Social media isn’t just an integral part of our personal lives. It’s also a must-have for brands looking to deepen connections with their target audiences.
But with companies frequently under fire for appearing insensitive, overly corporate, or trying too hard, creating and maintaining an authentic brand presence is essential for social media success.
Before your next post, check out our three tips to elevate your brand into one that’s more relatable and meaningful.
Tip 1: Determine Your Overall Brand Purpose and Values
The first step? Defining what “authenticity” means to your brand. This is the time to conduct thorough research into your target audience and ask questions such as:
What does your business stand for? Do you champion a purpose, such as climate action, gender equality, or body positivity?
What qualities define who you are as a company? What types of content will make you feel less like a large corporation and more of a trusted personal connection?
What is something your social media followers can stand behind? What do they care about?
Once you’ve determined the values that set you apart from your competitors, you’ll want to infuse them into everything you post, share, and promote.
And remember: Haters gonna hate! Not everyone will agree with your brand or understand your values from day one, and that’s okay — in fact, they probably didn’t belong to your target audience in the first place.
Tip 2: Have a Clear Brand Voice and Identity
A brand with a personality is one people will remember. Ask yourself: How do you want your audience to perceive your brand? Are you cheeky? Friendly? Informal? Witty?
As an indicator of who you are, your brand voice must be consistent across platforms — switching your brand voice willy-nilly is a major red flag that can cause social media users to feel like you’re pandering to them.
Take the time to create a comprehensive tone and voice guide that everyone on your team can use to find alignment.
A thriving social media community is one of the biggest accomplishments for any brand, and participating in conversations is where you’ll be able to demonstrate your authenticity the most.
Rather than solely broadcasting marketing messages, develop a social media strategy that involves creating content that’s genuinely useful, informative, or entertaining to your audience.
Don’t be afraid of instigating or engaging in one-on-one conversations — it’s one of the best ways to show your followers that you care about them.
Consider spotlighting or designing shout-outs for your most loyal fans — it’s not only a great way to show appreciation for their support, but it also boosts social proof for other followers.
Sharing relatable customer stories that demonstrate aligned goals and values can go a long way in creating an emotional connection between your brand and your community.
Being transparent and honest is a must for building authentic relationships — brands that delete negative comments, ignore or have a defensive reaction to negative feedback, or avoid taking responsibility will ultimately erode trust with their followers.
Scheduling posts will keep you sane, but remember that authenticity also comes from reacting quickly to real-time comments, trends, and events. (Pro tip: social media management software that monitors engagement and sentiment can massively help here.)
Let’s Stay Real
Building an authentic brand is not an overnight process — just like building any relationship, it’s essential to be patient, listen to feedback from followers, and learn as you go.
To understand the impact of your social media efforts, you’ll need a system that tracks key metrics across all platforms and channels. Check out how the AdRoll Cross-Channel Performance Dashboard can help you understand the role social media plays in your marketing efforts, so you can make real-time adjustments based on what works best for your audience.
Last updated on June 8th, 2022.