In today’s age of social media, it’s impossible to avoid the social media hype. Likes, vacations, engagements, club sections, new promotions, etc. Social media has provided so much access to other’s lives in the best and worst ways possible. On the one hand, now more than ever, individuals and businesses can grow their brand and have direct access to their followers and audience. We can stay connected to friends and family who live thousands of miles away. On the other hand, we must navigate our feelings of missing out, constantly comparing our lives to others, and feeling as though our profiles have to be perfect.
Speaking as a recovering perfectionist, nothing will ever be perfect. Besides, who wants to be perfect anyway? One of the most important things I’ve learned as I’ve grown as a digital marketer and branding professional is that we connect more to authentic individuals and stories versus fabrications and picture-perfect facades. Does that mean we can’t share our accomplishments on social media? No. It means we shouldn’t be afraid to share some of our low moments as well.
Whether you’re a personal brand or business, your audience is seeking to connect and follow what’s familiar and inspirational. Along with that, your social media presence has to be true to your brand. Your social media should reflect your brand, not your competitors or who you think you should present yourself as. People can smell authenticity a mile away. It’s important to build a brand that reflects you. When you meet a follower in person at an event or out in the city, what will they say? “Omg they are just like they are in person!” or will they say “Wow. They weren’t who they portray themselves as!” Here are a few ways you can ensure your brand on social media authentically represents you:
In an era where we often find safety in familiarity originality remains an integral part of identity of your brand. As cliche as it sounds be yourself, but also express yourself. Fearlessly collaborate with like-minded individuals as you move towards expansion. -DJ Yeti, DJ
#1 Share some of your personal life
I’m not suggesting you have to share every moment of your girls trip or your meals every day. However, posting a pic of you enjoying a hobby, family time or random facts about you help you connect with your audience. Your followers are more likely to read your blog or buy your product because you both have a love for binge-watching This is Us or for your shared love of collecting elephants versus following you because your page has a nice theme.
Being authentic while you’re building a brand is critical to your ability to achieve sustainability. If you’re not being authentic to your core values and your mission, you will find yourself building a brand that does not fit your lifestyle and your beliefs. The way that I focus on building an authentic brand is by setting intentions that match my values and mission for all of the content and events that I create. Christa Clarke, Project Manager + Entrepreneur
#2 Be transparent
Did you have a crappy week or overcome a personal challenge? Your audience wants to hear about it! Your audience will connect with you because they will realize you’re human too. Sometimes we feel pressure to only talk about the highlights in our life and never share the challenges we overcome. We never know when our personal testimony can inspire someone else to action. Your testimony of adjusting to a new career or facing a challenging month shows the world you’re human just like them.
Building your brand means building yourself. You have to go in overdrive for your goals while maintaining your own happiness. At the end of the day, you have to stay true to yourself and your brand needs to be a reflection of you. Whether it is your style, your vision, or your mission, you have to incorporate what motivates you to get up every morning and chase your dreams. This will inspire others and you will then have your own audience separate from competition. - Morgan Carroll, Blogger
#3 Find Your Voice
As mentioned earlier, your social media page is not going to be similar to the next brand. An athletic trainer won’t have the same image as a fashion stylist. A small boutique won’t have the same social media presence as a DJ. Find your voice and use it. Think of your favorite accounts to follow on social media. Why do you follow them? More than likely you follow accounts for specific reasons and it isn’t because of all of the fashion bloggers or restaurants all talk and post the same thing. Yes; it’s good to know what your competitors and fellow brands in the industry are doing but your brand is your brand. Connecting to your audience will happen when you’re authentic in how you represent yourself.
In order to build an authentic brand, you have to be ok with giving your genuine self for the betterment of those around you. Have a vision, go after it full throttle, and stay true to that vision. Your brand is just that YOUR brand so don’t ever feel the need to convince someone to buy into it. People gravitate to the why, not so much the what of what you’re representing. -Darryl W., Influencer
Whether your social media is for personal use, business use, or both, remember to always be authentic. Operating from a place of authenticity will attract the right audience and connections to you if that is your goal.
“Perfection is the antithesis of authenticity.” - Willie Garson