Why Authentic Engagement Matters Now More Than Ever

At Collaborative Marketing, we think a lot about the future of social media.  So in November of 2018 when Instagram revealed it would be taking a huge step to eliminate inauthentic likes, comments, and followers on the platform, we kept our ears pricked. In a renewed vigor for policy enforcement, the platform decided to fight back against automated apps that users had been using to leave spam comments. Quite ominously, Instagram warned users using these third party apps to cut ties with these systems immediately or observe an “impact on their Instagram user experience”.

The consequences of violating this Facebook has decided to sue a New Zealand-based company who was using instagram to sell fake likes and follows to other users. The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco and accused the defendants of using different companies and websites to peddle bot-generated likes, views, and new followers - which violates Instagram’s terms of use, along with U.S. computer fraud laws. With prices ranging from $10 to 99 per week, it was revealed that these defendants made a whopping $9.4 million dollars from this - not exactly what we’d call chump change.

What does this all mean, you may be asking? The main lesson we can take away from all of this is that now - more than ever - it is important to be authentic with your engagement. Risk of legal action aside, it’s worth remembering that in the wake of all this news, consumers and audiences now see more value in authentic engagement and connection than they ever have before. Think about that excited feeling you get when you see you have a notification on a new Instagram post - only to realise it’s a stock standard generated message that’s based on your hashtags and account usage. At best, the automated interactions that your own audience observes appear just as insincere and disconnected as the ones you’ve personally experienced.

A simple method for growing and winning the trust of your audience is to create great content. If you're already posting great, engaging content, why would you need automation? No hacks required! The 2018 Yellow Social Media Report found that almost two thirds of consumers (64%) will be more likely to trust a brand if they interact with consumers in a positive way on social media - up 12 points from 2017. The value in creating an authentic and positive experience for your audience is immeasurable - for a start, it can lead to brand loyalty and maybe even advocacy, seek to increase customer retention by providing value, and encourage user-generated content and positive reviews. By focusing on authentic engagement, you can find the people most likely to convert or be interested in your brand - and in turn, this helps to establish a loyal audience.

The best way to create authentic engagement between you and your audience? At Collaborative Marketing, we know social media, and we’d love to get to know your brand. Drop a line at shea@collaborativemarketing.com.au and we’ll help you create a strategy that’s authentic and relevant to your brand.