As the internet continues to flood with content, brands need to work harder than ever to break through the clutter and connect with people online. You know how to get your message into news feeds, be it targeting, paid campaigns, featured posts or working with influencers. But when you’re in front of people, does your message really have an impact and connect with your audience as you hoped?

Influencers and brands get caught trying to try too hard online. Influencers cry in the posts and then be called “fishing”. Celebrities write that they have never eaten cereal before. Brands post more photoshoped bodies than necessary…

Your followers can spot inauthenticity from a mile away.

We link most to real content, and people catch fake content.

Authentic is a word that kids use a lot these days. But it’s not just a trendy statement to use at your next networking event. By definition, authenticity is being genuine or genuine. This is definitely what you should try socially.

While everyone plays the game of being mindful of looks on social media, authenticity comes naturally to many people in their personal profiles – even if they’re not completely authentic.

That authenticity comes from sharing real-life content, and even if we curate our posts, design our captions, and only share our best moments, we still share our real lives.

Brands have a completely different struggle to keep it real online because they are not human. They can’t just post a 37-episode concert and bam story on Instagram—they can’t make you feel like a part of their life.

So how should brands keep the truth on social media and connect with their target audiences in real, long-lasting ways? Here are a few tips.

1. Be honest and transparent

This goes without saying, but let’s be honest… (Look what I did there? Sorry, I’m going to kick myself out.) We’ve all come across some pretty fake stuff on the internet. Fake news, photoshopped images, stories that seem too good to be true…

Fluffy content is everywhere. People catch online junk like this pretty quickly. And while browsing your own news feed might make you think otherwise, people are smarter than ever. We can all easily spot that a brand is fake, and that’s not a good look.

As brands we need to stay away from dishonest content as much as possible, but this is not groundbreaking advice. So take honesty and transparency a step further. Be as honest and truthful about your product or service as possible. Go behind the scenes and humanize your brand with your social media content.

In relation :  WATCH: Devon Conway takes on the unique and insane castle guard with a sprint to the border ropes to save some runs

If you’re selling a product, share stories about how you made it. Tell people where the materials come from, how you produce it, or how you design the things you want them to buy.

If you are a service, share the work on building your customer experience.

If you’re an influencer, post an unedited photo from your real phone once in a while.

If you’re looking for a quick lesson on what not to do, look no further than our favorite non-celebrity celebrity, Kylie Jenner. In September 2018, she tweeted that she was “eating cereal with milk for the first time” and was “life-changing”.

Come on, Kylie… you live in the United States, where cereal is literally a food group.

This kind of pandering for online attention is incredibly contrived and can damage your reputation even as a celebrity. Case in point: moments later, Kylie was called in on several blogs and tweets for sharing a cereal Instagram with “probably milk” back in 2015. And while it’s entirely possible that it’s yogurt, it’s highly unlikely. I had never eaten cereal with milk before the tweet in question.

2. Skip calls to action for a second

Basically, the whole point of marketing is to create an opportunity for sales, and your social media marketing strategy should be no different. But it’s really easy to try to turn every online interaction into a quick sale or conversion by sending a “Buy Now” call to action for everything.

When it comes to conversions or sales, try playing a long game with social media once in a while. Strike a balance between posts that aim to convert or sell quickly, and posts that simply aim to connect with your audience.

Creating positive brand moments using interesting content builds connections and makes people feel like they are part of your brand. And if people feel they are part of your brand, where is the first place they will go when they need everything you have to offer?

If you’re doing things right, the answer should be “you”.

3. If you screw it up, own it

We were all there. A misspelled typo, a poorly worded response, or a post that went off like a lead balloon.

Social media blunders are usually pretty harmless, but mistakes are entirely possible that can damage a brand’s reputation faster than you can tell, Cambridge Analytica said.

It can happen to anyone, and when it does, your first reaction may be to delete the offending content and forget everything. But here’s a not-so-hidden secret: You can’t really delete anything on the Internet.

The moment you post it, it burns permanently in the metaphorical eyes of the web. So, in the unfortunate case, if you mess around a bit, own it. And find the best way to fix it.

In relation :  Twitter: This employee publicly challenges Elon Musk to find out if he's fired

If your social media bullshit is serious enough, get into PR mode and do some crisis management. Even in very serious situations, admitting the mistake and sincerely apologizing can help repair some of the damage that has already been done.

Do your best to fix the problem and make sure your audience knows what to do in the future to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Also, keep in mind that social media content moves quickly when you’re worried about the whole situation late at night. It’s only a matter of time before someone else does something unprofessional and the world continues to do it.

In less serious cases like a typo or an actual mistake, correct it and own it. If you can turn the situation around or even turn it into a joke, give that a shot too, especially if it suits your brand personality.

People love jokes, and a self-deprecating humor is fun once in a while.

Pretending that nothing happened can cause a whole host of problems later on, especially when the blunder is quite serious. Owning up to mistakes shows real people behind the scenes and humanizes your brand.

4. Clickbait headlines are a thing of the past, but what happens next will get you excited

We got it. The struggle to prove ROI with social media is real and if we don’t do it we just “make Instagram” and we all know that’s not what social marketing is.

So what are we doing? We create engaging content.

There’s no sure way to know if a post will get the engagement you expect, but there are a few hacks that are definitely trending. Some are fun – like posting a meme on time (perhaps Lilo dancing in Mykonos, the idea is welcome) – and some are just plain gross. It’s like clickbait.

Due to these mostly dire trends, we’ve had content pollution a few times. When brands try to take on these brash online content storms, they quickly tire and your content looks like it’s trying too hard. Have you seen a brand trying to turn a meme into an ad? Case closed.

If your social content is only there for views, clicks or likes, you should rethink your strategy. Better not to post anything than to post below average content just to get clicks.

Take the time to create a well-planned social media content calendar and make sure all your posts resonate with your target audience. Remember that every post must be permanently attributable to your brand. Your social content is deeply rooted in your overall brand, so make sure it’s great.

Take the time to plan and create a unique social media presence using Moyens I/O. Plan all your social media posts in advance, engage your followers, and track the success of your efforts. Try it for free today.

To start