“Authenticity” seems to be the buzz-word of 2019.
The experts will tell you that maintaining authenticity on social media is crucial to growing your audience, selling your products and fostering a loyal community. And… They’re right.
But what does being authentic actually mean?! What does it look like?! And HOW do we do it?!
For me? Authenticity comes back to that overused, white girl saying… “your vibe attracts your tribe”. My transparency on Instagram has been KEY in not only the growth of my following, but it’s also been the catalyst for finding my voice as a brand (and tbh? As a person too).
Let’s dive in beyond the emojis, the GIFS and #realtalk and look at how you can truly show up on Instagram in a way that supports you and your Instagram community.
Put more thought into your captions & copy.
Quickest way to be unfollowed by me (and probably many others)?
Crappy copy & shitty captions.
There’s a lot of it floating around lately. I even see well-established brands putting up photos of Kylie Jenner with the caption… “#mood” and I just think ...seriously? That’s IT?
Not only is this #boring, but it’s completely ineffective and it’s doing absolutely nothing to grow your socials or generate sales.
Want to grow your social media? Start a conversation. A meaningful one.
Share a story about what you’re working on at the moment. Give your audience an insight into what’s involved in the design/creation/sourcing of your products. Share stories about your business and your customers - what did your offerings do for them? What problem did you solve? Who’s day did you make?
My theory when it comes to Instagram:
Photos should stop the scroll. Captions should offer value, be relatable & nurture relationships between you and the reader.
If you follow this rule for long enough… soon? Your images won’t even need to stop the scroll. It will simply be your brand’s name that does, because your followers will know you’ve always got something interesting to share.
Prioritise building relationships with your current audience BEFORE you focus on growing it
Want to know where at least 50% of my leads come from? Word of mouth.
I’ve never had the sole intention of growing my social media, but instead? I focus on developing real relationships with my followers.
If someone replies to my Instagram story? I keep the conversation going by asking them a relevant question > remembering their answer > bringing it up again (when relevant) > and subsequently showing my audience I really do care about them.
What happens off the back of that? Their interaction with me and my brand becomes memorable. They remember the meaningful conversation they had with me.
These people start talking about me to their friends. And then their friends want in on the action/want to be my friend too. They follow me on instagram. And sometimes? They turn into a client.
No joke - at least a third of my social media management clients have found me this way. :)
Speak to one person
When I write captions for myself and for my clients, I have this one (made-up) person in my mind of who I'm speaking to, … and I write my captions as if I was sending it directly to them.
This subsequently helps me write my captions in a way that’s endearing. So when anyone from my audience reads it? They feel like it was written *just* for them.
And when something feels like it’s written just for you, what do you do? You respond to it. Which is exactly what my audience does (on my client’s accounts and my own).
Be unapologetically you.
On a platform where everyone seems to look the same, your best social media strategy opportunity is to be unapologetically yourself.
Through using your own voice, you stand out. You share things from your unique perspective. You share your own point of view - unapologetically.
But guys? It’s worth nothing that when you start to be unapologetically yourself… you may lose a couple of followers. AND THAT’S NORMAL. It’s the (very small, but totally worth it) price we pay for authenticity on the ‘gram.
When you lose a follower or 2? All it means is that your brand’s message is STRONG and attracting the *right* people, i.e. the people you want to do business with and people who truly value your brand, who you are & what you offer.⠀
The only difference is that instead of your audience following you for your outside aesthetic, they’re following you because of who you are.
And that, my friends, is the beauty of authenticity on Instagram.