You hear it a lot, “You need to be unique on social media! Stand out from the crowd!”

But it’s easier said than done. It can be hard for some people to tap into their creativity and develop a quirky, unique way to make people stop scrolling and read their posts. But the fact is that authentic businesses with a unique voice on social media inspire and prosper.

Creating authenticity on social media doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process to find what types of posts work for your business and which don’t. Becoming authentic is not about posting everything that’s going on behind the scenes for everyone to see, but, instead, it’s about pulling back the curtain to give your customers a peak in to what’s going on in your business.

Every brand has their own story to tell and can express their individual style online. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle with all the other business pages on social media these days. That is why it’s more important than ever to be true to your brand and express the brand’s style through your pages. Once you find a flow of posts that works for your business, you’ll notice the difference.

Listed below are examples of posts and how three local businesses in the Sioux Falls area do a great job with each type of post. JL Beers of Sioux Falls, 605 Running Company, and Josiah’s Coffeehouse & Café do a wonderful job of being authentic to their brand on social media.

Involve the People who Support You

JL Beers of Sioux Falls, a local burger and beer joint, does a wonderful job of this. A recent post of theirs announced when a new keg was out and they switched to a different beer. But instead of just announcing the new beer, they also announced who drank the last of the old keg. What better way to spotlight loyal customers than by announcing them on your social media pages. You’ll be surprised by how quickly the spotlighted customer’s friends and family quickly begin to interact with the post.

Build Off Your Tribe

Your customers all have something in common; they’re all interested in your business. Build off that. 605 Running Company, a local running boutique promotes all things running. They not only post new products they have in the store, but they announce new blog posts they write about tips and tricks for running, promote local up-coming races, and post motivational quotes. These types of posts encourage the community’s hobby and love of running. It also reminds their following that they are truly passionate about the hobby as well.

Be Transparent

Let your customers in on what’s going on with the business. We all know business have their good times and their bad times. A local coffee shop and café, Josiah’s, was going through a rough situation. However, instead of hiding it from the public and dealing with it privately, they brought the situation to the attention of their customers on social media. People began to interact with these posts to show their support for the local business. Josiah’s following now had an emotional tie to the business and felt they too had a part in what was going on.

Hold Contests

People love to win prizes and it’s a great way to get people to interact on your page. It also helps to expand your reach to potential customers who have yet to follow your page. Encourage people to share and comment on your post for a chance to win. It’s also a good idea to tell people what to comment such as, “What’s your next race you’re participating in?”, “Do you prefer trail running or treadmills?”, or “What is your favorite brand of running shoes?” Providing your followers with what to comment gets the ball rolling and starts the conversation right away.

Announce Up-coming Events

Announce events on your pages and announce them more than once.

Build up the excitement and remind people that the events are coming up. JL Beers of Sioux Falls does this often to announce a new beer on tap. You can also go one step further on Facebook and build event pages so people can RSVP. An event page is also nice to have all related questions and comments under one area online.

Invite People to Interact

605 Running Company holds a weekly running group which they announce on their pages and post pictures of the group. A business isn’t only just a business, it’s a community, and 605 Running Company encourages their customers to come together each week to join in a group run.

Have FUN!

You won’t be doing it right unless you try. A lot of people are nervous to post on social media in fear they’re posting the wrong content. But that’s the beauty of it, you’ll learn as you go! By posting different material, you’ll learn what your customers respond to and interact with. So, have fun with posting and interacting with your following.

Being authentic on social media isn’t about following the trends of other businesses. Finding your own voice and finding humor and personality in your business is what your customers want to see. Social media allows businesses the chance to connect with their customers on a level that a television or radio commercial can’t do. Start expressing yourself through posts, hashtags, and links of social media and notice the benefits that will result from this.