This One Quality Can Make or Break Your Social Media Campaigns

social media authenticity

With so many different brands using social media to reach out to customers, it can be difficult to stand out.

Some businesses try to use contests, videos, and other special promotions to interact with customers. But those promotions alone can’t make or break your social media presence.

According to Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley, there’s one very simple aspect of social media campaigns that are most likely to make customers take notice – authenticity.

When brands interact with customers on social media, it’s really easy for customers to tell the difference between social media authenticity and companies that are just trying way too hard. Crowley said to Inc:

“It’s really clear when you’re trying too hard and being really inauthentic. There are a lot of brands that don’t do it that well, and it’s a little bit like watching a train wreck as they try to be authentic, funny, and witty.”

That doesn’t mean that brands shouldn’t be deliberate about the style and tone of their social media posts. In fact, Crowley said that Foursquare found a lot of early social media success by using a playful, flirty tone in its posts. But to make sure that tone comes across as authentic, social media managers need to be able to comfortably interact with customers in a variety of situations.

Of course, running a business social media account doesn’t just mean scheduling posts with links to products or blog posts. To use it effectively, you also need to respond to customer questions and get involved in conversations about your industry. So social media managers have to be able to easily represent your brand and the tone you want to convey without trying too hard and seeming inauthentic.

So if you’re trying to use humor in your social media campaigns, the person running your social media needs to be comfortable coming up with jokes and responding to customers in that tone. If that isn’t the case, another style might be more suitable for your company.

There’s no clear-cut way to ensure social media authenticity to every single customer. But to improve your odds, you should chose a tone that really matches with your brand image, stay consistent with your interactions, and actually talk to customers person-to-person.

If you engage in conversations and do so in a comfortable way, they’re more likely to connect with your brand and maybe even do some promoting on your behalf.

Woman Photo via Shutterstock


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

10 Reactions
  1. True. Just look at all the successful brands in social media and you’ll see how transparent they are with their lives. Authenticity is a must have these days.

    • Yes, people are more likely to respond and interact when they are talking with an actual PERSON rather than a brand.

  2. Social media is hard. It may amplify your good points but can also amplify your mistakes. People on social media are probably not specifically searching for your good or service and instead are there mostly to be entertained. Being entertaining as well as running your business can be hard!

    • Yes, that can definitely be tricky. But I think that’s why it’s important to just think of it as a conversation instead of your brand just posting links and updates.

  3. It’s so important that once you establish that authentic and consistent voice that everyone managing your social media accounts understands your vision. Having inconsistencies only leads to trouble down the road.

    • Great point! If you have multiple people updating your account then they all need to really understand the tone and vision you have for the brand.