In an age where everyone seems to have a suite of social media accounts, it can be difficult to create a human connection with the people who follow you.
The screen becomes a barrier and it becomes harder and harder to give consumers the human contact they crave. But this kind of authenticity is important if you want to boost sales.
And social media is the perfect place to show off your authenticity – it is, after all, the place to be social.
Think about it: it’s incredibly easy to set up a social media presence of some kind. The real struggle begins when you want to create a presence that’s trustworthy and, in turn, leads to more conversions.
So what can you do to be more authentic? We’ve rounded up a selection of top tips to get you started.
1. Be Transparent
Around 57% of the purchasing process actually happens before a consumer even talks to your sales team. This means if you want to sway them, you have to show off who you are long before any kind of interaction happens.
Social media provides the perfect opportunity to do this. Not only can you present your personality to consumers (who are more likely to buy from you if they resonate with your beliefs), but you can give them a sneak peek behind the scenes to spark and grow a long-term connection.
Being transparent means sharing your successes and failures and being honest with your consumers about your brand and products.
Top Tips For Being Transparent:
- If you sell a product, share the story behind how you make it, like where the materials come from and how you came up with the idea
- If you run a service, highlight the work that goes into creating an awesome customer experience
- Show off your customer stories
- Respond to comments and customer interactions openly and honestly (that means no deleting difficult comments)
This will prove to customers that you are trustworthy and they are therefore more likely to buy from you.
2. Start Conversations – Don’t Just Sell
It’s tempting to use your social media platforms to push your products in front of new and unsuspecting audiences, but this can actually be a huge turn off.
We’ve all seen feeds that are full of updates like “BUY NOW” or “Check out our latest product”. And, while it’s all well and good giving your followers a heads up on what’s new, shoving your brand down their throats over and over again won’t foster a loyal relationship.
Instead, you want to open conversations with consumers, take part in thoughtful discussions, and talk about the topics they’re talking about. Brands are no longer just vessels to buy from, they are also powerhouses of good with their own unique beliefs and missions – so use social media to showcase this.
Top Tips for Starting Conversations:
- Identify where your target customers are hanging out by using a tool like BuzzSumo to see what platforms people share content the most on in your industry
- Explore the topics your target customers are talking about with their peers and other relevant brands
- Think about the ways you can join in
- Ask thoughtful questions and respond to posts with your knowledge and experience
- Remember you’re a human being speaking to another human being – it’s as simple as that
Innocent Drinks regularly get involved in their customers’ conversations and get people talking about the brand.
3. Be Consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to creating an authentic social media presence. You want your followers to begin to expect updates from you, rather than simply popping up once in a while when you remember you need to post something.
Not only should you show up regularly, but your message and brand voice should be recognizable from platform to platform. If you support one particular cause, make sure you don’t flip flop on that, as that’s a surefire way for customers to lose trust in you.
Instead, you want to present yourself as a steady bastion of knowledge that provides an excellent customer experience time and time again.
Top Tips For Being Consistent:
- Find out when your target customers are the most active on your chosen social media channels and post regularly at those times
- Keep your brand voice consistent across channels
- If you’re vocal about causes you believe in, make sure you are consistent in the way you talk about it
4. Keep Customers Front of Mind
Whatever your social media strategy is the key to being authentic is to always put your customers first. Creating a social media presence isn’t solely about you and showing off what you offer, it’s about creating meaningful connections with the people that matter.
This means understanding your customers’ wants, needs, and pain points and using these to fuel an open dialogue and relevant updates.
Top Tips for Keeping Customers Front of Mind:
- Survey your customers or ask them what their challenges, pain points, wants and needs are
- Use this to fuel your social media strategy and create posts that provide a solution to these issues
- Use data and information you have about your customers to create personas
- Whenever you’re about to post something on social media, ask yourself whether it’s relevant to your customer personas
Authenticity is Key to Social Media Success
If you want to see success on social media, you have to be authentic. Consumers today have no time for inauthentic brands. Instead, they crave deeper, more meaningful connections with the brands they buy from – so give them what they want.
Start by gaining a better understanding of who your customers are, be transparent with what you’re offering, get involved in relevant conversations, and, at all times, be consistent.