“Authenticity is the key component of what makes social media so successful for businesses. Authentic social media is the modern day testimonial: It allows users to interact with businesses in real time, but also creates an open space for conversation and feedback. If a person is having a hard time receiving assistance from a business’s customer service, for instance, all they need to do is tweet at them for a response. Other users can get involved depending on the severity of the situation, forcing all sides to be accountable,” wrote Kelly Samuel for Forbes.
A research shows that 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before already forming an opinion about a business. In an age of ever-advancing technology and communication, online reviews remain an important part of consumer research and decision-making. Why? Because they appear to be honest and authentic. We want brands and products in whose statements we can trust.
“There is tremendous power behind authentic and honest messaging. When the story resonates, the audience listens, and when we hear what they are saying and respond with thought, the conversation continues and we all benefit. Brand honesty and authenticity build trust for your content marketing efforts not because you are saying what they want to hear, but because you’re saying what’s real,” wrote expresswriters.com.
Moreover, we think of an authentic company as one that stays true to their core values, principles, and overall brand. Therefore, authenticity is especially important for branding. “If a company decides they want to represent themselves in a way that is different than they normally do, they run the risk of losing the trust of their clients and therefore their integrity and authenticity. Honesty is a quality every company should aspire to have, but not everyone is transparent, which creates a climate of dishonesty,” said elevatemybrand.com.
Marketers must understand that putting brand truth into practice starts with understanding perceptions. Using in-depth research and insights to quantify perceptions and behaviors, will help you know exactly what drives your audience and their interactions with your brand, vastly improving your chances of appealing to the new consumer – who expects nothing less. Using complex data to maintain an audience-centric approach and reach consumers with the right message, in the right place, at the right time. Rather than relying on assumption and a vague understanding of your target audience, the data in existence today is transforming what’s possible by pointing us in what we know to be the right direction.
“Authenticity comes down to giving people a reason to care. Consumers want to care – they want to believe that their purchase is making a difference somewhere, somehow, that the brands they are supporting with their hard-earned dollars are living out the values that they believe in. People respond to honesty, integrity, enthusiasm and love, and they can spot frauds from a mile away. It’s never too late to look for the authenticity that exists within your business and to capitalize on it with thoughtful, engaging campaigns,” explains go.tenthcrowcreative.com.
AdAge.com puts the finger on the reality but offering you the great piece of advice: Don’t say you are authentic — be authentic. “Straight-talking” and “plugged-in” are both better word choices to personify your brand. “Attributes should be sufficiently nuanced to drive differentiation through creative expression in a way that will foster a real audience connection. Skittles is one of my favorite examples. Brand attributes for the company’s “Taste the Rainbow”campaign were unpredictable and irreverent. They provided a clear and genuine brand POV that resulted in fun and crazy — not annoying — creative that engaged its audience while driving brand lift and sales,” concluded Jill Byron.