I trust Oprah Winfrey, both online and offline. She earned by trust many years ago because, not only she is genuine and transparent, but also she is intimate, helpful, knowledgable, and reliable. I’ll add to this equation that she is one of the most selfless persons I’ve ever known. Yes, she has a huge media empire that makes a lot of money, but she uses that fortune to help others and to touch our lives by handing us the tools that we can use to be better persons; to grow as compassionate human beings. I trust her so much that I think what she says is what’s right. Oprah is committed to making a better world. The first webcast that I ever saw and the one that helped me get through a very rough time when I lost my dad was Oprah and Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth. My relationship with Oprah started when she had the show and now extends to social media networks. I follow Oprah on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
We discussed Steve Rayson’s trust formula, which is as follows:
TRUST= Authority x Helpfulness x Intimacy/Self promotion)
Taking a look at each of these variables, I can say that they are present at Oprah’s social media accounts. Let’s begin with authority, which means someone is knowledgable and demonstrates it, in this case through quality content. For example, on Facebook, Oprah has devoted content during the past month to Selma, a movie she produced about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. about his fight against discrimination of black people being able to register to vote during 1960’s. The content we see is meant to create awareness about this situation by educating us. Her knowledge about this, which is important to her because we’ve seen her advocating for equal rights, moved her to launch this campaign on Facebook, which is educational and is how she demonstrates not only how much she knows about it, but how much is her commitment to this cause. She posted this video just this week, Because of Dr. King, in which many people expressed how his fight and achievements influenced their lives:
Oprah has the power to summon and call together a huge number of people so that they can show their gratitude. Judging by the amount of fans Oprah has (10 million+) and most of the responses to this message, we can see how someone with authority moved people:
In terms of intimacy, I can say that on social platforms, Oprah has opened the doors to her home, the most intimate place. She has also allowed us to see how she spends Christmas, when she picks fruit and what she’s having for dinner. She is warm and friendly enough to make us part of her daily life. Another example, is how committed she is to meditation, which is a great tool that portrays is important to her, thus she shares how it makes her human. Finally, intimacy is also about sharing what’s meaningful to you. Here are come examples of how this intimacy is reflected on her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts:
In terms of helpfulness, there is no doubt that Oprah’s mission is to help others, and on her social media platform she continues to do that. She shares information about the multiple projects she runs to help others. Some may see this as self promotion, but I see it as a way to ask people to contribute to the lives of those in need. For example, in collaboration with Teavana, she launched the Oprah Chai Tea last year to support educational opportunities for young people. This item is sold at Starbucks, so she has dedicated some efforts on social media to promote this, which has a bigger end result than just making money. Take a look at the post below in which she personally went to Starbucks to enjoy the drink and posted the photo. Because we are talking about help, please note the comments people wrote and how one of Oprah’s community manager took the time to reply. One of them is a question to which they replied.
I think Oprah actively participates on her Twitter account and engages with people. It’s not a customer service forum, so there is not so much she can help with. Still, she takes time to respond. In the example below, she responds Tallulah to a post about the Chai tea, with a comment about sharing it with a friend. This is a way of helping too!
I could continue to give examples, but I’m sure by this time, it’s very clear how the reasons I trust her are reflected on how she behaves on the platforms, thus bringing me closer to her. She promotes her meditation sessions with Deepak Chopra, for example, but they are all meant to help us grow as human beings. I say it again, I trust Oprah.