How to Build Authenticity for Your Brand on Social Media
Authenticity is the holy grail for social media marketers because it’s an essential element needed to create successful social media pages for your business.
Unlike traditional media that’s purely promotional and delivers one-way communication to a broad audience, social media gives your brand a unique platform to display authenticity and humanize your business to a highly-targeted market.
So, what does it mean to be ‘authentic’ anyway?
Authenticity is all about being ‘real’, ‘genuine’ and ‘not false’.
So, with this in mind, how do you go about building authenticity for your brand on social media?
Customers are increasingly wary of scams, fakes, and rip-offs. That means a lot of customers will carefully consider their options before choosing which company to spend their money with. To ensure your business makes it to the top of the consideration pile, you need to share regular and valuable content about your business or product to prove that you are a real-world company that can provide value to customers.
By actively promoting your business and interacting with your audience and customers on social media, this proves to your audience that you’re a real company who is open for business.
To make your business seem more ‘real’, you should also consider sharing behind-the-scenes posts from your business so that people can see the faces behind your brand and what it takes to deliver your high-quality products and services.
By sharing pictures of company events (ex. informative videos about how your product is made or staff profiles), your customers can gain a unique insight into your company. This means they can start seeing your business as a real place rather than a faceless brand trying to sell you something. This, in turn, can lead to repeat customers and brand loyalty.
Most customers can spot ‘sales talk’ from a mile away, so it’s best to avoid it where possible on social media. In fact, most social media experts abide by the 70/30 rule, where 70% of posts provide value to an audience and 30% of posts are self-promotional.
You have to remember that people need to go out of their way to like your page, and the act of ‘liking’ your page means that they’re genuinely interested in seeing your content in their already maxed out Facebook feeds. That means you need to make sure the content on your social media pages is valuable or entertaining to your audience. Keep in mind the content should also align well with your brand.
Essentially, being genuine is about creating interesting content and adding a human voice to your brand rather than taking a ‘corporate’ or ‘salesy’ approach to every social media post you put up.
Show your audience you have nothing to hide with transparent and truthful posts about your business. Don’t be afraid to share with your audience everything they need to know so they can make informed decisions about your brand and products. By sharing open, honest and transparent posts, you’ll build credibility. Your audience will trust you more, and you will develop a more trustworthy brand image.
Trust is vitally important to customers, particularly on social media. Although it takes the time to build up a trust for your brand, an unauthentic social media post or a false claim can unravel any trust you have built up very quickly.
You have nowhere to hide on social media if you don’t tell the truth in your posts and promotions. If you make any false claims, your followers will punish you for it either by unfollowing your page, making a negative public comment on your social media post or leaving a negative review.
Let’s be honest, most customers don’t care about your business. They only care about what you can do for them. By focusing on the needs and wants of your clients and how your business can help them, you’ll be in the best position possible to build up a highly credible and engaging audience for your social media pages.
By providing your followers with helpful and insightful content, they’re more likely to look out for the posts you put up in the future. This type of content adds value to your audience, and it means they will be more open to viewing your promotional content when it comes out in their feed.
It also helps to develop buyer personas for your brand so that you can create highly relevant, helpful and interesting posts that suit specific individuals within your target audience.
People don’t want to be sold to on social media. People seek out real and meaningful interactions with others, and their interactions with brands are no exception.
To humanize your brand, your business should be involved in the conversation on social media. In order to do that, your business should cultivate a personalized persona that should be used to communicate with your audience. If your business doesn’t try to respond to comments and messages in a realistic matter, your brand could suffer from it.
So, if a potential customer leaves a question on a social media post or in a private message, it’s best to provide an authentic and tailored response to their query to show that you care about them individually. The last thing they want to see is an automated sales message. If you’re unable to personally respond to every question or concern raised, politely refer them to the correct customer service funnel to get the answer they’re looking for.
Take the time to listen to what your audience is saying about your product or service, and provide insight that’s valuable and timely. Personal consideration goes a long way in building trust with your audience and developing brand loyalty in the long term.
Keep in mind that any response you provide online stays there forever, so choose your words wisely!
Make sure all your content is consistent with your brand. By building a content schedule that’s strongly tied to your brand image, your content will easily be identifiable in their feed. You can do this by including brand images and colors in regular posts or by using a very specific tone of voice.
By sharing content that’s not consistent with your brand image and message, it may confuse your audience. For example, if you have a very professional persona on social media and you usually focus on posts that offer tips and advice about your services, a silly meme with a very casual tone of voice would seem out of place.
To avoid this, choose the brand persona and tone of voice you’d like to use ahead of time, and stick with it.
Being authentic on social media also extends to your day-to-day interactions with customers and the wider community in the real world. By being involved and showing that you support and care about the community, this will lead to improved trust and credibility for your business.
Whether you’re hosting a community event, fundraiser or competition or simply doing a good deed for the community, make sure your followers know about it through social media.
Keep in mind that social media is just a virtual extension of the real world, so make sure the image you portray online also matches your physical brand image and processes.
Start Building Authenticity on Social Media
In summary, the best way to achieve authenticity for your brand is to create and share content that’s genuinely interesting to your audience and things that tie in well with your overall brand image.
By pitching less and delighting more with interesting, engaging, truthful and consistent content, and using a human voice to engage with your audience, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve authenticity on social media.
About the Author
Tania Condren is a Social Media Manager and Content Writer at Kymodo, a Digital Marketing Agency based in Brisbane