Friday, October 24, 2014

Keeping it real

One common goal for many of those who regularly use digital technologies is the quest for authenticity.

Its an obvious desire to humanise behaviour and capabilities that are largely seen as virtual or distant. But the very concept of authenticity is a tricky one as it is more often than not a value judgement rather than an absolute. 

In another guise, authenticity is often referred to in relation to food, with no particular reference to the users lack of a first hand knowledge of the provenance of a dish or taste.

Even so, we strive for an authentic voice, despite this being for an audience which is largely unknown.

What we are often looking for relates more to believability and engagement rather than a sense of ultimate truth, i.e. does it sound right is the first step on the road to deciding is this for me?.

Social media is the current barometer for much of this discussion as everybody strives to find their voice in a noisy environment. 

In a business context this is why its good to be quite transparent in your online persona rather than hiding behind assumed handles or anonymity.

While it does increase your personal responsibility it also means you are more likely to attract a question or query from a from somebody interested in your content. With most organisation's continuing to view Social Media as sophisticated broadcast tools, they miss the fundamental point. That this is akin to expecting existing and prospective customers to stand outside a building and shout from a distance.

And sharing in your own voice is always going to be more authentic than addressing a multitude of different groups through a single medium.

This is when  authenticity counts. When it is directly inspired by our goal to be an organisation that is social not one that does social.