How to be authentic with Social Media – 5 tips

Posted on April 13, 2011



Being authentic is important in your personal brand. It’s also important when you use social media for either business or personal means. I attended a very interesting session about “Being an Authentic Voice in Social Media,” which was co-sponsored by the American Marketing Association Boston Chapter and the Social Media Club of Boston.

The panelists came from a variety of industries so each panelist had a different perspective. The panelists were:

Mike Troiano, Principal at Holland Mark and author of the blog, Scalable Intimacy
Georgy Cohen, Web Content Manager at Tufts University
Luke Penny, Founder of Leap Organics
Mike Langford, President and Investment Advisor, Course Pilot Financial.

Here’s what I learned from this very interesting discussion:

1. Be yourself.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Consumers are very skeptical today; they tune out hype and hard-sell.

2. Build trust by being honest.

If you mess up, admit it and don’t try to cover it up. A sincere apology can go a long way towards building trust. Also, be specific on how you are going to make it right.

3. Keep a fine line between your business and your personal social media presence.

For example, you may have a company Twitter account and a personal Twitter account. Your company Twitter account can be somewhat personal, say @JoeNameofyourcompany. Let’s be honest, do you want your customers to know everything about your personal life?

4. Be honest with yourself on how much time you can spend doing social media.

Outsourcing your company’s social media can be risky, especially if you are using social media for customer service. You will miss the nuances of some customer communications by hearing it from a third party instead of first hand.

5. Be consistent.

It does you no good to be doing daily blog posts one week and then not doing another post for a few months. Figure out how much time you can realistically spend on social media and then make a plan for how you’re going to use that time.

How will you be authentic with social media?

Photo is courtesy of Assbach’s Flickr Photostream under Creative Commons Licensing.