The Importance of Authenticity on Social Media
I have a confession. I have a social media addiction. It’s a habit that is so hard to kick when your job literally requires you to be on social media. However, my social media addiction spans far outside scrolling through new ethical fashion brands and bloggers. I’m also heavily addicted to food bloggers, podcasters, female entrepreneurs, and pages who just speak life into every bit of me. As an admitted addict, there are some patterns that I’ve observed, not just as the social media manager in me, but just as a human being. Today I want to talk about the importance of authenticity on social media.
Let’s first begin with the business portion: why it’s important to grow your social media following authentically.
We’ve all seen it, the pages with over 20K followers, only receiving 50 likes on their pictures. Or maybe not even that extreme, just around 8K followers and only receiving 70 likes on their pictures. This is known as a low engagement ratio. The cause of it is often the B word, the one no one wants to discuss or admit: buying followers.
When you buy your followers through apps, bots, or even websites who claim to “Grow Your Followers Organically,” you are killing your own engagement. Why? Because a fake follower, a fake account, a follower who actually isn’t interested in your content but was pulled to your account by a bot, will not engage with your content. They will not like, comment, share with their friends, or become a loyal part of your brand’s tribe. They will simply exist as an unengaged follower.
Picture this: a table with one chair holding a computer, and in the other chair sits a person who you have created an amazing, lasting relationship with, who communicates with your brand, shares your brand with their friends, and truly loves your brand because they authentically love the person and mission behind it. Which one would you choose as your follower? When you install a bot, or buy fake followers, you are choosing the computer, lifeless, emotionless, unengaging.
The second reason authenticity is extremely important in growing your social media is Algorithms. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the Shadowban. This phenomenon is Instagram’s way of weeding out all accounts who can be flagged as spam. If your account has been linked to the installation of thousands of fake followers who can be flagged as spam, chances are Instagram is also going to flag your account as spam, hiding your content from your REAL followers. Again, in the case would you rather lose the fake followers, or risk having your real engaged audience never see your content again?
Also because of the Shadowban, you may notice that your number of followers fluctuates up and down throughout the week. This is your indication that some of your newer “followers” are using bots to attract you to their pages. Don’t be sad when you lose them as a follower, because haven’t we by now established, you’d rather have a real follower than a fake one?
RISE Creative is always accepting new and blossoming ethical brand clients. From PR, to social media, and creative direction, we’re honored to serve your brand in any way we can. Get your free consultation here.
Okay now that I’ve let my social media manager rant out, I have another confession. I hate being in front of a camera, which is honestly why I don’t speak on RISE’s story much. So in the spirit of authenticity, let’s explore more real reasons for authenticity on social media: building trust and rapport.
Here’s another scenario to picture: two accounts that you follow – one brand posts so many beautiful editorial images from photo shoots, perfect brunch and lifestyle shots, but you’ve never really heard from the voices behind the brand, or seen behind-the-scenes of building the brand. Account number two seems more like a passion project, with the founder always sharing her journey, even on the hard days. She gets on stories to talk about needing days of rest and unplug, yet expresses so much joy in doing what she loves and connecting with new consumers. Which brand would you be more compelled to connect with?
At this point in social media, I’m sure that no one is under the impression that anyone’s life is picture perfect. As business leaders, as brand builders, as world changers, and as humans, we each face challenges on our journey, and when our audiences are able to relate to us and resonate with our story, they feel so much more connected to our journey, our brand, and our products.
In the spirit of being part of an “ethical” industry, let’s stand together and commit to being more authentic on social media.
Written by Marisa Flacks, Founder of RISE Creative
RISE Creative was founded on the idea that small businesses, social enterprises, and non-profits don't always have the capacity to hire full-time staff to join in the efforts towards their incredible missions. We create extremely personalized ethical branding and digital marketing packages that fit your company's needs.