If there’s something just as (if not more, we’ll explain why later) important as being present on social media, is being authentic on social media. Although it may sound redundant that being authentic on social media could be even more important than being on social media, it’s possible and it happens more often than you may think.
Being on social media doesn’t just mean opening accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and whatever, you name it, it means also being active. If you have social media accounts and nothing new has been posted since Justin Bieber’s release of ‘Baby’, you might as well delete your social account right now.
Social media accounts require time to grow and business owners need to understand that they’re not just hit and run jobs. You create the account, fill it up with boring static information about your company and hope that customers will start queuing at the door. No, it doesn’t work like that. You need to be social! You need to be active, you need to be authentic. Here’s why this is so important.
Authenticity is the key to a solid business relationship with your clients
Whenever a company is not authentic on social media, people know it. Most people on social media are digital natives and they have been “socialmedeing” longer than you have been in charge of a business (most likely).
Being authentic is fundamental when approaching your clients and possible clients, because they can feel an immediate connection to a brand that actually listens to their needs and requirements.
People want to identify with the person they are engaging with and this is why your brand needs to have a voice. Social media users want to talk with a real person. They want to be assured that a real person is reading their comments and questions and takes the time to come up with a customized response, not just a random generated “reply” message.
While it takes longer to answer everybody with a unique message, tailored for their exact questions, being authentic pays off on the long run.
90% of Millennials crave authenticity
Millennials have slowly become the economic motor of today’s world. Of course, this differs from country to country to country, from economy to economy, but in just a decade, this statement will need no further explanations.
According to a study conducted by Social Media Today, 90% of millennials want authenticity from the brands they interact with on social media. Not only that, but this specific age group now commands $200 billion of the annual spending power, which means that brands better listen, and they better listen good to what they have to say.
Millennials can spot fakes a mile away when it comes to social media accounts. If a brand has bought its followers and subscribers, they can easily tell and step away from their pages. Brands with 10,000 fans on Facebook with only 10 likes per post are the easiest to spot and they are also the first to be outed by the community.
It’s better to have less fans, but a real following. Developing a community is more important than faking popularity, because not only will social media users call you out sooner, or later, but social networks also have algorithms that will ban or shadow ban your content (making it visible to fewer and fewer users). If your fan/reaction ratio is low, your content will stop appearing in people’s newsfeeds. Still not convinced that authenticity is crucial for your social media accounts?
Good content is great. Original content is even better!
A brand’s authenticity (or rather lack of) can be spotted in more ways than one. Sure, you can put effort into your communication and generate some good content for your company’s social media accounts, but then again, anyone with a small budget, time or skills can do that. So, what makes you stand out? What’s your X factor?
Well, the answer may be simpler than you think. Actually, it could be right in front of you. Still don’t get it yet? It’s you! People like original content. They want authentic content. Social media users are tired of seeing all those stock photos placed on articles “written by our Communication Director”, or some other exec in your company.
Your followers want to see something authentic. Something relatable. They want to see photos of you, your employees and your real offices, not those perfect stock photos that are the sheer definition of the word ‘generic’.
Make it a priority to be more authentic and the positive results will be short to follow. Authenticity is something your followers, clients and future clients will appreciate and expect from you, and you will start receiving the same treatment from them. If the feedback you receive is authentic, that means that you’ll have an easier time developing better products and services, tailored to your customers’ needs.
Be authentic and start collecting that valuable feedback! Build an honest brand and long lasting business relationships through social media.