6 Tips to Achieving Authenticity in Your Social Media Marketing
You've heard it before "Be Authentic" "Be Real" "Be You."
Authenticity, by definition, is being real, or genuine.
Being real and creating authentic content can form a deeper connection with your customers, encouraging brand loyalty.
However for many, posting on social media can add an element of stress resulting in IG video anxiety. You don't want to feature yourself on social media, because you may not come across as the real you, be perceived as "selling yourself" or create content that your audience just isn't interested in.
Halcon owner, Nicole Powell, has been asked several times if it's possible to remain authentic and relatable even if you have content scheduled way in advance. Her answer is a resounding YES. She explains her take in the video below.
Now that you've started to think about a process that keeps you accountable and on a steady posting schedule, it's time to talk about how to remain authentic despite all the noise and competition out there in social media and internet land.
Here are our six tips.
1. Have a clear understanding of your brand
First, you need to know your brand by asking yourself, “What is my business really about?”
You need to have strategies and a messaging structure to establish and communicate your brand personality, purpose, and values on a variety of platforms. You can't be an authentic brand if you don’t have a clear picture of who you are, who "your people" are, what to say, and how to say it to connect and nurture relationships with your target customers.
Then, it is important to internalize your goals, mission, and values and convey them confidently. A strong foundation is key!
2. Be honest and uncover YOUR unique genius
Be inspired by other people's work, but don't replicate it.
You need to be honest and true to yourself. Make sure your content is unique to you. Uncover your unique zone of genius and your audience will appreciate you for being yourself.
Go behind the scenes and humanize your brand with your social media content. Share stories about how you make your products, tell audiences where the materials come from, and share the work that goes into creating your unique customer experience.
3. Be transparent and make your employees your advocates
Social media offers an opportunity to peel away your brand’s layers and reveal the individuals behind your success. One of the best ways to show transparency is by having employees become your brand’s most loyal advocates.
Provide your team with training on the company’s products or services and be 100% transparent about your goals, mission, challenges and more, so they understand the core of your brand and are equipped to share that knowledge online or offline. Make sure all individuals who represent your brand support your values.
Motivate your employees to share educational and valuable content about the company on their personal social media accounts, increasing their own thought-leadership status, which in turn drives engagement and leads.
4. Messed up? Own it!
An accidental typo? A response that wasn't communicated well? A post that your audience didn’t receive well? We’ve all been there.
These mistakes are mostly harmless, but they can still damage your brand’s reputation. Your first reaction might be to delete, forget and maybe stress about the error. Remember, being authentic also means being 100% human. We all make mistakes.
In the event you have a little mess up, own it and figure out the best way to fix it.
If it's serious, jump into PR mode and do a little crisis management to put out the fire. Even in serious situations, owning up to the mistake and sincerely apologizing can help repair some of the damage.
Do what you can to fix the issue, and let your audience know the steps you'll take to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In less serious situations, like a typo or a factual error, simply own it by correcting it. If you feel that late-night anxiety about what happened, remember social media content moves at a rapid pace.
5. Listen and respond
Make sure you know who your target audience is and have one-on-one conversations with your social media followers. It’s crucial to listen to what your customers have to say and to respond with valuable and timely insight.
If your audience feels like you know them well, they’ll be motivated to find out who you are and listen to what you have to say.
Personalize your outreach in the same way you would respond to a real friend. Robotic responses are a huge no no. Customers want to know you see them as individuals and that you’ll provide them with a personalized experience.
6. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
Choose your brand’s voice and make sure it’s the same everywhere, on all platforms, channels, and outlets.
Don’t respond with what you think they want to hear; respond with how you actually feel. Take ownership of any mistakes or errors and apologize if needed. Be respectful and be professional but also be YOU.
Before you post, stop and think through the post. Does it represent you or your brand?
Need more help with being authentic? Halcon's goal is to bring your authentic self out in your marketing. Branding and the brand development process isn’t about becoming something or replicating what someone else is already doing. It’s about uncovering YOUR unique genius… uncovering that voice and making sure other people hear it. Click here to know more about our Brand Development Program.