The effectiveness of social media in spreading your message is unquestionable. We rely on it to get the word out in every facet of our lives, from our business pages, to simply letting friends know you are on vacation. What’s becoming more difficult is effectively cutting through the noise when trying to highlight your product or service. Every company has celebrities posing with their product plastered across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As more companies create their social media ads to emulate commercials, it’s becoming harder to set yourself apart. If you can’t afford a big name to pose with your product, how can you possibly keep up?
Here’s the secret: advertising your product like you’re making a TV ad is going to hurt you far more than help you.
What’s your secret weapon?
If you’re trying to best highlight your brand, you’re going to want to focus on one word: “authenticity.”
According to a survey by SocialMediaToday.com, 86% of people look for authenticity when deciding to support a brand or product, and when looking at just younger generations, a full 90% look for authenticity first and foremost. The more packaged and “professional,” the less likely they are to notice.
How do I become “authentic?”
Your first place you want to look is your own audience. User-generated content will always be your strongest force. It’s easy to come up with a slick ad and smooth messaging extolling the brilliance of your brand, but why would people believe it? But, what if a customer or client comes forward to talk about their experience? Then you have authenticity!
Glasses frame maker Warby Parker had an incredibly successful campaign designed around the hashtag #WarbyHomeTryOn. They asked users to take selfies in frames they were trying out and post them on social media under their hashtag. The promotion went wild, with users trading pictures back and forth, giving opinions on what frames looked best, and sharing stories about their glasses fully independent of Warpy Parker. The amount of buzz created was incredible.
How can I get my audience behind me?
No one knows your audience and your brand better than you do. There is no magic phrase that will make user-generated content appear. Talk to your audience. Watch their conversations. Figure out what you are offering them that makes them excited, and then craft your message out of that. Can users try your product on at home and send in selfies?
Try to think of something fun and creative that will get your audience engaged based on what they will have fun with. Your fans are your greatest asset, and their voices will carry more weight than even the glossiest professional campaign ever could. Make sure that you also take the time to thank your fans and clients for their continued support as well!