Social Media that Fuels Engagement: The Authenticity Formula
by Maggie Nargi-Ackerbauer
What is the magic potion that makes a social media page stand out from the many others? Is it beating the algorithm, buying followers, and boosting your posts? Sure, those may be short-term options when navigating social networking platforms, but they will not help you gain natural everyday interaction or encourage your followers to remain loyal to YOU in the long-term.
So, what does? Authentic connection that breeds organic growth. There is something tangibly different about a brand that authentically interacts with its followers and provides relevant content for its specified audience. Building unique relationships between business and buyer gives your followers a sense of being understood and connected to your brand. Ultimately there’s no secret formula that will remedy your page a success, but creating a social media presence that is unique and personable will build rapport with your followers and keep them coming back for more.
With that said, how can a social media account be authentic in this day of ever-changing trends? Let’s dive in.
Create connection through engagement:
Join in the conversation
Showing up online can seem daunting, even overwhelming, when you have other people regularly interacting with your account. Responding to the messages and comments you receive is a small way of showing your audience that you’re there and you’re listening. This builds a genuine connection directly with your followers and emphasizes that communication is open and goes both ways. This also builds brand trust; your followers need to know that you’re more than just a digital screen. Interacting on a personal level can help them feel more familiar with you and increase their loyalty to your business.
Initiate the love
Another way to create a connection is to initiate that conversation by interacting directly with other public-facing accounts (i.e., other brand accounts, influencers, and non-private accounts). This can look like liking and commenting on posts, reacting to stories, and resharing other accounts’ content. For example, if your business is in a plaza, interacting with the companies’ social accounts next door can create digital comradery. Or, say you have a hair dye business that is solely online; relevant complementary accounts could be influencers to share your product and other hair-care brands. Don’t wait for them to see your content, go straight to theirs and offer your support.
Have you ever gotten an encouraging comment on your post, maybe it was something small, but did it make you smile? Now, think about how your comments can make someone else feel. You can help your followers see the humanity behind your account by responding to the humanity on another’s page. A little can go a long way, and when people hop online looking for a connection, an encouraging word or positive emoji can feel like genuine support.
Display yourself authentically:
Quality of your posts over quantity
While you definitely want to be posting consistently and on-brand, you don’t want to overwhelm your followers. However, you will want to stay active weekly, posting relevant and engaging content. It can take some time to find that sweet spot for the right cadence of posting, which will also depend on your brand’s industry. It’s better to post high-quality content less frequently (a few times a week) than to post lower quality more often (multiple times a day). This also requires choosing the right social media site for your business. Need help figuring out which platform is best for your brand? Don’t worry, we have a blog for that.
Creating higher-quality content requires two things. First, an understanding of who your audience is and what they want to see. And second, understanding how to use that information to develop a content strategy. Ask yourself, “Why should people stop and read my posts?” What are my followers going to gain from viewing my content?” A laugh? Something informational? A connection? This may take trial and error, but once you’ve gotten in the groove, organize a schedule for your posts (using a calendar site like Loomly or Hootsuite can help).
Try a new tactic
It’s normal to feel hesitant about trying something new on social media. You may worry that your followers won’t react positively or feel like you’re going off-brand. However, sticking to the same old stuff may come off as boring or stale. Once you recognize that not every trend is for you, you can work to identify the ones that do work for your brand. For example, if your business is technology-based, it might not be relevant to participate in a trend promoting food or clothing. It’s important to remember that not every new trend will work for your brand, and that’s okay! By experimenting with various strategies and content, you can narrow down what resonates best with your audience and your message. And if a trend doesn’t work out, those real moments will speak for themselves.
Authenticity is a growing desire for content consumers, and engaging with your followers meaningfully will help your page develop that connection while encouraging them to reciprocate. Remind your followers of the person behind the brand – they are there to engage with YOU!
Are you looking for more tips to help build your social media engagement? Connect with us and we can help you form a social media strategy that is authentic to your brand.
Maggie Nargi-Ackerbauer is the Marketing and Communications Assistant at Katy Dwyer Design. Maggie is a Poughkeepsie local who has a passion for giving brands a voice to connect with their mission and authentically express themselves.