Creating daily social media content for your business can be a struggle for many reasons. Coming up with innovative ideas, keeping track of what you’ve already posted about and finding the balance between promotional content and nonpromotional content is a challenge for any business, no matter if they are big, small, new or seasoned. While most of these problems can be solved by having a strong social media strategy in place, there is one more task that often proves to be difficult for a large number of companies: creating truly authentic social media posts that show your target audience that you care about them and what’s important to them. In other words, your company needs to demonstrate that you are not just looking for a quick sale.
In this article we discuss why it’s important to focus on authenticity in your social media posts and tips for how to devise a successful strategy for creating this type of content for your company. We finish by providing several examples of authentic social media posts that have been particularly successful with consumers.
Why Is It Important To Create Authenticity In Social Media Posts?
While your main goal as a business may be to eventually generate some kind of sale or response from your target audience, creating brand loyalty should also be at the top of your priority list at all times. Why is this so important? Smallbizgenius shares some impressive and compelling statistics:
- 82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper than acquisition.
- 56% of consumers stay loyal to brands that “get them.”
- Increasing costumer retention by just 5% boosts profits by 25-95%.
Additionally, Blog2Social shares with us that “91% of people are willing to reward a brand for its authenticity via purchase, investment, endorsement or similar action. Sixty-one percent of these people will either purchase or show increased purchase interest from authentic brands.”
Clearly creating brand loyalty should be a key piece of your business’s content marketing strategy. But how is that done? One of the best ways to ensure that a consumer becomes (or stays) a loyal customer to your brand is to create authentic social media posts that speak to them.
Social media is notorious for being a toxic place full of debates (or fights) about various hot topics. At times the negativity can cause people to remove themselves entirely from platforms to gain back some peace of mind. Because of this toxicity trend, it’s important that brands set themselves apart from the crowd and become a respite for their tired consumers. Consumers want to see that a brand cares about them beyond a sale, and that in turn will go a long way in creating strong brand loyalty.
How To Create Authentic Social Media Posts
It’s easy enough to understand the need for authenticity in social media posts, but how is this done in the business world when consumers know you always have some sort of agenda? Entrepreneur shares a few key tips to creating authentic social media content:
- Create a connection.
By creating a connection with your audience, you take a huge step toward generating brand loyalty and positive customer satisfaction. While there is no one way to create this relationship with your audience, there are some things you can include in your social media posts that will engage them and get you started on the right track.
- Ask for your audience’s opinion: This is one of the simplest and most beneficial ways to create a connection with your audience. If you want to know something, ask. This can be done by asking your followers to share their opinions about your products or services, creating a poll or just posting a question along with your content.
- Implement their feedback: If you’ve taken the time to ask your audience about how they feel about something, the next step is to show that you’re actually willing to do something with that feedback. This will go a long way in building a relationship with your audience and shows real authenticity.
- Show your appreciation: Showing your appreciation of your customers can be something as simple as responding to their posts, thanking them for their support in your social media content or even sharing some of their own posts that feature your product or service. This user-generated content will not only show your audience that you see them, but it also can serve to open up your company to a brand-new audience.
- Give them an inside look at your business: Showing your customers behind-the-scenes info about your company creates a sense of transparency in your social media posts. This transparency helps your audience to see that your social media content for your business is authentic and trustworthy. Plus, this type of content tends to be very engaging and helps your audience to feel included.
- Don’t make your posts all about business: Customers won’t believe you are displaying authenticity in your social media content if they feel like you are trying to sell to them all the time. Balance the types of content you post about to keep them interested and coming back for more. At Three Girls Media we follow the 80/20 rule. This means that 20% of our content is promotional, while 80% is nonpromotional.
- Be likeable. Sometimes authenticity in social media simply comes down to being likeable. Sounds easy enough, right? Just get everyone in your target audience to like you. While it might sound like a heavy task, it really doesn’t have to be. An extremely effective way to establish likeability is to be vulnerable and share personal stories. If you make a mistake, own up to it. If you have an incredible story of how you or someone in your business overcame hardships, share that. The more you can to do personalize your brand, the more authentic the social media content for your business.
- Stand out from the crowd. The social media content for your business will sound more authentic if you aren’t sharing the same exact things that everyone else is. Find a unique angle or a personal story — anything that will resonate with your audience. This can be done with images, videos or through the copy itself. Just make sure that it’s genuine (your audience will be able to tell if you’re lying to them) and creates a memorable connection with consumers.
Blog2Social also speaks of ways to create authenticity in your business’s social media content in an effort to gain the trust of your consumers.
- Humanize your brand. According to Blog2Social, there are three elements needed to incorporate human traits into your brand. These include:
- Intention: This speaks to using your company’s voice to contribute to “the values people care about rather than seeing everything as ROI and business growth.”
- Effort: This idea is similar to going behind the scenes of your business, but goes a step further than simply sharing about the people on your team or the story behind your business. One key piece of showing your audience your effort is to take advantage of technology (live chats for example) to connect with your audience in real-time.
- Authenticity: This piece of authenticity in your social media content involves using personal branding along with your company branding. An example of this is how Three Girls Media’s CEO, Erika Taylor Montgomery, has her own social media account (where she shares information about both herself and her business) in addition to our official Three Girls Media accounts.
- Encourage user-generated content. Consumers are “2.4 times more likely to consider user-generated content (UGC) authentic compared to brand-generated content.” A simple way of doing this is to host some sort of contest asking your audience to post a photo, story or video of them using your product or service on one of your social media platforms and asking them to use a special hashtag. An even more simple alternative is to ask your customers for reviews and post them on your social media.
- Have a genuine desire to help. If you want to increase your sales, you need to genuinely know how to help your audience solve their problems. Not only that, but you need to WANT to do that, not for the sake of sales but for the sake of your customers. The funny thing is, by not focusing on your sales and instead focusing on the consumer, you in turn can actually increase your sales.
- Avoid shady techniques. The bottom line with this idea is to not use dishonest marketing techniques. Period. Do not inflate your numbers and do not make false claims. In the age of the internet, without fail someone will always find out. And the biggest way to lose a customer and to show that you’re not authentic in your social media content is to flat out lie — and good luck getting those customers back once they find out.
Examples Of Authenticity In Social Media Content
Now that you know the reasons why authenticity in your business’s social media content is so important and you have a better grasp on how to create posts that showcase that authenticity, you should be on the right track to create your own social media posts that will create trust and brand loyalty with your consumers. The problem is, knowing that something is important is unfortunately different than actually doing it. Sometimes the easiest way to learn how to do something is by looking at successful examples of what others have done.
For this reason, here are a couple of examples from Sprout Social of authentic social media content that businesses have created:
- Apple: “#ShotOniPhone”
This UGC campaign challenged iPhone users to take their photos and share them on Apple’s social media feeds. Apple then chose a select few to place on billboards around the world. This campaign showed users that real people could produce quality photos worthy of publication with just a phone. It works because, as stated before, consumers typically consider UGC to be more authentic than brand-generated content. Additionally, the fact that Apple took some of the entries and produced them on a large scale for a vast number of people to see really showed their audience that they appreciate who they are as people and as artists.
- Starbucks: #WhatsYourName
This social media campaign was inspired by “transgender customers sharing stories about trying their new names out at the coffee chain. The video spot features James who is repeatedly deadnamed in various situations. When the Starbucks barista asks for his name, he states it and has it written on a cup.”
“In addition to the video, Starbucks also partnered with Mermaids, a nonprofit supporting gender-diverse kids and their families. The company donated the proceeds of the limited-edition Mermaids Cookie to the organization and surpassed their fundraising goal of $100,000. #WhatsYourName won several awards and demonstrated how successful a social media marketing campaign could be when it reflects a company’s core value.”
This campaign is an excellent example of an authentic piece of social media content. It shows their audience who they are and what they stand for as a company — two things that consumers really want out of the brands they are loyal to.
While the previous two examples are clearly of large businesses with a vast amount of resources to brainstorm and create authentic social media content, small businesses can just as easily create content that connects to their target audience. Hootsuite shares examples that include ideas for brands that might not have a wealth of resources at their disposal:
- Happify: In this social media post, Happify simply asks their audience what they are grateful for. What better way to connect with your audience than to ask them what’s important to them in their own lives?
- Go Clean Co: This brand produces how-to videos to show their consumers how to clean something. It works because it’s not strictly promotional and gives their audience something of value. Additionally, it’s relatable to a very large number of people. Who doesn’t need to clean something from time to time?
- Dominos: While Dominos is arguably a large brand with a big budget, this social media content asking their audience to make their pick because stuffed cheesy bread or parmesan bread bites is something that even small companies can utilize. Give your audience a choice between two things and ask them to pick which is their favorite. It’s as easy as that!
No matter the size of your business, you can create authentic social media content that will encourage your target audience to trust you and remain loyal to your brand. By creating a connection with consumers, showing them your appreciation and having a genuine desire to help them you are bound to be seen as a trustworthy brand who cares about their customers.
Do You Need Help Creating Authentic Social Media Content For Your Business?
If you’re struggling with coming up with authentic social media content for your business, contact us at Three Girls Media for a complimentary 30-minute consultation. Our team is ready to design social media content for your brand guaranteed to create a connection with your target audience. Reach out today!
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