How To Be Authentic On Social Media
Gone are the days when the perfectly curated social media feed reigned supreme! While there’s still a time and place for it, the obsession with making all content perfect and curated is definitely not as prevalent as it once was. TikTok and Instagram Reels quickly took over as the most popular method of content creation, and that’s partially because video often allows content to be authentic on social media and people like it when they feel connected to the Creator behind the screen.
At Sidewalker Daily, we help Creators and Influencers build out their business strategy, work with brands and find success on social media. We also consult with brands on their Influencer campaigns, making sure they reach their Creator partnerships goals. No matter which side we’re working on at the moment, staying honest and real with content is the key to earning any audience’s trust.
Because it’s so important, we want to share some thoughts on why it’s always in your best interest to be authentic online and give you some pro tips for how to be authentic on social media.
Why Being Authentic On Social Media Will Change Your Life
A huge part of your job as an Influencer is giving your audience recommendations. Whatever your niche, you’re creating content with the intention of spreading ideas and helping your followers accomplish something.
That’s why transparency in social media matters as an Influencer or Creator. If you appear “fake” or “inauthentic,” it could affect your trust with your followers and make it harder to do your job.
Authenticity Earns Trust
Before your followers can take your advice, they need to trust you. And there’s a reason that consumer behavior reports continue to show that shoppers trust recommendations from friends, family, and Influencers over the brands themselves.
Because it’s more authentic. Of course a brand is going to say that their product or service is the best. Hearing it from someone you know and trust is an entirely different experience than hearing it from a brand’s advertisement.
This is the same reason that brands rely on testimonials or product reviews.
However, when it comes to Influencers and content Creators, the audience knows that it’s a partnership and that the Creator very well may be getting paid for that post.
So being authentic on social media as a Creator then becomes 10 times more important because if your followers think you’re doing something just for the cash, that authority and influence you had goes right out the window. They need to know that you’re working with a brand and promoting a product or service because you genuinely like it and want to recommend it – not just because you needed some extra cash that month.
The Hidden Growth Hack Of Authenticity
Want to grow on social media? Authenticity might just be the growth hack that you’re missing to take your channel to the next level. There’s a few reasons for this that you need to understand.
From a technical perspective, content that feels real and engaging (AKA: human) does better with the algorithm. The more people relate to something and engage with it, the more visibility it can expect to have on social media platforms.
Which means more eyes on your page, helping your account gain new followers.
Secondly, if you want to work with brands and grow in that area of your business, you need to have a loyal audience that interacts and engages with your content. You can report your results back to brands to show them the impact of the campaign—whether that’s click throughs, sign ups, sales, or any other relevant measure of success.
Then you can take these results and share them with potential future brand partners in the form of a case study. The brand will feel more confident in your ability to promote their product and know that you have a loyal audience.
How To Be Authentic On Social Media
If you feel like it’s a bit of a struggle to be yourself online, don’t worry because you’re not alone. This feeling is nothing new in the Creator and Influencer industry!
When there’s a lot of people watching what you do, there can be a lot of pressure to show up “perfectly.” Good news is, you’re perfect as you are and being yourself is actually a hack to growing your influence and creating amazing content.
We know it’s easier said then done, so read on for 7 of our best tips on how to be authentic on social media. We use these tricks ourselves and it really helps us to be honest and authentic when we post, so we know you’ll love them too.
1) Analyze Why You’re Not Being Yourself
Try getting to the bottom of it! Before you can start thinking about how to be authentic on social media, you kind of have to recognize that you’re not being authentic in the first place. And then from there, you need to analyze your situation and start questioning why this might be.
There are plenty of reasons why you might not be your true, authentic self on social media. Here’s a few to consider:
- You’re trying to be someone else. Maybe you have a favorite Influencer that you’ve been following for a long time. You love their content and want to be like them…but you’re not them! You’re you and that is special in itself. Drawing inspiration from others is fine, but trying to copy someone else completely almost always doesn’t work.
- You feel judged and self conscious. No matter how badly you want to be an Influencer because you like helping others, you’re outgoing, you love sharing on social media etc…there’s going to be a time that you feel self conscious online. It’s just human nature! However, when this overwhelms you and impacts how you show up online, it’s time to address it.
- You don’t know exactly what you want to say. There are hundreds of different niches or topics to talk about as an Influencer or Creator nowadays. But if you don’t have a “why” or a clear understanding of what messages and purpose you want to get across with your content, it’s going to be pretty difficult to shape an authentic online brand.
At the end of the day, people can tell if you mean it or if you don’t. And trust us on this one, it’s 100x easier to talk about products and brands that you actually enjoy using. It’s way easier to get your followers to believe in something you’re talking about or recommending if you believe in it too.
2) Overcome Feelings Of Judgement From Friends And Family
Showing up authentically online is especially a challenge when you have friends and family following you—it seems like they’re silently watching every move you make, even if they’re not engaging with your content.
Typically, we have two pieces of advice for our Creator clients who feel this way:
- Learn to get past it: In the initial stages of your Creator journey, there’s going to be a lot to get used to. Other people’s opinions (and sometimes judgment) is something that you’re going to have to deal with. It takes practice, but you can learn to get past it and soon enough those same people will be asking you how you did it.
- Create new accounts or lists: Plenty of Influencers and Creators start their journey by making fresh accounts specifically for their business. This helps a lot because you’ll know that the followers you have specifically followed you to see your content. They’re not just friends and family who aren’t necessarily interested in your niche.
If you’ve ever felt like it’s hard to break out and be fully yourself online as a content Creator or Influencer because of people in your life, hopefully you can find some comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in this. So many Creators feel this way, but the sooner you let go of others opinions, the sooner you can be yourself.
3) Be Selective When You Work With Brands
Coaching Creators and Influencers through pitching to brands and landing their dream paid brand deals is what we do at Sidewalker Daily. There’s nothing more exciting for us then when one of our Creators secures a brand partnership!
But we’re not about chasing any old brand partnership just for the sake of it. It is much more important to us that you are as selective as possible when it comes to working with brands. You shouldn’t just say yes to any brand—in fact there’s quite a few reasons to say no to a brand partnership.
One of those reasons is if the brand doesn’t align with your values and your mission. Make sure a brand partnership feels like a good fit for your personal brand and the usual content you create.
If you’re going to your audience with a recommendation, they need to feel like it’s something you actually believe in and want to promote. And if you want your audience to take action and trust you, the last thing you want is them to think you just take sponsored posts for the money.
4) Disclose All Of Your Partnerships
Disclosing your brand partnerships is a really simple way to show your audience that you follow the rules and guidelines of posting advertisements as an Influencer. When they see that you disclose these partnerships, they’ll be more confident in your recommendations. They’ll know that you’re not trying to sneakily sell them things without them knowing.
Make sure you stay up to date on the rules for disclosing sponsored posts. There are actual laws for doing so, and it’s extremely important for both you and the brand partners you work with that you follow them.
In terms of what to consider before posting on social media, disclosing partnerships and being authentic go hand in hand!
5) Let People In Behind The Scenes
What’s more authentic than letting people in behind the scenes? You want to show content that is “non-perfect” and less curated. Doing so humanizes you to your audience and allows them to connect with you on a deeper level.
This can look a hundred different ways, but a great place to start is Instagram Stories. Using Stories gives your audience a more “in the moment” feeling and it comes off less curated. Show them what’s happening in your life without going through rounds of edits.
6) Smile, Smile, Smile!
Getting yourself out there and smiling on camera is huge. You want the person on the other side to feel comfortable around you, even like they know you!
One of the biggest pieces of advice we give for how to be authentic on social media is to talk the same way you would if you were talking to a friend. As often as you can, avoid reading directly from a script.
Instead, write out some bullet points of the things you want to cover and then just free flow talk to the camera as you would to a friend or family member. Trying too hard to create a perfectly scripted version of yourself more often than not comes off as inauthentic and cold.
Don’t worry if you don’t nail it right away! With practice, you’ll be comfortable being yourself on camera in no time. And if it’s any solace, hundreds of thousands of videos are published online daily—no one cares as much as you think they do about a video you post. People are not sitting there dissecting your social media post for hours, and neither should you.
7) Just Get Started
The first 50 videos we did on our YouTube channel were with a webcam—so we’re Team No Excuses over here at Sidewalker Daily!
Obviously you might want to have some sort of game plan as you start creating content online as an Influencer or Creator. Especially if you’re trying to turn this into a business and not a hobby. At Sidewalker Daily, we offer private coaching sessions to help Creators and Influencers figure out their monetization and business strategy so if that’s something you need help with you can book a session here.
The bottom line is overanalyzing how YOU are going to show up online and present yourself to the world will only set you back. There’s only one of you and that is your key to success. Sitting around and talking about something will only get you so far – you need to take action and make moves as that’s the only way to actually grow online.
Just remember to be the same warm and friendly person you are when you talk to your friends in real life and that’s going to help you shine on camera.
Ready To Be Your Authentic Self On Camera?
Whether you’re just getting started on your Influencer journey or you’ve been doing it for a bit, we hope this post inspired you to show up as your most authentic self. Trust us, it’s the way to do it!
Here’s a recap of our best tips on how to be more authentic on social media:
1) Remember that being authentic on social media helps your account grow by pushing your content out to more people and getting you results that make brands want to work with you.
2) Analyze why you might not be showing up online as your true self…then work on fixing it.
3) Compartmentalize this part of your life by learning to get past it or separating your accounts.
4) Be selective when you work with brands, only partnering with those that make sense for you.
5) Disclose all of your partnerships.
6) Let people in behind the scenes.
7) Smile on camera and pretend you’re talking to a friend!
8) Just get started—overanalyzing how you show up online will just set you back and have you second guessing yourself.
Still feeling unsure about putting yourself out there on social media? Not sure how to organize your content and start working with brands? Be sure to book a one-on-one coaching call with one of our Creator experts and we’ll help you come up with a personalized plan.
Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know in the comments below.