The authentic practitioners of social marketing – those who last, build connections, and foster relationships – know how to be authentic, honest, and real, without going over the top. They might touch on a controversial subject, but they’ll do it thoughtfully, rather than offering a rapid-fire opinion on every trending topic. They’ll let you in on meaningful details of their personal lives without sharing so much that you feel like you’re at someone else’s family reunion. They’re not perfect, but they embrace that fact and accept that they can’t please everyone.
Most importantly, they’re comfortable in their own skin – which is important both online and out in the world. I gravitate toward people who are authentic and confident in who they are, and I try to be the same way when dealing with other people. I may not always say exactly what you want to hear, but what I do say is coming from an honest place. My opinions are just mine, and I try to provide enough background that you’ll understand where I’m coming from, even if you don’t ultimately agree.
On a marketing, social, and influence level, you’ll often go much farther being authentic than you will by only saying and doing the expected. But this isn’t just about building a following. Being who you are, connecting with the people who matter, and refusing to be dragged down by the negative, ultimately makes for a happier life with more freedom. Just be “you,” and the rest will come along.