Advertising on social media is a billion-dollar industry. It capitalizes on our obsession with social and the hours we spend scrolling. I’ve fallen under the spell myself, with countless impulse purchases made after seeing a well-done ad on my Facebook newsfeed.
I work part-time in direct sales, and social media is one of the most powerful ways I connect with current and future customers. But I have a love-hate relationship with social. While I myself have reaped the benefits of using social for both my business and personal enjoyment, I am completely turned off by the way it’s used for ranting, pretending, and being just plain mean.
For those of us selling on social, we are told we need to be “real” and present ourselves “authentically” in order to make vital connections necessary to create relationships that ultimately lead to sales. There are trainings offered by companies, influencers, and marketers that actually teach you how to post authentically. Doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron? I’m sorry, but If I have to take a class and follow bullet points so I can convince you of how “real” I am, it just doesn’t feel real to me. I’m out.
For me, being real means telling the truth about myself, to myself. Being authentic means not being afraid or ashamed of who I am and how I got here. It means owning up to mistakes. It means sharing the messy details as well as the pretty ones. Our lives are complicated and so are we. I believe that when we take the courage to share the “really real”, we make deeper connections. And those connections are super important to making us feel whole and happy.
How do you define being “real” and “authentic”?