Bringing Authenticity to Your Brand

Last updated: 05-22-2021

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Bringing Authenticity to Your Brand

Bringing Authenticity to Your Brand
Bringing Authenticity to Your Brand
May 18, 2021
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“Be authentic,” says everyone. It’s one of the most common pieces of advice you get when you’re on social media. Whether you’re a marketer, a business owner, or just someone who enjoys intellectual Twitter chats, you always hear the authenticity word being thrown around. But what exactly does it mean to be authentic on Twitter, and how to go about it?
We invited social media consultant and coach, Julia Jornsay-Silverberg, to talk just about that. Here’s a summary of our chat.
Guest: Julia Jornsay-Silverberg
Topic: Bringing authenticity to your brand
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.
Q1: What does it mean to be authentic on social media?
To be authentic is to be yourself. It means you show up on social media as the person you are, and not as who you wish you were. It means you put your genuine self out there for others to see and interact with you. This means that you’re not always strong and in control—to be authentic means that you acknowledge and accept your vulnerabilities and grow past it. It’s not shiny and glittery all the time, and that’s ok.
A1: Being authentic means being yourself. It means showing up on social media as you are. That means not just posting the highlights, but really sharing. It’s why I like to take an anti-highlight reel approach to social media. #TwitterSmarter https://t.co/G5f2RtaW2Y
— Julia Jornsay-Silverberg (@jbethjs) May 13, 2021
Putting it another way, Jim said being authentic means that you have the credibility to back up what you’re saying. To have that credibility, however, you have to be transparent with your audience, understand them, and show them the real you.
A1 Being authentic on social media means having the credibility to back up what you're saying and then following through, keying on your audience's needs rather than your own. #TwitterSmarter
— Jim Katzaman – Get Debt-Free One Family at a Time (@JKatzaman) May 13, 2021
Q2: Why is authenticity important on social media?
Authenticity triggers an emotional response. When we see someone being heartfelt and genuine, we automatically empathize with them. We’ve all had tough times, and we’ve all messed up. Seeing someone else going through it only increases our connection with them. That’s why authenticity matters on social media. It’s how your audience connects with you.
A2: Authenticity is important because I believe that's what's relatable. Nobody can relate to a highlight reel. We can't connect to perfection. If you want to create connections on social media, be authentic. #TwitterSmarter https://t.co/T52HdObJIK pic.twitter.com/jQt7ms30mH
— Julia Jornsay-Silverberg (@jbethjs) May 13, 2021
As Christine went on to explain, this initial connection we form develops into familiarity and trust. This Know-Like-Trust factor is the foundation of any relationship—including buyer and seller. After all, once you get to know someone, you no longer treat them just as a person you do business with. Instead, you’ll start treating them as a friend. People who buy from friends stick around for the long haul.
A2.
If someone feels authentic, we can begin to feel like we know, like, and trust them.
We feel like we’re building a relationship with them, not just conducting a transaction. #TwitterSmarter
— Christine Gritmon ❤️ #ChatAboutBrand (@cgritmon) May 13, 2021
Q3: How can brands bring an authentic voice to social media?
Our guest shared a couple of suggestions including signing tweets off with your name, especially if your brand has more than one person managing social handles. This also helps your team members bring their own voice to a tweet instead of a cold brand that’s hard to connect with.
Another way to bring authenticity to your social media is to showcase the faces behind the handles. Promote your team members to your audience so the next time they see a signature they recognize, they know who they’re talking to. When you put faces to names, communication flows easily and more genuinely.
A3: Brands can empower their team to start speaking more like a human and less like a brand. Maybe even sign off on your engagement to show the human behind the interaction. Also, brands can showcase their team, just like we do @nowmg . #TwitterSmarter https://t.co/K4sJ0XftRJ
— Dewi Eirig Jones ???????????????????????????? (@DewiEirig) May 13, 2021
Q4: What are the benefits of showcasing your personality on social media?
Your personality is a signal to your audience. If you’re a high-energy person, like our guest, when you showcase your personality on social media, you attract others who draw inspiration and joy from engaging with a high-energy person. That’s why your personality is a great way to initiate conversations and build connections.
A4: It's the best way to really create a connection with someone! For instance, I'm super high energy. Some people are exhausted by my energy and some people are energized by it. By showing my personality, I attract the right people. #TwitterSmarter https://t.co/Tp5S2BVFQN pic.twitter.com/VOGImWQEaH
— Julia Jornsay-Silverberg (@jbethjs) May 13, 2021
Our friends from OnePitch made another good point about the benefit of showing off your personality on social media. As they said, when you’re being yourself, you’re telling people your story and who you are. When you do this as a brand, you create a narrative for your brand as a whole. Humans are naturally keen to hear and participate in other people’s stories. So when you have a brand story, your audience will automatically want to be a part of that narrative.
A4: Companies are filled with incredible people so showcase that personality. It's what gives companies a story and a heart. People want to hear, see, and be apart of that story, which leads to folks following along with the journey. #TwitterSmarter
— OnePitch (@onepitchsaas) May 13, 2021
Q5: Can brands have a voice that’s distinct from the business owner?
Certainly. A business owner doesn’t necessarily have to be the voice of the brand. Instead, your brand can have a completely individual voice that complements the owner’s voice. How you form the brand’s voice depends on who manages the social media handles and how they form the brand’s voice. This voice should be a conscious decision made by the stakeholders involved in the brand so that everyone can help maintain that voice.
A5: Absolutely, they can if that's the right fit! It just comes down to giving the right team member the role of creating content for the brand that fits what the brand is all about at its core. #TwitterSmarter https://t.co/ok9v92IQey
— Julia Jornsay-Silverberg (@jbethjs) May 13, 2021
A good way to look at this is as Alyx explained. While the brand’s voice should reflect the business owner’s values, the brand’s voice includes the voices of those who manage it on a daily basis and the audience who regularly engage with it. That’s why employee-generated content (EGC) and user-generated content (UGC) are valuable in defining the brand’s overall voice.
A5 Definitely!
While the values of the brand should reflect the owner's, they can be two separate entities. The brand could also include the personalities of the employees – shown through EGC, and the clients/audience – through UGC
— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) May 13, 2021
Q6: Are there any drawbacks to showcasing your personality on social media?
A big and quickly-obvious drawback is that you’ll realize that not everyone likes you. This is an important part of defining your brand’s unique voice because it shows that you’re not for everyone. If anything, it narrows your audience, helping you reach the most relevant people first.
A6: Definitely; you might find out that some people don't like you! That can be hard at first for some people. What's important to realize is that you're not a fit for everyone and that's a good thing. #TwitterSmarter https://t.co/vGLklRChE3 pic.twitter.com/MotdST7oq4
— Julia Jornsay-Silverberg (@jbethjs) May 13, 2021
The most damaging effect of showcasing your personality on social media comes when you do it half-heartedly, as Javier pointed out. For example, if you started to establish your personality, but in-between decided to change course, the lack of consistency will confuse your audience.
A6: Yes, if you're not invested in truly showing off your personality, your lackluster attitude will be reflected in your brand voice and presence. #twittersmarter
— Javier Sanabria (@SanabriaJav) May 13, 2021
Q7: What are your top Twitter tips for brands that want to be more authentic?
Encourage your employees and team members to have fun and enjoy themselves. When they’re genuinely happy with their work, it’ll reflect on their social interactions as well. This includes even the employees who don’t handle your Twitter handle. When they’re sincerely happy to be part of your brand, they’ll automatically create and share content that’s unique to your brand.
A7: Empower your employees to have fun and share their voice in a way that's appropriate for your brand given your industry. Embrace your humanity. #TwitterSmarter
That’s what we do @NOWMG and it’s pretty rad ???? https://t.co/cpjs6MZO3N
— Julia Jornsay-Silverberg (@jbethjs) May 13, 2021
That leads to another crucial point that Theodora mentioned. Don’t micromanage your social media managers. Let them take autonomy of their activities. Show that you trust them to do their job well.
A7. Stop micromanaging your social media manager. #TwitterSmarter
— Teodora Ema Pirciu (@emapirciu) May 13, 2021
Q8: What are some brands that have a great and authentic voice on Twitter?
Jeremy’s shout-out went to #TwitterSmarter OG Brian Fanzo. If you’ve seen Brian’s work, you’ll know that he’s passionate about his work and constantly talking about all the things that matter most to him. Everything in his profile—from bio, images, to tweets and videos—is a reflection of his personality.
A8: One of my favorite individuals that shares their authentic voice is @iSocialFanz !
The way that he is so personable and real on his accounts allows me to feel like he is talking in person right next to me.
Soooo grateful for his messages and content. #TwitterSmarter
— Jeremy Linaburg (@jeremy_linaburg) May 13, 2021
Other favorites included Paper Boat drinks, Innocent drinks, ScotRail, Orkney Library, Big Orange Heart, and a handful of others.
Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through, and for more great insights from our chat with Julia, check out this Twitter thread . And if you thought this summary was pretty good, come along to the live chat—it’ll be even more awesome! We hang out on Twitter every Thursday from 1pm ET—use #TwitterSmarter and join the fun.
About me, Narmadhaa:
I write all the things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.


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