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Be real-01Be real.
Be relevant.
Be authentic.
Be likeable.
Be shareable.
Be yourself.

Never forget you’re talking to people on social media. Not an anonymous “target audience” but people.

Real life, living, breathing creatures who have been around a while in this fast-paced world and who have been consuming social media for a while too.

With the commercialisation of social media I understand that it’s necessary to “slant” posts to provide the greatest engagement, impact, cut-through, etc. but sometimes I feel I’m having a company’s chosen brand of “authenticity” stuffed down my throat.

Social media’s primary purpose is not to promote a product but to enable a connection with your audience so that, when purchase decision-making time comes, you are “top of mind” in their mental/online list of retailers.

Be real. Celebrate your successes and mourn your failures but be real. Always.

Be relevant. If I am following you as a business, I don’t care what your cat ate for dinner (unless you’re a pet food company in which case, please, go right ahead). Compartmentalise your personal and professional selves. Just as you wouldn’t discuss what your cat ate for dinner at a networking event (if you would, you’re doing it wrong) please don’t share on your business social media accounts. Save it for your personal account.

Be authentic. Audiences can smell a fake from 100 paces on social. Staged photos and pompous self-inflation soon wear people’s patience thin.

Be likeable. Think about every post you create. Is this enjoyable for your audience? Is it amusing, inspiring, engaging? Or is it pretentious, self-aggrandising drivel that will make your audience roll their eyes? If it’s the latter, tone it down, please. Nothing makes an audience switch off [read: unfollow] faster than a good dose of BS.

Be shareable. The social media golden ticket: shareability. If people love what you do, they will share. If you’re writing about what you love, you’ll be loveable too.

Be yourself. Your business is, at its heart, an expression of you and your passion. Utilise that passion to create posts that embody your professional self.

The single most popular post I’ve ever written on this blog (which has just clocked over 4,000 views) is “If your brain was a country what would be the capital city?” – a post I wrote one day in 5 minutes, spontaneously while my toddler was napping. A post that embodied my personal and professional selves but had a deeply personal voice; effectively a post that represented me, as a brand. Posts that I’ve spent hours crafting just haven’t achieved the engagement of that one post. Why? Because I was being my authentic self.

Are you being authentic on social?