How to Keep Your Brand Honest on Social Media
One of the best things you can do for your business is to build brand authenticity.
Your customers can spot a phony brand image a mile away. If you’re trying too hard to appeal to current trends just to build sales, people will lose trust in your company. Rather than garnering current appeal, you’ll often actually lose support (and sales).
People connect best with real content. Use these tips to make your content authentic, engaging, and most importantly, oriented toward your business goals.
1. Stick to the Truth
Even everyday people aren’t 100% honest about every facet of their lives, especially online. A certain level of “fluffing” happens behind the scenes, and most people expect a layer of editing from social media, whether it’s from their friends or a brand.
However, when you blatantly lie about your business process, use Photoshop for illegitimate sales or provide your fans with pictures and posts of only your most marked-up products or services, you put your entire brand at risk. After a certain point, it’s not just “maintaining an image”—it’s flat-out lying. In this age of social media, people aren’t afraid to openly call you out in comments, and that damage is hard to un-do.
The best way to deal with brand image in the age of social media is to present everything as honestly as possible, and give a bit of background when something’s not quite what it may seem. You can certainly post a well-edited ad campaign, but consider posting a short video showing the “making of” process. Introduce your audience to your behind-the-scenes operations, and they’ll be more inclined to trust you in the long term.
2. Steer Away From Clickbait
Clickbait is a good way to make people click into your article, but it’s not good for much else.
True, you’ll get an uptick in website visits overall, but your bounce rates will also climb exponentially once viewers figure out your bait-and-switch. If you routinely post clickbait, people will quickly come to think that your brand provides low-quality content geared exclusively toward monetization, and they’ll start avoiding you.
Getting organic clicks is hard, and it starts with writing creative, intriguing titles. However, you need to make sure you’re following through on what you promise in those titles. Good content builds good conversions.
3. Don’t Make Everything an Ad
As a brand, your priority is definitely to turn a profit. However, that doesn’t have to come at the cost of your brand identity.
Not every post has to have a call to action in it. Create posts with a behind-the-scenes look at your company headquarters or how your product is made. Allow for content where your employees get to say something they love about their work.
You want people to think of your social media platforms as profiles and company personality insight, not as extended advertisements. Stay business-forward, but don’t let your content fall by the wayside because of it.
Brand honesty is all about transparency. Balance your ad-friendly social media posts with your more candid posts. Stay human. Describe your content alluringly, but accurately.
If you focus on maintaining an honest image, your customers will trust your brand, and they’ll be more likely to stay loyal to your business.