The Power of Authenticity in Today’s Organic Social Media Landscape
Why does authenticity matter in social media? Well, on average, internet users spend over two hours a day scrolling through social media posts. Whilst the original concept of social media was to keep in touch with family and friends, and maybe post the occasional cringe photo (think mirror selfie), nowadays, more and more people are using social media to research or seek inspiration about products and services.
Therefore, it’s even more important that brands reveal their authentic selves in order to build engagement and trust with their audiences. Below, we outline our key tips for building authenticity.
Don’t rely on trending sounds
If you’re an avid TikTok user, you may have noticed different songs or sounds being used to create trending content. For a while, it’s been a quick and easy way to gain some extra followers and likes. Unfortunately, for businesses, TikTok guidelines now state that any marketing, advertising, sponsorship, endorsement or publicity content should use music from the Commercial Music Library, restricting brands and companies on the music they can use within their content.
Do you need trending sounds to create authentic content?
Essentially, no. Jumping on a trending sound doesn’t necessarily mean your content is authentic or that your new followers are actually engaged with your brand. In fact, users are more interested in seeing content that is real, authentic and trustworthy. It’s fine to push out a piece of content with a trending sound that may lead to 10,000 views or several followers – it can help with brand awareness and getting your content seen. However, it’s not the kind of content that’s going to grow and nurture your community.
So, don’t fret. Whilst the restrictions on music may be frustrating for businesses, moving forward, you are going to reach the right audiences in the right way by creating content that brings value.
Utilising video content
Video content has been around for some time but has risen in popularity due to the increased usage of TikTok during the pandemic. Now, according to Social Media Today’s 34 Predictions for Marketers, video content is the one to watch for 2024, and there are many great reasons why this is the case.
1. It brings more value to consumers than text or images
Don’t get us wrong, we still enjoy scrolling through our Instagram feeds and viewing the pictures our favourite celebrities and brands have posted, but you don’t get the same experience that you do from watching a video. With video content, the brand, celebrity, or influencer is talking to you about their product or service in real-time and in much more detail, therefore, increasing user understanding.
2. There’s two-way communication between brands & consumers
Ever watched a TikTok video from your favourite brand or influencer and felt like you were having a conversation with a friend? That’s the power of video content – building that personal relationship with your audience and making them feel part of the journey. It’s also possible to build two-way communication through the use of TikTok and Instagram Live, where audiences can interact with brands and influencers by adding comments and emojis in real-time.
3. It’s easier to incorporate authenticity
Adding personality and the ‘human element’ to video content improves the authenticity of your brand and helps to build a more fulfilling community with your followers. Whilst it can look aesthetically pleasing to have “polished” content, just talking to your audience and being yourself will be of more value to your audience, and will help to build trust too.
Try new things
Now, we know AI doesn’t scream “authentic”, but hear us out. It’s important, as a creator, to test out new ideas — and the one thing that keeps appearing on marketers’ lips is AI. We’re not saying to completely trust AI, but letting it do the legroom so that you can focus on creativity and have the brain capacity to create the content is no bad thing.
Adding the human element, whether it’s conversational content or just adding elements of your personality, will bring that authenticity and realness to your content that the AI was, most likely, lacking.
Trying new things can also come in the form of researching your competitors and learning what the gaps are in your industry — turning them into content ideas to test out. They may work, they may not. But, without testing you will never know what works for your audience, and it’s a great way to put your spin and authenticity on something new.
Need help with your organic social media?
The social media landscape is forever changing, but there’s one thing we can all agree on – authentic, real, trustworthy content will always stay a consistent trend.
The key is to build and nurture those relationships with your community, and to show your personality and the human element within your content. Additionally, make sure to focus on video content for 2024.