As Pam Moore observes, “Attention is the most scarce resource digital marketers have.” In recent years, the social media environment has shifted. It’s become more difficult for companies to reach their audience via the channels they’ve come to rely on. The challenges are formidable, including ad dependence to reach an audience, increasing rates of inactive users, and unexpected changes in algorithms that lead to fluxes in visibility and social reach. In this environment, it’s easy to see why desperate brands have increasingly taken to trying to shout through the noise by placing sales tactics first.
However, take a moment to think about just how awkward this strategy would be if it happened in real life. Would you walk into a cocktail party and start announcing the name of your business and URL at the top of your lungs? Would you meet someone new at a networking event and ask them to watch your video on YouTube before even sharing your name? Would you approach someone in the store, tap them on the shoulder, and ask if they follow you? We hope not! Imagining these scenarios in real life heightens our sensitivity to how inappropriate they can be, but these are the exact strategies businesses often use in their social media tactics.
If you encountered a person behaving this way in real life, you’d likely avoid him/her. And that’s exactly what people are doing online when they encounter these tactics. They are losing trust in the brands they once trusted and tuning them out, making it even harder for brands to have an impact.
What should you do in response? It’s time to return to building brands — and their social media platforms — around authenticity, trust, and integrity. Of course, this approach takes a lot longer to establish. However, it’s also a more sustainable practice that isn’t built on the success of one ad or one campaign. It’s a tactic that will help you in the long run. In short, it’s time to put the human back in social media.
4 Tips to Bring Authenticity Back to Your Social Media
1. Listen. Social media isn’t just about giving you a bullhorn to yell at your audience. It’s a two-way communication vehicle. The best brands on social media — and the top brands overall — use these platforms to listen to their customers’ pain points and to respond. They respond both via the platform itself and in the direction of the company itself by building new products or services to meet their clients’ needs. This also means that you need to listen beyond your own platform. Comment, engage, and reshare with your own thoughts to be part of the broader conversation.
2. Lower the curtain. Show your audience that your brand isn’t just a name; it’s a collection of human beings with lives and passions. Let the audience meet your team and get to know the real-life humans who are working for you — and them — every day. You can do this by letting your team members take over your social media platforms or introducing them to your audience in posts.
3. Meet the moment. Don’t ignore what’s going on in the world and proceed with your marketing plans as though nothing is happening. During the pandemic, the most successful brands acknowledged how their customers were feeling and mirrored them back in their content. They helped their customers feel they were all in it together. Increasingly, people are turning to social media for an escape. You can utilize social media to alleviate tension, for example by posting a humorous meme or adorable animal video.
4. Use an authentic voice. Talk to your customers like they’re real people (because they are). And show there are real people behind the brand, too. When you mess up, acknowledge it and apologize. Henk Campher, VP of Corporate Marketing and Head of Social Impact for Hootsuite, said, “Transparency is key to maintaining the good. Relationships work best when they are enlightened and that is also true of all media including social media.”
When the Internet was first envisioned, creators saw it as a place where people could encounter each other authentically. It’s time we got back to that original vision.
How LuckyTamm Digital Marketing Can Help
LuckyTamm Digital Marketing has a team of social media professionals and content creators that can formulate an overarching social media strategy for your business that puts humans first, as well as craft engaging content for your customers. We’re glad to advise you and drive your social media efforts. We offer free consultations. Connect with us, today!