Authenticity in Action: Using Social Media to Humanize Your Brand

by | Social Media

Authenticity in Action: Using Social Media to Humanize Your Brand

Authenticity is a word you hear a lot in the media right now. Lots of industries talk about trying to create more authentic messages. But in social media, it can feel challenging at best. Does brand authenticity really exist in social media? What does it look like? Is there a way to build it into your core values?

The good news is that the answer is yes. Audiences increasingly look for brands that prioritize transparency. They want genuine, approachable brands with which they can align and support their cause. They look for attention-grabbing content with which they can engage and for ways to join a community.

If that sounds difficult, don’t worry. Creating meaningful content doesn’t require a lot of energy, time, or work. Instead, it starts with a plan.

What Is Brand Authenticity?

Brand authenticity refers to a brand that consistently delivers on its promises, maintains transparency in its actions, and fosters genuine connections with its audience. People want a brand that’s honest and true to its values, promises, and identity.

As a brand, you are responsible for creating an external image that showcases your internal values and behaviors. People want to do business with companies they can trust and relate to. Authenticity helps build that trust, leading to long-term success and a positive brand perception.

This isn’t something you can ignore; 88 percent of consumers say that authenticity is crucial when deciding what brands to support. And while older generations may look for it, millennials and Gen Z consumers demand it. If they don’t feel it, they won’t hesitate to look for another brand that does.

Making promises to your customers is easy, but authenticity goes beyond this. You need to create a culture that delivers on your promises. Do you provide value? Are you true to your messaging? Today’s audiences can tell and won’t hesitate to call you out.

Why Is Brand Authenticity Important on Social Media Channels?

Social media started for a reason. People wanted ways to connect with people online, and the answer was social media. While the reasons may change from person to person, in general, they are looking for:

  • Connectivity: It’s an easy way to connect with family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances regardless of geographical location. It enables them to share updates, stay in touch, and maintain relationships.
  • News: It serves as a source of information on the topics you’re most interested in. You can follow pages, accounts, and hashtags to stay informed.
    Entertainment: Many come for the engagement and entertainment of watching videos, browsing memes, reading funny posts, or following current culture.
  • Self-expression: It’s a platform that allows you to share your thoughts, opinions, photos, videos, and artwork with the world.
  • Education: If you have a need or desire, you can find it on social. Social media allows you to join online courses, engage in discussions, and grow through continuous learning and skill development.

People come for all these reasons and more. It’s the smart marketer who learns to marry a viewer’s need and desire with their own marketing message. To create a brand that provides what users want with a way to grow their business.

Anyone can blast out promotional content. However, developing an authentic social media strategy that demonstrates transparency alongside your core values takes more work.

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What Does Authenticity on Social Media Look Like?

Authenticity isn’t something you build overnight. Instead, you strive for it, build on it, and grow with it as you continue to communicate online.
Your brand’s voice should showcase values and personality. Be consistent in tone and messaging as you move across channels and platforms. It’s about showing up and being true to your word no matter where you speak.

It’s about building transparency at every turn in the road. Celebrate your successes. Talk about setbacks. Communicating the bumps in the road humanizes your brand and shows that you’re always thinking of ways to do it better.

Your audience is there, waiting for meaningful communication. They want someone to laugh with and learn from, someone who will answer questions and address concerns.

Action is critical. You can’t expect to grow a community if you’re unwilling to play. This doesn’t have to take time out of your day; once you have your strategy in mind, you can hire it out. In fact, this makes your authentic voice even stronger because it helps you build and grow.

How to Build Brand Authenticity

It starts by thoroughly defining your audience. Who are you targeting? What are their demographics? This is about moving past thinking about your audience as customers; define them as if they’re your best friends.

Of course, this isn’t something you define just once. Instead, it’s about looking at who your audience is and how they change over time. The closer you get to your audience, the more you’ll learn. This is where crafting content gets even easier.

With your customer in mind, it’s time to turn that insight into a long-term social strategy. You’ll see ways they align with what you’re trying to communicate to the world. What are your brand values? What makes you different? Why do customers choose you over competitors?

Think of one customer at a time. Why did they choose you? This can help you create stories and start community-building strategies. Where there is one, there are many. This is where it’s easiest to showcase your beliefs, culture, and authenticity.

And as you build, don’t forget to measure your success along the way. Without goals, you won’t be able to tell when you meet your marks.

It’s Time to Start

If you wish to be relevant and continue meaningfully connecting with your audience, we can’t overstate the importance of building your brand authenticity online. Today’s customers can easily detect when a brand isn’t authentic. They’re looking for experiences that align with their values and beliefs—it can be you.

It starts with a desire to grow and change. It starts with a goal to be true to your word. Design the experience to speak your truths. Your audience will be there waiting for you.

What are your core values, and how do they play into your brand’s authenticity online?

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