Brand Authenticity and Social Media

Should brands try to be authentic on social media?

While the use of social media has had quite an upward tick in popularity in the last few years, it is always important for a business to look at how they use it. Social media can be used as an essential part of brand marketing, but how can the business be sure they are being authentic in their content?

Does self-promotion hurt a brand’s authenticity?

Many brands may be afraid to have constant self-promotion on their social media in fear that the consumers will think too little of a company. Generally, I think a consumer will follow a business on social media because they are interested in the brand as a whole, not just their products. When a brand’s social media interface is all about promotion, I think many lose interest because the content is not engaging. A large brand may not need to self promote, but a small and growing business may need to.

What can a business post instead of self-promotion?

There are many different forms of content a business can post that does not include promotion. Some examples would be to post a poll, run a consumer-driven campaign (i.e. take part in creating a video), or ask what the consumer wants to hear about or see. A brand that I am both a follower of their products and a follower on social media is Patagonia. Patagonia is a renowned Fair Trade brand and they post content that is appealing to the consumer, not the customer. Patagonia posts about the earth, adventures of their ambassadors, animals, travel, and people. I follow Patagonia because I am invested in their creative content, and have never noticed their lack of self-promotion until now. If someone is a follower of a brand such as Patagonia, one will already be on the mailing lists to recieve promotional information, which gives the company the oppertunity to use social media as a creative outlet.

Although self-promotion is somewhat expected on social media, it shouldn’t be the only thing a business posts. This impacts your brand authenticity, but there are other ways to promote yourself, you just have to be creative. 

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