Developing authenticity on social media

social-mediaHow does it feel when you realize you’re being pitched something? Do you get a little twitchy and anxious to move on to something more meaningful and fulfilling when you see a clear attempt to sell you on a product? We all do.

With this in mind, being authentic on social is key to success, but how do you do it?

Authenticity is all about being genuine, which sounds simple, and it mostly is — once you have a couple of tips under your belt.

Fries before Guys — As with any marketing project, priorities are important in social media. More than sales or brand awareness, your main goal should be offering valuable information. So before you get into the sales pitch or behind-the-scenes corporate stuff, make sure you’re providing tips and advice that’s relevant to your followers. Be a resource and promote the sharing of ideas. That — and the occasional cat video — will give your followers a reason to keep coming back.

Bye, Felicia — Don’t want your followers to dismiss your message or, worse, you? Stay away from the brand-speak. People want the real you, the person behind the company. To get them to care about you (and your business), engage like a real person would. Don’t refer to yourself as your business. Comment and ask questions. Provide valuable information just for the sake of it, rather than always asking for something in return.

Messy Hair, Don’t Care — Life isn’t perfect, and your social media shouldn’t be either. By that, we mean you don’t have to use perfect grammar or big, fancy words in your social interactions. Communicate professionally but like you would if you were chatting with a colleague at the office or networking with someone over lunch. People trust people — and want to buy from people — who are real, flaws and all.

It may be quick and easy to set up your online presence, but developing relationships takes time. Remaining consistently engaged and interacting authentically with your followers is the foundation that will build your social media success.