Building Brand Authenticity And Trust On Social Media

03 May, 2023

Want to know the key to building a consumer’s trust online? Authenticity.

It’s not enough to simply tell an audience how good your product or service may be. Today’s consumer is very intuitive. They notice and listen to what a brand stands for - and are looking for genuine, honest and transparent brands to engage with.

The moment you try to be something you’re not (i.e. greenwashing or overselling) - you lose their trust. Here’s where authentic storytelling via social media can play a huge part in making consumers buy into not just your product, but your brand as a whole.

Building Brand Authenticity - people working and smiling
According to the #RealTalk report, 80% of people agree that they don’t mind being sold to if it’s “fun, useful, entertaining, informative or moves me in some way.”

Why is brand authenticity so important to consumers?

A report by Sprout Social showed that when viewers feel connected to a brand, more than half of them (57%) will increase their spend with that brand. Building a connection with consumers would also convince 76% of respondents to buy from a brand over a competitor.

Investing in relationships with your consumers has many benefits. Opening two-way conversations can provide a brand with real time product insight, capture new users within the consideration phase, strengthen customer loyalty - and most importantly, have a direct impact on business revenue.

71% of users think it's important for a brand to speak up and use their platforms to raise awareness on sensitive topics, whilst 48% of marketers think companies should speak out on these topics to stay relevant.

Audiences are increasingly looking for brands to be more vocal and transparent about their values. With us now having free access to online, digital forums 24/7 - consumers don’t just expect brands to hold themselves accountable, they will publicly demand it.

74% of consumers find it essential for a brand's values to match their own personal values. Of course, the quality of your product and services should always be the main priority to gain customers. However, it's becoming more and more evident that shared beliefs and values fuels customer loyalty.

Considering the Younger Generations

Lots of phones in a circle

According to a US survey, Millennials and Gen Z will choose brands that have a “real and organic” feel to them rather than “perfect and well-packaged” brands. Wondering why TikTok is SO successful? Younger generations are very clocked on to “fake” or “sponsored” content. The more raw and transparent you can be, the more engaged younger generations will be.

Younger generations tend to also support brands that support social causes, and would likely choose a brand that does over one that doesn’t. Brands can’t afford to ignore the needs of the younger generations. 18-24 year olds may not be your target demographic now… but they will become your audience one day. To generate long standing brand loyalty, why not attract them now?

Engaging with Emotional Connections

Woman getting a coffee

Audiences are more likely to stick by your brand, if you offer some sort of way to connect with them. Trust is what builds strong relationships with customers, and personalising communications is one way of doing so. Be honest and transparent with them; messaging and ideas that don’t resonate with your brand will be see-through and can put people off.

If your brand wears its heart on its sleeve, your audience will more likely trust you. This creates long-term brand loyalty and gives people a reason to care. When you give your audience something to care about, it makes it more challenging to break away.

Standing Out from the Crowd

Woman shouting out of a phone

It can be easy for your brand to get caught up in the volume of information that fills the business world. The genuine messaging of authentic brands can be difficult to filter for your audience.

Customers are swaying more towards ad blockers and anti-spam technology to block out messages. If your actions and words are authentic as a brand, your customers will do your marketing for you through word-of-mouth, which is always one of the strongest forms.

Creating a genuine brand doesn’t just fall on the shoulders of the social media and marketing teams, though. It’s a company-wide effort. From communications, designs, and processes to the products or services themselves - all of these factors contribute to consumers deciding if they want to engage with your brand.

How to build strong brand authenticity and trust

So now we understand what authenticity is, and why a brand needs it. But how is it built? There are many methods of gaining your audiences’ trust; here are some examples:

  • Build relationships - As we’ve previously mentioned, building trust with your audience is what starts good relationships off. You can begin by listening to their needs, and what they look for in a brand. Having exceptional customer service, whether it be via email or social media, is key to starting this conversation. Having a responsive, helpful customer team on hand to ensure your audience feels listened to.
  • Be consistent - Make sure your branding and messaging are in sync with your brand values. They must be aligned across all platforms of communication, as when done properly, your audience will see your brand as reliable, dependable and true to your word. What you say is what you mean and leads to an increase in brand loyalty.
  • Get talking - Humanising your brand is a very effective way to build brand authenticity. Don’t be afraid to start chatting with your audience. You want your audience to think you’re approachable. Have a bit of fun engaging with your customers on social media. If someone mentions your brand, respond! Talking with your customers and not at them is an effective way to strengthen your relationship.
  • The tone of voice is key - Be sure to make the interactions you have with your consumers embody the dependability of your brand. This includes any content that’s created, keeping it in line with your brand’s tone and personality across all platforms. Also, using platforms that align with your brand’s identity is vital to tying this together.
  • Actions speak louder than words - If your PR team is singing your praises for you, but you fail to fulfil your promises, you’ll instantly lose your consumer's respect. Customers are smart; they can see through enticing marketing campaigns. Your audience will respect authenticity and honesty so much more. Relevance, empathy, emotion and openness are the key factors in creating an honest brand.
  • Keeping it real - Being real as a brand means taking your brand values and purpose and applying it to everything the business does. Your employees and consumers both care about your purpose. You can’t fake or force it either, as your audience will be able to see right through it.

If your brand values aren’t clear, neither your employees nor customers will be able to connect with your business and what you’re striving for. It’s important to make these clear in your brand strategy.

Here are some ways you can improve your brand communication authentically:

  • Share regular updates and news
  • Answer questions
  • Look for feedback
  • Be on social platforms so your customers can reach out to you
  • Ask questions
  • Listen to your audience
  • Value their opinions

In conclusion, building brand authenticity and trust is crucial for any business that wants to create a long-lasting relationship with its customers. By being transparent, honest, and consistent in your brand messaging, you can establish trust and loyalty with your target audience.

Authenticity helps you differentiate yourself from competitors, create a strong brand identity, and ultimately, increase customer satisfaction and retention. Remember that building authenticity should be done naturally and not forced, and the results will speak for themselves.


Want to learn how to leverage social channels to drive sales, build brand loyalty, and connect with customers in new ways? Check out our blog on Social Shopping and Commerce today.