On Keeping Your Brand Authentic

Authenticity Over Automation

I was recently tweeting with a fellow content manager, who immediately asked me "what automation tools do you use?" I was so taken aback at how prompt their question was (it came immediately after what was a very polite hello that it gave me whiplash) that this morning I took to Medium to write an extensive post about the value of being present - and authentic - in your social media behavior. Brand's that take the time to be responsive to engagement on their social media pages, blogs, and profiles on sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor, are making meaningful, positive brand experiences that translate to increased brand awareness and often brand loyalty.

Here are some tips from the rant I posted on Medium:

1. Automation Is Great In Moderation

If it weren't for automation I am not sure how my role at Markon would be functional. The truth is, 50% or so of the posts you see from us are pre-scheduled in an app called Buffer. We love it. We love it so much we are currently collaborating with Buffer to bring you more content to help build your brand in 2016.

But! A significant amount of our posts, across channels, are spur of the moment. They are responsive. We engage with other brands, with clients, with hopeful clients, with media outlets and peers in our field. This is critical and it's natural for Markon's voice.

2. Strive for 100% Engagement

We strongly believe in responding to every post, comment and share that we are fortunate to experience. Engagement communicates presence and gives character and voice to your brand. The actual text of your response should be as responsive in nature as the act of your response. That is to say, use language that is natural to the voice of your brand.

3. Social Is About Connectivity, Not Soapboxing

I'm guilty of throwing out quotes and blog posts for your viewing pleasure, but I also strive to find opportunities to riff off of other's content, to post in places where conversations are already happening and to be visible in the community. Connectivity. Interaction. Engagement. It's about all three of those things.

4. Posting Schedules Have/Don't Have Value

Confession: I loosely adhere to a posting schedule. I think of it as more of a framework, an advisory, which I consult only when the question of when to post gives me pause. Unless you're posting at 2 AM for your time zone specific audience, if a post presents a true impetus for engagement, it's value won't be lost in translation because of post time. If your company is breaking ground at 6:30 AM on a Sunday (for whatever unholy reason), then, by all means, post to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (wherever you are) at 6:30 AM. Real-time posts have value, if not for engagement, for creating a timeline of your brand's story.

5. Revisit #1

Automation is great. It allows me to have an afternoon to do the other work I do here at Markon, but I don't hesitate to throw the whole system out of the window if something happens that takes precedence. Blog post scheduled for 2 PM, but we just completed the most attractive project yet? Throw out the blog post. Post the pic. I make the rules.

If you talk to me about anything, especially communication, I will tell you again and again: be responsive. And that is where I leave you.

You can read my full post on Medium. If you have questions, you can email me at mike@markonbrands.com