Building Business Connections and Brand Authenticity Using Social Media
We’re in the 21st century. Filters, gimmicks and unoriginal marketing abound. Mindless scrolling is everywhere you turn. People are starved for authenticity, for brands with a human voice, not a robotic Alexa imitation. Setting your company apart from the rest will be tough, but not impossible. Read on for our digital marketing tips on how to make your brand more likable.
Think about the brands you choose to follow. Why do you do it? Is it for the coupons and exclusive deals they offer you? Or for the fantastic customer service they provide? Maybe you follow for the hilarious, relatable content that makes you guffaw.
Most likely, you made the decision to follow based on one or more of these attributes, which all come back to one thing: authenticity. You love feeling like you’re getting a great deal, or that your frustration is being heard through quality customer service. And as for the guffaw-worthy content — that’s self-explanatory. The point is, we humans connect with other humans, not dry, faceless brands. Ensuring your company’s likeability is dependent upon your level of relatability.
Tip 1: Don’t Always Use a Scheduler
In the wild world of social media, you can’t always anticipate what the next hilarious meme or video will be. Keep it authentic by venturing outside your regularly scheduled posts and mentioning the latest Internet inside joke, as Denny’s did.
Another advantage of posting in real time is that you get to be in on the party. Watch huge events like the Golden Globes or the NBA Playoffs, and share your opinions along with millions of other viewers. You never know what will happen during live broadcasts, but it’s almost guaranteed that something will.
Oreo released this famous tweet after the unexpected blackout during the 2013 Super Bowl. The tweet garnered a huge amount of attention and was retweeted thousands of times.
So, even if you don’t have legions of employees to act when something unanticipated happens, posting in real time can still be beneficial. Not only does it have the added benefit of giving your company increased exposure, but it also makes your brand more relatable as your followers imagine you tweeting in your pajamas, just like they are. Interaction with your audience is always a good thing.
Tip 2: Keep It Simple
Depending on the product/service you’re marketing, it’s not always easy to explain what your brand is offering. Time recently reported that people, particularly millennials, have short attention spans–eight seconds, to be exact. (You’ve probably heard about the goldfish comparison–if not, check it out here.)
So, make sure the content you’re publishing is relatively simple and to the point. It’s difficult for people to relate to a brand that they don’t understand.
Tip 3: Make ‘Em LOL
A funny post or video is like a breath of fresh air in the smoggy social media scene. Modern humor is a mix of wit, pop culture references and clever content marketing. Laughter helps humans bond on a personal level, which bonding your agency could probably really use. So, don’t be afraid to share the funny!
Tip 4: Get and Stay Inspired
If you’re sick of your brand marketing, your audience probably is too. So, get inspired! Check out digital marketing blogs and social media feeds. Collaborate within your company. Ask friends and family what they like to see.
Getting content marketing ideas from actual humans — in addition to what your analytics are telling you is working — is a fantastic way to keep your brand authentic.
Be bold and creative in your choices — your audience will thank you!
Tip 5: Allow Backstage Access
Offer your audience the chance to see the people responsible for the magic. Going behind the scenes at the office or on the go is a great way to show that living human beings are responsible for the content they see daily. Virtually every major social platform has a “Live” feature, so use them! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and others offer excellent options to give viewers a taste of company life.
You can also use the live features for:
- Q&A segments
- Product promotion
The only rule is to keep it original and authentic. Chances are if it’s done correctly, people will be excited to learn more about your brand’s products, employees and internal operations.
Tip 6: Know Thy Audience
Communication is essential in making a connection, and agency-to-client relationships are no different.
Interact with your audience on a regular basis. Doing so helps you gain a better understanding of who is seeing your content and making it more applicable to them in the future.
If you treat your customers as friends, they will eventually see your brand as one.
Tip 7: Keep it real, but professional
Keeping it real is essential to authenticity, but also keep in mind that you’re a brand. Before sharing, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable with the post going viral. You don’t want to generate a conversation about the wrong things.
You should generally steer clear of sensitive topics like politics, religion and social issues (i.e. anything you avoid bringing up at Thanksgiving dinner).
While the goal is to relate to people, don’t do it at the expense of professionalism. Stay classy, folks.
Successfully navigating the waters of social media while simultaneously trying to engage with your audience is no easy feat. Every brand is unique, and while there’s no perfect, one-size-fits-all formula for brand marketing, there are always ways to increase your brand’s authenticity. Take these tips into account and go forth, fellow content marketers!
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