Social Media Runs on Authenticity
That sounds simple, but developing a true and honest voice can be extremely difficult, especially if you work with a brand that’s difficult to personalize. A common misconception is that social media should be used to generate leads and increase click-through rates for a company or brand. However, social media works most successfully in generating brand loyalty.
Social media expert Adrienne Royer sums up the importance of brand authenticity:
“Social media is based on relationships. At its core, it needs to be real, authentic and reflect two-way communication. If it’s not genuine, readers, followers or fans will figure it out and feel betrayed or manipulated.”
There Are Questions About Authenticity
Should a CEO or presidential candidate waste time tweeting? That’s up to the individual. However, brands, campaigns, nonprofit organizations, and other businesses need to be transparent about who is doing the updating and why they are doing it. Ghostwriting for the CEO will ultimately get you in trouble and harm your brand.”
Running with these ideas, here are some tips on generating and maintaining an authentic voice with social media:
Social media, at its core, is an automation of human interactions. That’s why authenticity is so important when it comes to generating brand loyalty: your audience will know if you’re being disingenuous. Move away from posting updates that focus on selling or the promotion of products and move towards offering your consumer valuable information.
Once you’ve successfully initiated a conversation between your brand and your consumer, you’re able to move towards genuine brand loyalty. This is, literally, forming a friendship between your brand and your consumer. Be polite, post genuine and valuable content and engage often.
Don’t be afraid to go outside of your brand when updating you social media assets. Post information related to your brand, events happening in your community, and content that will entertain your consumer base. Just like in a real-life friendship, no one wants to hang out with someone who is boring. Making your social media platforms fun places to visit will get them visited more often.
Don’t Sell Your Brand
Few people use social media (traditionally) to buy anything. When promoting your business or service via social media, avoid constant updates that do nothing but sell.
While social media is a great place to promote coupons or special deals, when applicable, the majority of your posts and updates should be devoted to providing valuable content to your consumer base. Focus on increasing “LIKES,” follows and circle adds. If you do it well, chances are your efforts will lead to sales.
Create a Schedule, Don’t Go Overboard
This one is simple. Create a schedule for posts and stick to it, but don’t go overboard. In other words, don’t be annoying. A good practice is to develop a standard updating schedule. Depending on your brand and the inherent limitations therein, this could range from two to three updates per day or seven to ten. Make sure these updates are spread out throughout the day, as most social media platforms run on as a rolling ticker. Ten posts back to back won’t have as great a reach as five posts spread out over the course of several hours.
Also, make sure that each update is worth it. Never post for the sole purpose of posting. Pumping out cheap content or hasty announcements will only make your social media assets appear cheap and pointless. Running a social media campaign is difficult, and this is one of the biggest reasons why: updating your social media assets is serious business, take the time to curate content that is entertaining, useful and accessible.
Represent your brand honestly. Don’t try and be Apple if you’re Linux at heart. Brand authenticity starts with people, and the most important thing you can do in any social media campaign is to be yourself.
→ David Pemberton… @Dave_Your_Fave