Authenticity: The Currency in Social Media Marketing

Influencers, microbloggers and YouTubers have become ever more important for marketing. Many companies already invest more money in social media marketing than in the traditional channels TV, print and radio. But many decision-makers are not aware of what really matters in social media marketing. Decisions are based on ‘gut feel’ or more or less transparent key performance indicators offered by social media agencies. As a consequence, many companies work together with influencers that are currently hyped, without taking into consideration if their image matches the organisation’s corporate and brand image in a credible manner.

 

We interviewed media experts and microbloggers and revealed that perceived authenticity plays a key role in social media marketing and makes the difference to professional advertising: people like you and me are standing in front of a camera, saying what they like, do and which products they are happy to use. Even though viewers are aware of their co-operation with manufacturers, influencer’s messages still feel more real and believable than those of acting ad models.

What makes influencers’ contributions appear to be “real” and “authentic”? Our analysis revealed a number of strategies that successful bloggers use:

 

  • Using consistent themes in the feed creates the impression that the stories told are coherent and therefore true.
  • Promptly interacting with the community makes followers feel they are really interacting with a friend or like-minded person who is genuinely interested in their experiences and concerns.
  • Consistently using specific verbal and visual (colour) codes makes the influencer look unique and genuine.
  • Revealing small weaknesses and deficiencies strengthens the impression of interacting with a real person who is convinced of what he or she shares.

 

What does this mean for social media marketing? Apart from the quantitative indicators, what definitely must be considered about potential cooperation partners is what they stand for and how credible the match is between them and the messages and values that you would like to convey with your marketing strategies. In so doing, communication will be perceived not only by a lot of people but the relevant people. I am happy to support your social media marketing efforts with our communications and media psychology expertise and consultancy.

Authenticity: The Currency in Social Media Marketing

Influencers, microbloggers and YouTubers have become ever more important for marketing. Many companies already invest more money in social media marketing than in the traditional channels TV, print and radio. But many decision-makers are not aware of what really matters in social media marketing. Decisions are based on ‘gut feel’ or more or less transparent key performance indicators offered by social media agencies. As a consequence, many companies work together with influencers that are currently hyped, without taking into consideration if their image matches the organisation’s corporate and brand image in a credible manner.

What makes influencers’ contributions appear to be “real” and “authentic”? Our analysis revealed a number of strategies that successful bloggers use:

 

  • Using consistent themes in the feed creates the impression that the stories told are coherent and therefore true.
  • Promptly interacting with the community makes followers feel they are really interacting with a friend or like-minded person who is genuinely interested in their experiences and concerns.
  • Consistently using specific verbal and visual (colour) codes makes the influencer look unique and genuine.
  • Revealing small weaknesses and deficiencies strengthens the impression of interacting with a real person who is convinced of what he or she shares.

 

What does this mean for social media marketing? Apart from the quantitative indicators, what definitely must be considered about potential cooperation partners is what they stand for and how credible the match is between them and the messages and values that you would like to convey with your marketing strategies. In so doing, communication will be perceived not only by a lot of people but the relevant people. I am happy to support your social media marketing efforts with our communications and media psychology expertise and consultancy.