The right social media strategy can create a real connection between your brand and its customers. If your social media marketing campaigns seem to be falling flat, you may want to check if your posts strike a truly authentic note. When you come across on social media as authentic, consumers respond to your brand as legitimate and attractive.
Why Authenticity Matters in Social Media
Social media is where people go for casual communication with friends and where they seek their "tribe." When your brand establishes a presence on social media, you’re in essence saying you want to be a friend. If you strike the wrong tone by being too pushy about selling your products or by seeming to pander to, say, millennial’s, you come across as inauthentic and can actually drive potential customers away.
To find the right tone on social media, be true to who you are as a company. Every company’s voice is different. If your voice is more professional and formal, then posting memes doesn’t fit with that. You make the best impression when you have the same tone across your social media, website and marketing materials.
Avoid These Social Media Mistakes
Social media is an incredible tool for connecting with your customers in a way that has never really existed before. But with all its possibilities come dangers as well. If you treat social media cavalierly or make any of the following mistakes, you could do great damage to your business and your brand. Consider these tips:
- Don’t ignore comments from customers. Often customers who are unhappy express themselves vociferously on social media. If you think, "Oh, well, I’ve lost that customer already," you’re making a huge mistake. For every complaining customer, there are dozens watching to see how you respond. Instead, respond quickly, honestly, and proactively.
- Don’t turn your social media management over to automation. Yes, it takes time to respond to comments personally. And yes, it’s so much easier to queue up your posts and tweets weeks ahead of time. But when you do that, pretty soon, your readers can tell. They can certainly tell when they’re getting a response from a bot. As soon as your customers feel that you’re not listening, they leave.
- Don’t over-promote your business. It doesn’t take much for your customers to feel as if you’re taking up too much of their time and start to hide your posts and tweets. Make sure that you intersperse promotional posts with ones that provide some value to the customer, anything ranging from discount offers to helpful tips.
Tips for Achieving Social Media Authenticity
Engaging with customers honestly and consistently is the heart of achieving authenticity on social media. Keep these tips in mind as you post, comment, tweet, and share on your social media platforms.
- Respond to comments on your own pages, and take part in conversations in a positive way. Comments on blogs are a way to stand out as well, as long as you avoid linking to your own site (a big internet etiquette no-no).
- Admit it right away whenever you’re wrong or make a mistake. If you make a comment and realize it’s offensive to some people, own it rather than trying to sweep it under the rug (which won’t do you any good, anyway, since someone certainly has taken a screenshot of it). If your products break, apologize without blaming the consumer, and make the situation right.
- Post candid photos. Increasingly, social media is driven by the visual, and photos that let your consumers see your shop, your employees, and even your pets can provide a warm and welcome personal connection.
Keep things simple and honest to strike an authentic tone on social media and win over customers who may be suspicious of overselling.