Social media and authenticity go together like cake and frosting. You don’t have to be a major social media influencer to make a difference for people – you just have to be authentic.
Expressing yourself with passion and authenticity will influence your social media followers. Not everyone will respond in the form of likes, retweets, and comments, but when you’re authentic, people notice. You have the ability to make a difference in people’s lives whether you realize it or not.
Sharing your story authentically creates influence.
When asked to share advice on how to become successful on social media, a large number of influencers mention authenticity and the importance of sharing your personal story. For example, business coach Jamie King says, “they need to see themselves in your stories. Speak your authentic truth, who you are, where you’ve been, and where you are going. Stories connect us to our followers, share your real life journey!”
In the same article linked above, former foster parent and social worker Amy Burton says, “everything is more interesting and memorable when we see it through the eyes of someone who’s faced with difficult choices, and we care more when we hear and see how the choice and outcome impacts on them.”
People connect with each other best through stories, and when those stories are authentic, you’re going to influence people.
Authenticity works on any platform.
There’s a vast difference in the way content is delivered across various social media platforms, but authenticity works on any platform. To make it work on platforms with small character limits like Twitter, you need to get creative. For example, @jaybaer used Twitter to interview popular influencer Danny Brown. In the Twitter interview, Danny used the 140-character max to answer each question with a nugget of wisdom for others aspiring to become successful.
On YouTube, it’s easier to be authentic. Videos are no longer limited by length, and you can share your story directly with your audience.
Since YouTube is a video platform, you can also spruce up the content you create. The top YouTube influencers edit their videos for clarity and create professional intros and outros with custom audio tracks that brand their channel. Many hire professional musicians from AirGigs because being authentic also means being original.
On Facebook, authenticity is seen in a different way. People share snippets of their daily lives with others, and are more likely to share their struggles and frustrations. Life isn’t always rainbows and kittens, and people enjoy reading posts that are real, even if they’re extremely emotional.
Your random thoughts aren’t so random to others.
Have you ever posted something you thought was random, and others thanked you for your post because it was exactly what they needed to hear? You don’t need to post anything prolific to make an impact on others. Authenticity isn’t always glittery. Sometimes it’s a simple acknowledgment of how you feel, or what you think.
Authenticity means not trying to be an influencer.
You can sit down and come up with a plan to influence people, but then you lose your authenticity. That doesn’t mean you can’t script your videos and plan your posts. Authentically influencing people means sharing your message fully, rather than shaping your message to appeal to a specific audience.
Alice Bell is an Instagram influencer who gained a genuine following simply by sharing her work and passion for astrology in a fun way. She didn’t try to become an influencer. She was the first person doing in-depth astrology on Instagram, but she started off by simply post about her love for astrology. She started reading charts here and there, and eventually she quit her job and went full-time reading charts on Instagram. Bell says sharing what she’s going through emotionally helps people connect with her more. Whenever she shares her struggles, people respond and say they’re going through the same thing.
The one authenticity challenge facing influencers and brands.
Brands target influencers to promote their products and services, and for some, it’s tempting to take some cash or a free product in return for promotion. However, doing so will destroy an influencer’s authenticity.
To stay authentic, brands should only target influencers who align with their company values. Likewise, influencers should only promote products and services they align with. Sometimes that alignment is easy to spot; sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it requires a real conversation.
You don’t need to have millions of fans to be an influencer.
Being authentic will influence your fans, whether you’re posting content to millions of people, or to a small audience of people you know.
This content is sponsored by Larry Alton.
Photo credit: Shutterstock