The importance of authentic content and engagement for social media

Haleigh Fullilove

| Nov 20, 2020

We’re all navigating an intensely difficult period, and there’s never been a more essential time to develop your social media content to have an empathetic, compassionate, and genuine voice. According to Sendible, 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support, making it essential for you to learn how to create authentic social media content.

Because the days of perfectly manicured social media feeds are over, creators everywhere are adjusting the content they’re publishing and consuming. We’re discussing some of the ways you can become more authentic with your audience on social media. From staying true to your brand and voice to being vulnerable, you’ll be gaining even more trust with your audience than ever before.

Consider this your go-to guide to making that happen.

Be vulnerable

This is easier said than done, of course. But, being fully vulnerable with your audience opens the floor for a beautiful thing: deep connection and a sense of community—two characteristics that make the world of social media (a world that can be pretty toxic at times) a better place.

What does this look like when you’re developing content? Create some posts about what your day-to-day life looks like while you’re working from home. Dedicate a post entirely about your failures and how you overcame them. Your social media shouldn’t just be a highlight reel.

Stay true to your brand

If someone reads the caption for one of your posts without seeing your handle or the visual that goes along with it, they should know you’re the one speaking to them. Honing in on your voice is important for connecting with your audience on an authentic level.

Think of your social media presence as the bodyguard of your brand. It’ll likely be the first thing a potential new customer or client sees when they’re doing their own research. You’ll also be attracting the audience that’s right for you.

Practice the APV method (Always Provide Value)

The APV method isn’t certified, but it should be. Let us explain.

If there’s one piece of advice to take away from this article, it’s the Golden Rule of social media: Quality is always better than quantity.

Posting consistently is, of course, important so you can stay in touch with your audience. But, you should never post something on social media just to say you did.

When you hit the “Post” or “Publish” button, everything you put out into the world should provide your audience with value. The 4:3:2 method for Instagram from Social Media Examiner is a great place to start.

You should tell a story with every nine squares on your Instagram feed. This means, post:

  • Four posts that help your ideal client
  • Three posts that create connections with your ideal client
  • Two posts that promote or sell your services

Not only does this give you a solid framework to base your content plan around, but it also ensures that whatever you publish will resonate with your audience. Don’t forget to check in to see what posts are and are not performing well with your analytics, ask your audience questions, and re-evaluate social media trends to make sure you’re still on the right track.

Embrace listening—and pivoting

Consumers actually do want to hear from brands and businesses about their political and social beliefs, so consider this the green light to speak up about cultural and political movements you feel strongly about, especially if they align with your professional and personal values.

But, in order for your social media content to be authentic, you must have your finger on the pulse of the world to avoid coming off as tone-deaf or insensitive.

Tune in to what’s happening around you, listen to your audience, and adjust accordingly. Social media incorporates the art of the pivot.

What are some steps you want to take to become more authentic on social media? Let us know in the comments below.

Haleigh is the Social Media Strategist at Teachable. Outside of work, she loves baking, learning about astrology, and practicing calligraphy.