5 Tips to Increase your Social Media Authenticity
In recent years, social media has become all the rage. Big millennial brands have Instagram accounts boasting up to millions of followers. This gives them a serious leg up in the market.
But, social media engagement is harder than it seems. While on the surface it looks like it’s just posting content and commenting, it is much more.
You MUST be authentic.
These days millennials and Gen X make up a large amount of social media users, with 86% of users in the US being millennials alone. And they can smell a lie on social media faster than you can say “marketing!”
And when that happens, your social media “score” is tarnished. Word spreads fast online. Twitter hashtags can trend in a manner of seconds and a video can go viral on Instagram in minutes.
The worst thing you can have happen is bad press for you trending on the front page. (Even worse when influencers start hopping on the trend train!)
But how exactly can we be authentic online? It’s so easy to embellish! Well, read on to find out my 5 tips on being more authentic on social media!
1. Have up to date photos that are not heavily edited.
Having old photos can serve to be a setback. Today, social media is incredibly visual, having grainy photos from 2010 is not going to cut it.
In addition, a lot of photos nowadays reference contextual events happening NOW. Not having photos that reflect that can fail to connect with certain demographics (like millennials!)
Moreover, it’s likely that your brand has evolved since then. Therefore, you need updated photos to show your potential customers what you’re doing now.
Likewise, while consistent aesthetic bodes well for businesses, heavy filters are a no-go. Stay away from excessive filters that make your photos look like they belong in the archives of Myspace.
Photos that are up to date, clear and crisp will help to represent the current idea and image of your brand.
And you don’t need a fancy camera either. Nowadays a smartphone camera works great in a pinch.
2. Respond fast.
This! There’s nothing more disheartening as a customer than waiting forever for a response.
Have a dedicated Instagrammer who replies to comments quickly. Or, if you have a Facebook page, get your social media coordinators to keep on top of that live chat!
Ideally, emails should be replied to within 24 hours and comments and chat within 12 hours!
A quick “Hi! How can I help you today?” shows customers that there is someone “real” behind the screen. This tells them that you’re more than a company, you’re here to help.
This can do wonders to a customer’s mood and shows them that you care.
Plus, with Facebook, it shoes your average response time, giving you a boost in authenticity!
3. Be transparent and vulnerable.
This is where authenticity really comes in. Customers today are much more likely to be loyal to a brand they relate to. (That they perceive as authentic!)
And being honest and vulnerable are two great ways to achieve that.
Being transparent tells your audience that you are on their side. You’re not hiding from them, you’re inviting them on this journey with you.
This makes them feel like they’re genuinely important and have a part to play, which is great!
There are many ways to achieve this. Replying instantly on Twitter to address brand PR is one. And releasing official statements within 24 hours is another.
Another are Ask Me Anything’s (AMA’s). Popularised by Reddit in the last few years, AMA’s have also spread to Instagram, Youtube, Facebook and Snapchat.
This involves the audience asking questions, and the company answers via live broadcast or by recording a video for their social media pages!
Secondly, vulnerability is everything. No-one is perfect, that includes brands.
For example, while your social media feed can be as curated as you want. You can use stories (such as Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat) to post the negatives too.
In other words, feel free to post about how the air-con in the office is broken. Or how the supply didn’t arrive in time, stressing everyone out.
Customers love knowing that the face behind the company is a person just like them.
4. Stay away from clickbait.
Clickbait. Titles. Are. The. Worst. The absolute worst. If your specialty is video content please stay away.
I get that the views are enticing but I can promise a majority of those will then leave angry comments.
For example, I recently came across a Youtube video titled similar to: “Oh my god (Huge Company Name) just did WHAT?!?!” With a bunch of angry emojis on the thumbnail.
The comment section was filled with angry viewers! That’s because said “Huge Company” didn’t do anything bad. They had actually released a new product.
But the title and thumbnail made it seem like there was drama. This attracted a certain demographic who were then disappointed and angry. (Which means that demographic then saw that brand as a liar!)
5. Engage, engage, engage.
Lastly, you must engage. Engage within your immediate community and also within your niche.
Your immediate community are your customers and people who comment on your photos or send you a private message.
However, your niche are other people or brands in the same space as you.
This means, comment on others’ posts and photos, like their posts, don’t be shy to private message them to start a chat!
This boosts the amount of people who see your brand name. Which is great because it tells them that you are an active, genuine participant in your niche who cares.
So there we have it! Follow these 5 tips and you will see that slight adjustments will do wonders in your social media standing.