Transparency and Authenticity Means Everything.

Submitted by on the 9th of November 2018

If your brand is on social media, but you don’t act with authenticity and transparency, you have no business being there at all. The good news is that if you find yourself in this position, there is hope.

According to Frontify, “87% of global consumers feel that brands should act with integrity all the time – so much so, that authenticity was ranked above innovation and product uniqueness in their research. That means it’s not about the next best product anymore. It’s about your brands values and what you can contribute to your consumer’s world in a meaningful way.

Research has also made it clear that mass advertising has become a thing of the past. Baby boomers were inclined to this type of advertising, but since the introduction of social media everything has changed – not only because it’s given anyone the power to have an opinion and be heard, but also because it has made it much easier for people to damage your brand’s image.

Advertising has become a two-way-communication model. It doesn’t really matter where someone sees an ad, social will always be the default option when they want to communicate with the brand – whether it is to find out more, raise a concern, or praise you for good service. Brands need to have the same value systems as their consumers and care about the things that they hold dear, otherwise there is no authentic connection. This also means that the need states of the consumer must be addressed before a real relationship can be established.

The target market personas of the Millennials and Generation Z has largely contributed to this shift in advertising. They have the ability to see right through your brand. They must trust and believe in you before they will even consider interacting with you. You must also understand that Millennials aren’t buying, but rather constantly searching. They have a constant need for communication.

So, what do these authentic and transparent relationships look like? Capitec is a great example. By being authentic, their consumers saved them on social media during a PR crisis and stood by their side because they trusted them beyond their services and products.

Tips for Authenticity

Now that you know the importance of transparency and authenticity, the next thing is for you to understand how to achieve it on social. First things first, you need to choose how your brand is going to fill the social service gap and which platforms you’re going to use, before you can start addressing the need states of your community.

By using data, your brand can see where your consumers are engaging with your brand, and which platforms they’re using. Here are the four most commonly used platforms and what they are used for:

Twitter

  • Quick response and queries
  • Trend watching
  • Proactive and responsive messaging
  • Hashtag strategies for reach

Facebook

  • Reach target audiences with your ads
  • Facebook Messenger is great for customer communication
  • Facebook Messenger bots help answer FAQ’s and user queries
  • Diverse content types – MP4 video, photo uploads and status updates

Instagram

  • Visual galleries
  • Brand employee content and behind the scenes
  • Brand culture
  • Shared values and need state photography
  • Hashtag strategies for reach

LinkedIn

  • Professional networking
  • Thought leadership content
  • Recruitment
  • Brand profile and updates
  • Hashtag strategies for reach

You know it’s important for your brand to be on social, but what is more important than anything else is how your brand wins trust and how you’re servicing their needs. Don’t look at your customers as product purchases. Look at them as real people, brand advocates. Share the same beliefs as they do, and they will share their info – most importantly, their money with you. There are many guides to social business principles out there –  you can’t go wrong when you put your consumers at the heart of everything you do.