Social media has given brands a whole new set of tools for reaching their target audiences. And although it’s relatively “easy” to get in front of the right people, it’s much more difficult to ensure your content is having the right impact.
There’s no magic formula for making this work, but nearly everyone agrees that a successful social campaign works to generate authentic content. This is because people can spot inauthentic material from a mile away, and this is going to have a big impact on how they perceive your brand. Hint: paying a celebrity to claim they’ve never had cereal before, and that yours is the best, probably won’t be as effective you want it to be.
As a result, you need to work hard to create authenticity with your social media efforts, and here are four ways to help you do it.
1. Be Honest and Transparent
This should go without saying, but far too many brands try to pull a fast one on their audiences, and this always backfires. Using overly-edited photos and sensational/questionable headlines may get you more likes and shares, but is it really driving the type of engagement you want? Probably not.
Make sure you and any influencers you might be working with filter some raw content in with the professional stuff. This helps your brand seem more “real,” which will attract a better response and more positive brand associations.
2. Stop with the Calls to Action
At its core, a marketing campaign is designed to drive sales. But try to avoid turning every online interaction into a plea to “buy now.” People will get sick and tired of this, and they’ll begin to question why they are interacting with you in the first place.
It’s better to take a broader approach and use your social media presence to build relationships around trust and transparency. This way, when you do post something encouraging action, people are more likely to respond.
3. Own Your Mistakes
Mistakes are normal. You likely won’t be judged too harshly for innocent missteps. But you will be judged by the way you respond. Deleting content, or ignoring a mistake you made, is only going to make things worse. People who saw it will never forget, and if you don’t do anything to address your error, this is the impression that will stick in their minds. It’s much better to just come out and apologise, as this helps establish credibility and makes your social presence feel more human.
4. Avoid Clickbait
Obviously, we all need to work to prove social ROI, but this doesn’t mean you should jump on every trend and use it as a way to try and draw clicks and likes. Doing this will just make it look like you’re trying too hard, which will present you as less authentic than you want to be. Instead, focus on creating good, engaging content that could stand as a permanent attribution to your brand, as this is what people want, and it’s the content they are far more willing to interact with.
Take time to plan out a strategic, authentic campaign, and you will be rewarded with better engagement and higher returns on your social content.