A consistent and thoughtful social media presence allows both business-to-business and business-to-consumer brands to engage with target audiences effectively on a local and national level.
To measure effectiveness, brands record and analyze data, including post reach and engagement, to identify what aspects of its shared media strategy are appealing to online and social audiences. The number of retweets and likes a post receives are familiar metrics; but there is one essential aspect of a successful social strategy that is not as easy to gauge – authenticity.
To be “authentic”, brands must communicate genuinely and appear human. While there are no objective measurements, authenticity is vital to consumer and business target audiences and can affect the trust these audiences hold for a brand in general. Posts on shared media platforms that appear to be robotic, scheduled, sales-heavy or biased tend to be a turn-off for potential customers. Audiences react positively to approachable and personal content.
To avoid appearing inauthentic to followers and prospective customers or partners, follow these six tips:
- Post updates in real time
- Engage with followers
- Contribute to relevant conversations
- Have and express opinions
- Use a consistent and familiar voice
- Incorporate visual content
The last tip is significant: visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
The ability to contribute to trending and relevant conversations on sharing-based platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram is a new but proven-effective way for businesses in any industry to communicate value and industry expertise to current and prospective customers, as long as the message is personal and sincere.