In the age of social media, brands can’t hide anything from their customers.

Your audiences can find out everything they need to know about your business from other consumers. As such, companies can’t just “talk the talk” anymore. Whether it’s coming through with new product features or providing excellent customer care you need to ensure you’re delivering on your promise.

Organizations that are effective at maintaining customer relationships in the social media landscape are often those with brand authenticity.

What is brand authenticity?

Every brand makes promises to their consumers, but it takes additional effort to prove you’re following through with your claims. In the past, businesses could claim virtually anything and consumers had few ways of checking or disproving them. However, the rise of social media changed the relationship between companies and consumers forever.

Today, people have the freedom to share their thoughts and opinions about brands and they’re taking advantage of that. Call out culture is stronger than ever. The only companies that will survive the changing marketplace are the ones with brand authenticity.

Crucially, brand authenticity isn’t just about being honest. Honesty is an integral part of being an authentic business, but there’s more to it too. You’ll also have to uphold a certain level of integrity, which includes absolute transparency.

Why is brand authenticity important?

These days, brand authenticity is more important than ever, because consumer behavior has changed.

Traditional marketing techniques no longer work and consumers expect a lot more from businesses. Brand authenticity is one of the most important factors of reputation management. If you don’t deliver according to your client’s needs, you’ll hear about it on social media. This is particularly true with the millennial generation. Younger generations say that brand authenticity is second to only discounts when determining which businesses to buy from.

Customers feel emotionally invested in authentic brands and are more likely to maintain loyalty to them, even when there may be alternative options.

How to improve brand authenticity

To create an authentic brand, you’ll need to make sure that your business follows through on the stories it tells about itself. For instance, you can’t tell your customers that you’re devoted to customer service if you never respond to their messages on social media. Ask yourself:

  • Do you deliver what you promise to your customers in terms of service, experience and product features?
  • Are you true to the values that your business claims to have? Does your messaging and mission change constantly?
  • Is your business consistent in delivering value? How do you make sure you’re serving clients properly?

Through social listening tools like Sprout Social, see what people really think of your brand. It’s also possible to track what followers are saying about competitors, and look for new ways to improve and preserve future relationships.