By Johan Calitz on Jul 28, 2022
Social Media offers businesses unique opportunities to engage with their prospects and customers on a human level. Instead of just selling at your customers, you can connect with them, create a bond and strengthen that bond over time. Social media authenticity enables you to make real, lasting connections with your customers. But if you do not come across as genuine, your efforts can backfire.
People want to do business with brands they can relate to and trust. They want to do business with brands that project values similar to their own. Do it right, and social media can help you to create evangelists for your brand. In a recent survey, 86% of people said authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.
Your customers want to feel your business has their best interests at heart. Make them feel like they are walking wallets and your only interest is to get their money, and you’ve lost them.
Social media authenticity involves honestly showing your customers what your company is all about, offering them value, interacting with them and promoting conversation and honest feedback.
Following are some good starting points for authentic social media that will gain you customer loyalty.
When determining your direction on social media, you first need to be clear about your brand’s positioning, messaging and purpose.
The most important factors in social media authenticity are honesty and transparency. To be authentic, you need to show how the sausage is made. Share behind the scenes photos and information. Be honest about what your products do and don’t do.
Talk about challenges and how you ae addressing them, but at the same time, don’t go overboard and undercut your brand. The idea is to show how you truthfully faced challenges and successfully developed solutions to make your brand stronger. Don’t pretend to always be perfect, but don’t be negative either. Your competition is only too ready to cut you down without you doing it for them.
Remember that it takes a long time to build trust, but only a minute to lose it. Be open to questions and criticism and never be defensive. Mistakes happen, but people want to know you will address them, because you have their best interests at heart.
If you or your social media manager make a false claim or try to spin a mistake rather than just admitting to it, you can lose the trust of your customers. And remember, in the age of social media and review sites, a misstep can go viral within hours.
People connect to human beings not corporations. So don’t be afraid to show your humanity in your quest for social media authenticity.
For example, tell human stories about how the founders started the company, their challenges, mistakes and ultimate successes. For example, did they meet in grad school and come up with the idea at the little café where they always studied late at night?
People remember stories. They relate to them.
It’s a common saying that people buy from those they know, like and trust. So, create interesting content revealing yourself as a likeable human being who can make people laugh and who an also laugh at yourself.
How much humor and what kind of humor you want to display depends upon your business. A cutting edge software company with a young audience is going to have a different voice than a large law firm. But whatever you are selling, as long as you establish trust, you don’t have to be deadly boring about it.
Social media offers you opportunities to interact with and bond with your customers. Many brands even use Twitter as a customer service channel.
Respond to comments, create surveys, offer contests and encourage your audience to create their own content around your brand. This can be done by promising to publish the best post of showing a customer using your product possibly with some kind of prize attached. After all, in a recent survey, 60% of consumers said user-generated content is the most authentic kind.
You can’t humanize your brand and achieve social media authenticity if you are always trying to sell to your audience. Offer them interesting content, content that offers valuable tips and information. When you are selling, you are not bonding.
That doesn’t mean you can never talk about how your products and services can help people. But keep it to a low roar. Your self-promotional content should clearly be the minority.
You probably do want to set up a social media calendar, but keep it flexible to enable you to react to trends, news stories and events. You want your social media to be about conversation not canned commercial messages.
If you want to up your social media game, connect with your customers, increase sales and build loyalty, look to Umbrella Local. Our experts can discuss what social media channels make sense for your company, and the best ways for you to interact with your customers on each. Contact Umbrella Local today for a meaningful conversation about how we can help your business.
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