Social Media Blog 5: Being Authentic on Social Media
posted on 8th Mar 2021 by Jennifer Murphy
We mentioned a few weeks ago that our No. 1 piece of advice for brands marketing on social media is to be authentic. This is because the collaborative and participatory nature of Web 2.0 created the foundations for the rise of social media platforms and these platforms were designed for people, not brands. In order to be welcome on social media, brands need to be able to relate to their followers in a human way and this is achieved through authenticity. This week we’re going to explore how brands can be authentic on social media.
Being Authentic on Social Media
Follow your Mission statement
Your brand’s mission statement is its reason for being and highlights the impact the brand wants to have on the world. Your mission statement will be unique to your brand and will inform its core values and goals. Since social media is likely to be a consumer’s first point of contact with your brand, then your mission should be evident from your account. This means that rather than trying to following online trends you should make sure your content is aligned with your mission and associated core values. Buydeology is a term which describes how consumers want to associate themselves with brands that share their values and beliefs. If your values aren’t evident on your social account then it’s difficult for your followers to establish a connection.
Maintain a Consistent Tone of Voice Across Social Channels
Your brand’s tone of voice (TOV) is absolutely something that needs to be considered before you start being active on social media. Once you’ve created TOV guidelines for your brand you need to follow them in each and every online engagement. Always avoid “auto reply” style responses to your followers. If your TOV is inconsistent this suggests that your social media account is not a good representation of your brand and prospective customers won’t be able to figure out who you are and what you’re about. Maintaining a consistent TOV across all platforms shows followers that you are trustworthy and that your social media presence is an authentic reflection of your brand.
Create Value Adding Social Content
To be authentic on social media you need to avoid overtly commercial content as much as possible. A good rule to follow is that 20% of your content can be commercial and 80% should be value adding content. Value adding content is relevant to your own target audience and can be informative, educational or inspirational. When posting commercial content try to focus on how your product or service can help your customers achieve their goals or solve problems they might have.
You should also engage with other relevant accounts in a non-commercial way by joining conversations or liking or sharing content. You might use a social listening tool to monitor online activity and find content and conversations that are relevant to your brand. Show that you’re listening and that you respect and value the opinions and ideas of others. User generated content (UGC) is a cornerstone of Web 2.0 and embracing UGC is an essential part of demonstrating your brand’s authenticity and your appreciation of your followers.
Build Online Relationships
The best part about being authentic online is being able to form a connection with your followers and build relationships. Take the time to engage with prospects and clients on an individual level on social media. Consumers are more likely to remain loyal and even increase their spending with a brand when they feel a connection to them online.
So where should you start?
Firstly, ask yourself does your brand identity accurately reflect the mission statement it was built on? If not it will be hard to create TOV guidelines or engage with people online in an authentic way online. It will also be hard to figure out who your audience are which is an essential step in creating value adding content. If you want to explore the potential that your brand identity holds and how you can authentically present this identity online then you might get in touch with Neworld for a chat.