03 Aug 6 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR BRAND MORE AUTHENTIC IN SOCIAL MEDIA
The importance of Brand Authenticity in Social Media
Brand Authenticity is one of those qualities that cannot really get measured by just numbers and data and certainly cannot be reported. A brand’s authenticity is not a report or a PR material. Brand Authenticity is vital for any company, regardless the size, that wants to be part of our digital world in Social Media.
In the Social Media world today a brand is no longer what the brand tells the customer what it is, but what the customer tells to his/her friends about this brand. Therefore it is very important for brands that want to be successful in Social Media, to invest on their authenticity in social media. It is very important to be well received by your target audience, because if you do this right your brand will start building its image and gain trust. Building trust and getting more engaged with your audience though is not such an easy task and requires a good and flexible social media strategy. In other words, making your brand more authentic as possible it’s a hard task due to the fact that there are no objective measurements for mastering such quality.
Currently there are many definitions of brand authenticity you can start working with but for the purposes of this post, let’s assume authenticity as a more genuine and human approach that makes your brand more trustworthy. Let’s just say that your posts in Social Media seem sales-heavy pitches, robotic or manipulative messages or anything else that can be perceived as false information, then the message that you communicate to your audience certainly does not look as authentic as possible. Consider now, that if your posts are more approachable, personal, genuine and believable, your brand message is more authentic. With that loose definition on brand authenticity just established lets look on some strategies that can help increase your own brand’s authenticity in Social Media:
1. POST LIKE YOU WOULD ON YOUR OWN SOCIAL PROFILES
When you post on your company’s Twitter or Facebook page, you want to keep things in accordance with your brand’s voice so being familiar and consistent with it, your social fans/followers would like to see this. But be careful with the brand’s voice adoption because if you overdo it you can come across as distant so by striving to post as you would in your own page by speaking casually and conversationally you can prove to you fans/followers that there is real person behind all these posts. Remember, people buy people!!
2. POST IN REAL TIME
Scheduling your social media posts can be incredibly convenient and handy because it can also allow you to plan out your posts for days. However, note that all that glitters is not gold, using a scheduling service can have a downside, they put you on a systematic routine. Thus, even non-observant fans/followers will eventually start noticing that your posting habits form a pattern that looks calculated in nature. Instead of relying totally on scheduling services, try and post in real time on occasion. React and Engage in real time by posting an image of your current location or use some other ways of connecting to your users in real time.
3. UPLOAD AND POST MORE IMAGES
A good image usually is equal to 1000 words, or in today’s world an image worth 1000 words can be equal to 1000 clicks! A photo usually convey a visual experience which in reality helps people imagine what it is like to “be” your brand. Posting an image of your inner workplace when your employees work hard or relaxing, communicates a message of an image of your brand in real action so avoid where possible the heavy use of stock photography. Give your users a real insight to the operations of your brand, consider posting images make you seem more authentic.
4. BRANDING FROM INSIDE OUT
Allowing an even deeper look at the inner workings of your company by showing off the personalities that make your company tick communicates a healthy image of your brand to your audience. Your employees meet, greet and assist your customers in many different ways. They are the face of your brand. Start interviewing some of your employees and let the interview take its own shape, publish it, people will love you for it because it adds a level of approachability.
5. HOLD CONVERSATIONS
Nothing will make you seem more authentic than holding a real, personal conversation with someone, and social media gives you the perfect opportunity to do this. Watch carefully for new comments from your fan/followers on your blog post or a social media post and when you see one get involved and speak naturally. You will instantly build at least one personal relationship with your brand and anyone who watches the trails of your conversation will think of you as being more authentic.
6. AVOID ANY ROBOTIC RESPONSE
A lot of companies use “automated response formulas” to make the process of customer service on social media easier. In many instances, they might have a written template that says something along the lines of “Thank you for your comment. Please fill out contact form here, or call…” These may seem to make the process quicker for your brand, but they come off as robotic and uncaring. If you want your brand to be more authentic, stop them, and write out custom responses for every inbound customer query.
With these strategies in mind, your audience should find you more authentic in nature but if you’re concerned about how well you are adopting them, there is a way to evaluate your audience’s perceptions even though I started this blog by stating that brand authenticity cannot really be measured. Try and simply ask your audience directly by conducting once in a while brand surveys with portions of your audience using factors that portray authoritativeness, integrity, and authenticity. If you see your collective brand authenticity score going up then this is a definitive proof that the above strategies are working.