Social media has definitely shaped the way consumers think. Nowadays, running a business doesn’t just mean creating high quality products and getting them on the market. Ensuring that your brand is relatable to your preferred audience is crucial because authenticity is the number one quality that consumers look for when putting their trust in various brands. The Journal of Consumer Psychology defines brand authenticity as the “extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful toward itself and its customers, motivated by caring and responsibility, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves.”
The more you show your customers that your business is genuine, the more loyalty you’ll receive in return. But how can you successfully illustrate veritability through social media? Here are five tips for establishing brand authenticity:
1. The customer is always right!
Before you start to populate your accounts with posts, you have to keep in mind your target audience. What kind of people will be viewing your products? From there, you can determine how to speak their language. The goal is connecting with your audience, rather than patronizing them. That is the best way to get started!
2. FOMO is a no-go
For those who are out of the loop, FOMO is an acronym for “fear of missing out.” Considering the fast-paced world we live in, consumers adore brands who go out of their way to keep everyone updated about new products — even just a little sneak peek of what goes on behind the scenes or a normal day at the office works, too!
It’s all about producing high quality content in real-time these days. BarkBox, a monthly subscription box service for dog products, toys, and goodies uses the Instagram Stories feature, showing day-in-the-life snapshots and short videos (featuring cute puppies, of course) to reel people in.
Another way to promote brand authenticity is giving out free stuff. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love freebies? That’s another way to engage with your followers and show them how great your product is. GoDaddy, a domain registrar and web-hosting giant, points out that giving away freebies builds trust — which is easily considered one of the pillars of a great business relationship.
3. Keep those push notifications on
Stay active online! Your audience and followers will be much more impressed if you’re able to carry on a two-way conversation through social media. In fact, a LivePerson report shows that about 71% of site visitors expect to receive help within five minutes if they’re shopping online.
JetBlue does a great job engaging with their customers as much as they can and as quickly as possible using their Twitter account.
Also, don’t just use social media platforms to showcase products and sales, making little to no effort to engage with your audience. Without customer interaction, people will quickly see right through you.
4. Keep it classy, not sassy!
Handling negative feedback online should be done with extreme caution. When these things happen (and they will most likely happen), make sure not to fight fire with fire — that will definitely throw people off.
Sotrender gives us some good tips for whenever you have a “hater” on your accounts:
5. Sometimes, you may need a little helping hand
Gone are the days when traditional marketing ruled the space of selling products — that’s for sure. The good part about that is you won’t need Kim Kardashian to hold up your product in a commercial to get the public to want it. In reality, online influencers hold more power these days than anyone else. Marketing research firm Nielsen estimates that 92% of Americans trust word-of-mouth marketing above all other kinds.
Just this year, clothing brand powerhouse H&M tapped into the power of influencers. They partnered with 10 influencers who have 30k to 200k followers to create Instagram Story polls, letting their followers vote on what H&M’s next clothing collection should look like. This sparked online conversations and created buzz surrounding H&M’s new clothing line.
There is no perfect step-by-step formula for promoting your brand’s authenticity through various social channels. It’s just all about reminding your customers that there are human beings behind every account. If you pay close attention to the wants and needs of your target audience, they will return the favor.
Consumers like to feel they are being heard — social media is the perfect avenue to show them that you are listening to their feedback. Through this concept of embracing the “human” nature of your brand, your business can use consumer feedback and user interaction to improve your products and services and move forward on the path to success.