5 Steps to Crafting an Authentic Social Media Presence For Your Business

Here's how to curate a unique brand identity and social media presence that will help your business stand out online.

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By Jonathan Riff

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When it comes to social media marketing, authenticity is key, but curating an authentic brand identity that helps you stand out online, helps you build trust and helps you gain visibility on social media platforms can be quite challenging.

From choosing the right platforms for your target market to posting content that starts conversations to engage with your customers, here's how to curate an authentic social media presence.

1. Choose your social media platforms wisely

While being active on all social media platforms can help to increase your organic reach, spreading yourself too thinly is a major social media marketing mistake. So rather than attempt to post across multiple platforms, choose one to three places to promote and post and keep your activity consistent.

For example, if you're a small business targeting local customers, focus on crafting high-quality content for one to two platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram first, before trying to expand to Pinterest, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also repurpose content from one platform and use it on another, which will save you precious time as a business.

Related: The Business of Harnessing the Power of Social Media

2. Create an authentic brand identity

Your brand identity must resonate with your unique target audience, so it's important to get clear on who your dream customer is and what needs or pain points they have that you can address. Once you know this, consider how you want your brand to be perceived by your target market. Do you want to come across as friendly and approachable or professional and trustworthy? This will help inform the language you use, the visuals you share and the overall tone of your posts.

Post content that your customers value and reflects their existing ideas to build an instant connection with them. By showing that you understand their point of view and have common ground, you can build up a mini-community online and show more of a personality as a brand than a corporate tone of voice. You should also build trust by providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the daily runnings of your business. This helps to break down barriers between your business, your team and your target market.

3. Show what your brand represents visually

Color combinations and video content can be used to reflect your brand's values and goals online visually. Suppose you're an outdoor/adventure brand. Your social media marketing strategy should evoke emotions of freedom, fun and excitement. Your content should energize your audience and encourage them to grasp every opportunity to explore and travel. Colors should be bright, bold and compliment the idea of outdoor adventure. Whereas a luxury spa retreat should incorporate gold, silver, bronze and ivory within their social media posts that bring to mind luxury, glamour and relaxation. This concept should be used across all social media activity and guide your choice of graphics, colors, video clips and music.

Related: 3 Ways a Strong Brand Identity Can Lead to Greater Success for Your Small Business

4. Start conversations online

When it comes to authenticity, you'll need to actively engage with users online. And one easy way of doing this is by posting content that requests a response. From polls and questionnaires to debates and hosting livestreams, social media marketing can quickly become your most powerful tool to gather insight and information about your customer's likes and dislikes. With this data, you can make better decisions as a business, tweak your social media marketing campaigns and demonstrate that you value their input.

5. Give your brand a face

Adding a human aspect to your social media presence is a smart move and can help transform your entire social media marketing approach. After all, social media is meant to be social, and your customers will appreciate engaging with another person, rather than reacting to scheduled social media posts. To give your brand a face, introduce one or two members of your team and allow them to "go live" and talk directly to your followers, answering questions, providing information and adding value.

You could also host regular webinars or podcasts and invite industry experts to collaborate with you, which will not only add value to your brand but help increase your reach online. Why does this build trust and authenticity? Well, people naturally trust other people more than they do a company, which is probably why many corporate accounts find organic growth difficult. When your brand identity includes a real person, this makes it far easier for users to trust you and connect with you.

Jonathan Riff

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Principal Brand Architect & Experience Designer

Jonathan Riff is the founder of Captains & Cowboys, a boutique digital agency bringing a human-centered philosophy to everything it creates.

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