A truly authentic brand isn’t born in a day. It takes time, and you will need to be patient and allow yourself the time to create authenticity and trust. The more you understand your consumers and the communities they are a part of, the easier it will become to align your content, messaging and marketing activities to align with their needs in a relevant way. Embracing authenticity is a long term strategy for brands. Whatever time it takes will be worth it, as you build loyal consumers that want to do business with you for years to come.
Can marketing be truly authentic? Is there a difference in approach when one focuses on sales? Can social analytics show us how to fake online behavior? These are just some of the questions we tackled at the #SMTPowerTalk this month.
Social media offers many opportunities to share and exchange information. With one click you can give others insight into any aspect of your work or private life. But what do you want to share with ‘the online world’ and how can we share information that is relevant and at the same time gives others an authentic picture of who we are?
A small business depends heavily on return customers and word of mouth. I meet dozens of small business owners that go to networking events and work very hard to be a part of the community. It’s wonderful to see them so involved and active.
When we use social media, it is important that we are aware of the fact that our messages are seen and read by real people. People like you and me. People who go to work, or have a business, with good and bad days, people who have friends and family, hobbies and certain interests. Now if you would like to build up a connection with these people, then you should ask yourself: what is it that creates a connection between them and myself? What do I need to do to build up a meaningful relationship?
Consumers aren't a "KPI": they're people. They have value to brands and they hold the keys to the social media kingdom, not the other way around. Today, marketers play a vital role in how brand content is viewed digitally. But content is only one piece of the sales funnel; there's also direct engagement and community which builds loyalty.
Authenticity has unfortunately been turned into a boring corporate buzzword - often used, but without much meaning. However, without authenticity, your social marketing campaign will inevitably fail. It's up to you to make sure your social marketing stays authentic, which you can do with a little extra work.
Many company leaders are worried about the media influencing the public to negatively highlight your brand. The sad truth is that companies that spend vast amounts of time worrying about this most likely have something to hide.