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5 Ways to be More Authentic on Social Media

Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator

Being authentic online is about showing the real side of your brand to users. It’s about having values against being fake and deceptive, and it shows the world a more personal side of your brand beyond the business aspect of it. If you want to succeed, your business needs to build a social presence that’s genuine, approachable and engaging. Your content should appeal to a wide audience while also reflecting data and its brand values. According to a recent study, 64% of people want brands to connect with them and are more likely to buy from a brand they follow than a competitor online. It’s about finding out what motivates your followers while maintaining your goal in mind. Being genuine is a key characteristic consumers look for in a brand, and now people are seeking authentic experiences and holding brands accountable for their actions. These days, brands must have a recognizable voice, face, and opinion on social media. They need to build up a positive reputation and offer their audience social proof along the way. Aside from convincing followers that your brand is worth supporting, challenging your authenticity through social media will be worth it in the end because it’s a long term investment. Social platforms offer brands a great place to build a positive brand image and reputation. Below, we listed 5 ways you can be more authentic online and keep things real. Let’s get started. 

Be Consistent

If you’re not posting consistently, you will lose trust with your audience. Building consistency involves creating a content calendar, schedule, setting realistic goals and most of all, having cohesiveness throughout your branded content.  If you want your followers to begin to expect updates from you, rather than simply wondering or even forgetting about you, you have to stay consistent. Don’t ignore your audience. If you only show up when you need to post something, users will see right through that. Not only should you post regularly, but your message and voice should stay consistent across all platforms. If you support one particular cause, make sure you show that it supports all your platforms. You want your audience to depend on you and build their loyalty, so they will have to have a clear idea of who you are and by posting consistently, you will strengthen your brand and also increase engagement. Think of it this way: you want to be presenting yourself as a steady resource providing a balance of knowledge, service and customer experience.

Feature Users as Often as Possible

One of the biggest mistakes you can make on social media is coming off as a faceless corporation with no personality. Everything now is about transparency and authenticity, and people want to get to know your company on a more personal level. By providing your audience with social proof, it can improve your reputability. This can include showing the very faces working at your business, or it can be your followers or people you follow. Whether it’s sharing case studies, reviews or user-generated content from customers, try to tell stories with customer-focused posts. When you pair self-promotion with gratitude for your customers, you show your appreciation for their support and business. Social media is all about networking, so you should be keen to mention and credit people for extra reach and engagement whenever possible. Using original images and videos is also a great way to provide social proof and make your brand appear more authentic.

If You Mess Up, Own It

Nobody is perfect, and we’re all human. Same goes for a business because after all, it is run by humans. However, what’s important is that you acknowledge your mistakes and take ownership. By taking notice of an error, you are demonstrating to your audience that your brand values transparency and is humble. When running any business, mistakes will happen and there might be a learning curve involved. However, it’s important that you don’t try to cover it up because your followers will notice that and judge you for it. The best thing you can do is be transparent and honest when you realize you messed up. It can be mistakes anywhere from typos to politics and human rights. Regardless, people will remember how your brand handles itself and the success of your business will reflect that. Once something is online, there is no more hiding since you really can’t delete anything on the internet. Although some situations can be unfixable, when you sincerely apologize, it can help repair some of the damage that’s already been done.

Don’t be Salesy 

Social selling is a great tactic when used appropriately. Rarely should you ever make your online presence be about the “hard sell”. When you use an indirect selling technique, which focuses on building a reputation and relationship with consumers, you will still make sales. If anything, you will make more because when you use social media only for self promotion with aggressive call-to-actions, it can be a huge turn off. Instead, it’s best to have a conversation with users and share valuable information. Engagement is key to having an online presence and just by answering the questions of followers or joining a conversation, it shows you’re listening. Brands are no longer there to just sell and make a profit; they are there to give something valuable back to the community. They each have their own unique beliefs and missions, and that’s what makes a brand truly special, so use social media to show what your brand has to offer. Try to have a balance between posts that are meant to convert or sell quickly, and posts that are meant to simply connect with your audience.

Seek Relationships, Not just Followers

If you’re going to get anything out of this blog post, it’s that you should focus on the connections instead of the vanity numbers. As the online world continues to expand with more content, brands have to work harder to break through the noise to be heard. When a brand is authentic and creates content that has more to offer, forming a deeper relationship with the customer is easier. It encourages brand loyalty and takes the relationship beyond sales. Just by being authentic, that relationship with your customer becomes stronger. Additionally, customers have a sense of self that comes from brands they support, so knowing these brands are genuine it makes them feel good about their choices. Having 200 followers who regularly engage with you and your content are significantly more valuable than 20,000 that don’t interact with you. The beauty of social media is that you can form relationships with followers from just about anywhere, so you might as well take advantage of the opportunity. Being genuine is a vital part of connecting with followers and consumers are only seeking authentic experiences from brands. Brands need to be true to their values and brand voice, communicate openly and honestly with customers and be responsible for their actions. Today, people see brands they support as a part of who they are as a person. Your brand needs to value authenticity just as much as your audience does in order to get their support. Mistakes are ok, we’re all human. However, it pays off to have some self-awareness about your brand so you don’t fall into traps of too much self promotion or oversharing on a particular topic. Doing all this will make your brand more authentic online and help build a community of like-minded people around your brand. Just focus on understanding who your customers are, be transparent with what you’re offering, get involved in relevant conversations, and, at all times, be consistent. Making money off of social media isn’t easy, but that’s why we’re here to help!

At MSM DesignZ, we put in the time and energy needed for success, so you can ensure you are using every dollar for maximum return. With over 20 years in the business, we know what it takes to be authentic and make that connection! As a brand, we value authenticity, and we help our clients achieve the same transparency. There are no short-cuts for success, so that’s why we’re here to make it easier for you!  We will always continue to place our clients’ needs at the heart of our operations. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at https://www.msmdesignz.com/contact/, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you! 

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2019/09/13/keeping-it-real-the-importance-of-having-an-authentic-social-media-presence/#602987ef110f

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/brand-authenticity/

https://medium.com/better-marketing/5-ways-to-actually-practice-authentic-marketing-6e51ba20eb0f

https://blog.hootsuite.com/authentic-social-media/