent and built trust by 46 percent.

Here are five areas on how we can build information that breaks through the human firewall:

1. Trust is Formed Through Engagement

Submitting real content on a regular basis. Going the extra mile and being interactive on social media. In a 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer study 62 percent of survey respondents cited listening to customers as an extremely important factor in building trust.

2. You Are Who You Hang Out With

People tend to trust people they know. Content is exactly the same when you quote or build content on trusted platforms.

3. Asking What People Want

Often times we give people what we think they want. If we ask them beforehand and deliver the content it becomes anticipated and much more important.

4. Building Rapport Over Time

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Content is the same. Over time you are telling a digital story. It is the ultimate trust if someone gives you their email address. Abusing that privilege will break any trust and “unsubscribe” will be the last thing they see of you.

5. From Anonymous to Known

The ultimate goal is to understand your reader. Building trust starts with an email. Dale Carnegie taught us, “a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.” Dale is right but it shows far greater care to send a personalized email that is specific to a person’s needs and history. We want to help them in a way no one else can. A click-through and a purchase is the ultimate goal.

Key Takeaway for The Human Firewall

The amount of information we receive on a daily basis is huge. How much do consumers trust? How can we earn that trust so we don’t get blocked at the human firewall? We need to build trust through engagement and familiarity. Staying consistent and remembering who our market is and what they want. At the end of the day we want to be the brand we would trust.