Simple and easy ways for brands to be authentic online

If you’re a brand, your image is everything. Especially when you’re first starting out online, the things you do and the way you present yourself will make all the difference. Representing yourself in the wrong way can damage your company’s reputation before things have even really begun.

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Be you

It’s important for any brand to be themselves, but especially smaller ones. People want to be able to connect. They want a reason to buy from you, and they’ll get that through seeing who you are. Consumers are far more likely to buy from a smaller brand if they’ve seen the face behind it, or if they’ve been given a reason to relate to that person. For example, a single parent running a business will gain lots of attraction from other single parents. This isn’t us suggesting using these things as a selling tool. However, if there’s something you feel you can show your followers that might help them understand why you’re doing what you’re doing better, then show them.

After they’ve seen who you are underneath, who’s running the social media channels and who puts all the hours of work into the brand, they’ll be far more likely to invest their own time and money with you. If you’re absent for a short period of time, they’re more likely to understand why. Be as open and transparent as you can with your followers, and in turn, they’ll be far more supportive. Your followers get that you’re human, you aren’t a robot and things won’t be perfect all the time. However, putting on a front and hiding who runs the business might make things seem a little more corporate. When it comes to corporate brands, people expect far more, without room for excuses.

Almost everyone on social media can sense fakeness these days. It’s not as easy to be a scammer or spammy in any kind of way. You’d have to try a lot harder than before. That’s because people want realness, and they search for it. There’s no point adding excess to your posts that just seem robotic. It won’t do you any favours. Speak from the heart and let your followers see you care about what you do. That way, they’re less likely to complain if mistakes happen, because they know you’re trying your absolute hardest.

Encourage others

If you see something you like, say it. This won’t take away from you and your brand. You’re not suddenly under threat because you’ve complimented another company. Even if they offer something similar to you, there’s room for more than one company, right? It’s not always about being given the best compliments, you are allowed to give them too. Sometimes it will do you some good in the long run. It will boost another account and also put you on their radar. Everyone wants to be known for being supportive. You’re far more likely to gain followers and potential clients if you’re spotted in the comments of other accounts.

A simple like goes a long way. Many accounts return the favour, and you become engaged with each other’s content. It becomes a friendship of two brands supporting each other. They’re more likely to share your work to their stories and followers. That will gain you attraction from their followers which in return will grow your account. It costs you nothing and could potentially boost your brand.

81% of people believe businesses have a responsibility to be transparent on social media.
90% of consumers say authenticity is important when choosing the brands they like and support. On top of that, 83% of marketers agree that authenticity is “very important” to their brands.
51% of consumers define feeling connected to a brand when the brand understands them and their wants—that is, demonstrating empathy.

Admit your mistakes

We’ve touched on this briefly, but people like it when a brand can stand up and say they made a mistake it makes them look more human. It’s important to own up and admit when you’ve made an error. This will install the trust in you for the future with clients. They’ll know that you are honest with them which will make them believe you when things do go right. Everyone’s far more likely to trust a brand that can be open because they feel like there’s no hidden secrets that are trying to be covered up.

There’s no shame in making mistakes and that’s a huge thing for anyone to overcome. People believe there’s a need to be perfect at all times, but this isn’t the case. Especially being a smaller brand, you don’t have the huge workforce behind you, and you certainly don’t have a man for every job. It’s typically a very small team or even a one-man band. Mistakes are going to happen and that’s fine. The more made, the more you learn from it. It’s expected when starting out, however what isn’t, is trying to cover them up as though they never happened.

Whatever you do as a brand will be watched and judged, unfortunately. So, make sure you’re doing everything with kindness. Don’t try and scam your followers because this will only damage your reputation. When you’re at the start of your journey, you want to show as much of you as possible to encourage people to follow the face behind the brand. They’ll feel more of a connection to you and as you grow, so will their support. As you do start to increase your brand, don’t forget about those who have been around since the start. Remember, you’re never above a reply. If someone’s commented on your posts, don’t ignore them. It doesn’t take much out of your day to thank them.

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