Navigating through social media today isn’t easy. Scroll through any site and you will undoubtedly see images of elated employees, successfully closed mega deals, high end company retreats, and other appealing content.
There seems to be an unspoken rule that dictates how both personal and corporate online cultures should look. We tend to curate an unfailingly positive image – full disclosure, something I know I am guilty of at times as well. The professional world is always striving to portray their best side and dominance in the market, but when does it all become too much?
No one is perfect. Winning over the world of the web plays an important role in building an appealing presence. It’s also equally important to stay true to oneself. This point applies to both businesses and individuals who are encouraged to broadcast flawless personas. Boasting a distorted image creates a disconnect between reality and idealism.
While we all want to put our best foot forward – it should be noted that our flaws, losses, or not-so-perfect days provide unique stories and learning opportunities. It’s from these trials that we overcome obstacles and find greater success.
Whether it’s personal or professional, provided are 3 tips to help stay true to your brand online and how authenticity will win out every time.
#1 Know Your Limits
The famous ancient Greek expression ‘Know Thyself’ should be a guiding motto for social activism. Brand identity is key in today’s world. 80% of consumers site authenticity of content as the leading factor in deciding whether they will follow you or your company.
All of us have different thresholds for what we are willing to share on social media. Establishing your brand doesn’t happen immediately. It takes time, sincerity and effort to develop a social image that properly reflects your voice. Much of this lies in deciding what and what not to publish. Weak content isn’t going to improve your image, nor will it encourage prospective clients to do business with you.
Find a happy medium that works for you. Over time, it will perfect itself and evolve into a strong representation of you and your company.
#2 Creating a Conversation
We work in a highly competitive business landscape. Consumers want to make sure they are making the right choice. As a result, online reviews are becoming more and more vital.
94% of consumers read online reviews. 72% of customers don’t act until they have read the comments. Reviews build trust around a service or product by creating a conversation around it. Many companies make the mistake of aggressively filtering this area.
Manipulating this information can create a suspicious look and feel that can deter business.
While it may be surprising, negative feedback can be an advantage. 68% of consumers trust reviews more when there’s a mix of good and bad. We can all get things wrong. How you respond publicly to these negative situations also has an increasing, positive relevance.
#3 There is Only One You
A 2017 study surveying 2,000 adults showcases how important authenticity is in today’s market. 90% of Millennials, 85% of Gen X, and 80% of Boomers noted this is a key factor in deciding which company they support.
Delivering meaningful and relatable content to your audience is critical. Remember there is only one of you in this world so find ways to make sure what you are sharing speaks to those strengths and characteristics – your greatest business advantage.
The qualities that make you distinct will also attract. They help people relate to you and your business. Done the right way, they will ultimately elevate your brand. Give people a reason to follow and engage with you!
Looking to the Future
Looking ahead, the actual return on investment for social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years.
LinkedIn only launched in 2003 with growth slow at first. Now 2 new users reportedly join every second. Instagram has only been around since 2010 and has passed the over 1 billion monthly active user mark.
This method of promoting you and your business isn’t going away. There is a whole new group of decision makers who pay attention to this in ways we really have never seen before.
Remember to be authentic and never stop learning. This will develop your professional online presence into a powerful brand that clients feel connected to. Show the industry your own voice and see firsthand, how it transforms your business.