I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that social media changed marketing in a huge way! When I finished my marketing degree in 2004 social media was only just getting started, but at this point there was no link between businesses and marketing.
Now over 17 years on (yes I am old) social media allows businesses and customers to communicate like never before. Businesses are now able to use social media to build trust by having direct contact with consumers. And customers are now able to contact their favorite brands and businesses directly.
Social media really was a game changer in how businesses marketed themselves, however, one of the things that you need to ensure (and so many get wrong) when using social media is to show up authentically in order to build that trust. Not showing up authentically will lead to your customers not trusting you and you could also attract the wrong customers. Done correctly, it’ll ensure you have loyal customers for years to come.
Also, authentic marketing is not just a buzzword I like to throw in, although lots of experts do! I mean it, you should be being authentic in everything you do!
So how can you build more trust and authenticity online? I have outlined 5 ways to ensure you show up and stay authentic.
#1 Show Your Personality
Regardless of the type of business that you are in, this is really important. How do you know if you like someone or get on with them? You get to know their personality and see if some of their values meet yours. This is really easy to do if you are the face of your business because it is literally just showing people who you are, by being who you are.
So what does that look like? Showing your personality can mean you share things that you relate to, or you share what you do in your down time. Another way in which you can show your personality is by showing your face and speaking on camera.
Before you utter the words “NO WAY”…hear me out.
Showing your face is the perfect way to show your personality because it's really hard to be someone you're not when showing up and speaking on camera. I know lots of you won't want to because of the fear of how you will look or if you were to mess up. But that's the beauty of it even if you mess up (which wouldn’t be the end of the world) you will be showing the true you! And trust me people like to see that you are human.
The best thing about showing up like this is that you will attract like-minded people to work with you and will avoid those ones who are not such a good match. Be honest about who you are and show the parts of your business and life that you are comfortable with.
# 2 Listen and Respond
Gone are the days when you could just post and forget! Social media is a two-way street and the whole point of it is to have conversations and listen to people. And this of course is the beauty of it. You can really get to know your customers/potential customers, you can have conversations with them and understand what they need and how you can help them.
If you are starting out or not getting much interaction on your social media then you might have to go and find these conversations, look at the accounts of potential customers or in groups where your customers hang out.
I don’t mean to just sell!
When I talk about listening and responding, I am not talking about selling. This is not an opportunity for you to reply to someone's post and offer your products and services. You should be using this to build relationships or find out more about them and their business. No one wants to put up a post to only have people try and sell to them (unless they have directly asked for it!).
What if someone says something negative?
You need to listen even when people have negative things to say, in fact, especially when people have negative things to say! Ensure you respond in a speedy, appropriate and human way to show people that there is a real person responding behind that screen.
# 3 Be Transparent
Being open and honest with your audience is really important. Well let's face it, it's a good thing to be in all aspects of our lives!
When I say transparent I don’t necessarily mean showing everything – all your dirty laundry! I mean be transparent about who you are and who you aren’t, about what you know and what you can help with.
You can do this by sharing real results from your customers but being honest about how that came about.
Work with me and I can get you 200 members!
For instance, I worked with a 90-day student and helped them launch their brand new membership, I walked them through everything they had to do to launch, how to make sure they maximized their sales and held their hands through the whole thing. They ended up getting over 200 members on their first launch.
So do I say that if you work with me I can get you a launch with over 200 people? No, because being the transparent person that I am I would tell you there were many factors in play as to how that result was achieved, and yes my plan and support were a big factor but it wasn’t the only one!
What if I mess up?
The other thing to remember is that we are all human, and we all make mistakes sometimes. It's just a fact of life. The key is being transparent about that and realizing that mistakes are okay. My advice would be to fix the problem, but then feel ok to share what went wrong and what you learned from it.
# 4 Relate to your audience
The first step here is knowing your audience. This is the most important thing you can do for your business. You could have the best marketing in the world but if you are targeting the wrong people or the marketing doesn’t relate to your perfect customer then that amazing marketing will fall flat!
Relating to your audience is a great way to understand if you truly know your customers. When I talk about relating to them I mean do you know what interests them, what things they read/watch, what posts they love and will want to share? You need to understand their struggles, fears, goals, ambitions, etc.
Then once you have a good idea of who they are, you can create content that will relate to them. You want them to look at your content and think ‘yes that’s me’. When you create content like that they are more likely to engage and share.
# 5 Say Sorry
Even the biggest brands in the world have made some mistakes and knowing when to say sorry is another key element of showing authenticity within your brand. It is okay to make mistakes but when we do we need to admit we were wrong and apologize for it.
There was a great example of this when KFC ran out of chicken! They created a funny but honest poster apologizing for it. The poster included.
“A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It's not ideal.”
“Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who traveled out their way to find we were closed.”
“It's been a hell of a week but we're making progress, and every day more and more fresh chicken is being delivered to our restaurants.”
“Thank you for bearing with us”.
This went down really well on social media and meant that the customers felt better about the situation.
So there you have it, 5 ways that you can show up more authentically on social media. Which have you done? Or which will you do in the future? Why not DM me and let me know.