In an age when we are exposed to thousands of brands, influencers, and personalities online every day, most of us can sniff out those that are inauthentic fairly easily.
But what exactly is brand authenticity?
Authenticity is the core of a brand’s personality. It’s the extent to which a brand is faithful to the values it represents, and how it expresses that through words and actions honestly and consistently.
Essentially, authenticity is the cliche of “being true to yourself” and your followers, and it takes equal parts self-awareness, confidence, transparency, and consistency.
As we mentioned, most of us now have a sixth sense for online authenticity. While inauthentic brands can feel awkward, untrustworthy, or even silly at times, authentic brands feel confident, trustworthy, and real.
Authenticity = meaningful relationships with your followers. This is why authenticity can help convert a passive following into an engaged community that will promote further growth.
So how do you talk the walk of authenticity on Instagram? Here are three straightforward tips to help strengthen your authenticity and grow your following:
1. Find your voice and stick with it.
Everyone has a unique voice, and so do brands. To present your brand authentically on Instagram, you have to do so through a consistent brand voice that reflects what your brand represents.
This may seem tricky, but you can make it easier by clearly defining your brand voice through three human-like qualities that represent your brand. For example, a construction brand’s voice might come off as “straightforward, confident, and informative,” while a cake decorator brand’s voice could be “inspired, meticulous, and cute.”
By ensuring all dialogue from your brand—whether that be written in captions and comments or spoken through Stories or videos—adheres to those qualities, your brand voice will have the confidence and consistency that feels authentic.
2. Sharing can result in caring.
By opening up and sharing your story with your audience, they will naturally feel closer with you through meaningful familiarity and trust. Your followers are more likely to share your content with their own community if they believe in what you’re saying and can relate with you.
That’s why post captions and Stories are so important to consider—even though Instagram is visually based, your photo or video should essentially be used to grab attention and encourage the viewer to read what you have to say.
This kind of valuable, shareable content works in the favour of Instagram’s algorithm: the more engagement a post gets, the more likely it will be to show up in other individuals’ feeds.
If you’re not sure what will resonate with your audience, you can monitor what your followers are sharing and also track and measure your own posts to see what kind of content performs best with your audience.
3, Be social on social media.
The best way to show authenticity and grow your following is to embrace the social side of social media and even formally dedicate some time each week for social interaction.
This means engaging your audience by asking questions, replying to direct messages, and responding to comments—as well interacting with other accounts. Forming this kind of connection that allows you to be open and audience with real people—not just posting at followers and leaving it.
By building a stronger relationship with your community, you’ll grow trust with your followers. This in turn will resonate outward and attract more followers.
If you’d like to take your brand or Instagram to the next level, get in touch with Prolex Media for free half-hour consultation for your brand and social media strategy.
Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to the Prolex Media blog to receive weekly marketing tips, tricks and news right to your inbox.