As a small business owner, you know that social media is a powerful tool to reach new customers and promote your products or services. But you want to show up on social media in an authentic way so that potential customers want to learn more about what you have to offer rather than being turned off by constant promotional posts. And people can see through any attempts at being someone you’re not, and they’ll quickly lose interest.
Why Social Media Authenticity Matters:
People are automatically drawn to real people with real stories about solving problems, especially if they are currently struggling with those same problems. They want to connect with actual people and not brands. But an important factor to building long lasting connections is trust which comes through authenticity.
How to show up more authentically on social media:
1) Be Yourself
When you first start out with using social media for growing your business, it can be tempting to try and be someone you’re not. You see other people on social media doing similar work to you who are showcasing perfect lives and you feel like you need to project the same image. But it’s not authentic and people can see through it. This does not create a relationship of trust where your audience will be willing to buy from you. They want to know the real you. There’s a saying that goes, “people buy from people and not from companies” so, keep that in mind.
2) Keep your brand and values front and center
Being authentic requires you to be consistent with your brand and brand values. Let’s say you have an environmentally conscious business and the majority of your content promotes sustainable products. It would be inauthentic to then post a photo of yourself using single use plastics. Right there, you lose all credibility. So, on the one hand, we are saying be true to yourself but, you also need to be consistent with your messaging.
3) Be authentic when engaging with others on social media
Obviously, you’ll also want to make sure you are being authentic with you are engaging with others on social media. People will know if you’re being insincere and just out to make a sale or gain a new subscriber. So, offer meaningful feedback and helpful tips. And, praise others when it’s appropriate and genuine. Focus on being of service to others rather than “getting clients”.
The fastest way to build a sustainable business on social media is to focus on building trust. And, you build trust by being authentically you, being consistent with your messaging and focusing on giving value first. The clients and sales will come as a by product of being authentic.
Do you struggle with social media and showing up authentically? Let me know in the comments.