Staying You: How to Maintain Authenticity on Social Media

You’re about to post a self-promotional photo on Instagram, and the spiral of daunting thoughts hits you: Does this represent my personality? Do I look like this in real life? Am I bragging too much? Is this authentically me? 


We all know the feeling! The struggle of balancing self-promotion with authenticity is all too familiar.


Here are some guidelines to help you stay authentic and get the most out of your social media presence:


Start by Identifying Your Areas of Focus


What areas of interest and pursuit would you like your social media to be focused on? When TSMA works with our clients, we recommend that they choose three brand-points.


We know, the word “brand” can be daunting when authenticity is the focus. However, if you’re lost in a fog of questions about what to share on your page, rest-assured that narrowing down the focus of your brand will help declutter your mind.


Simply focus on finding your authentic voice within your specific niche!


For example: acting, yoga, and mental -health advocacy. Or fashion, food, and fitness.


Remember: Identifying a brand does NOT equate to losing yourself! People want to follow you for YOU. So, what three topics do you want to share the most about on your profile?


Shoot for Honesty, Not Perfection


People follow you for your uniqueness, not your perfection. Post to add value, not for likes.


Be Open to Vulnerability


Share your unique voice. Share what you’re passionate about, snippets of your life, the people you love. Decide what you want to share, and what you don’t.


Remember: you are not solely defined by your social media! You get to intentionally decide what parts of your life you choose to share. As Brené Brown writes in her book Daring Greatly, “Oversharing is not vulnerability. In fact, it often results in disconnection, distrust, and disengagement.”


Use Authentic Photos


Color, light adjustments, and artistic enhancement are great. However, when you’re finding yourself going to extremes with photoshopping away your freckles or hacking away at your body-shape, if realness is what you’re going for, then…


It’s All About Balance


Balance self-promotion with sharing fun information, what’s currently on your mind, and moments of gratitude. We recommend the 80/20 rule of thumb: 80% of your content should be adding value, and 20% can be self-promotion.


Think Before You Post


Ask yourself, “Do I feel PROUD to post this? Is this something I would say in person? Does this authentically represent my personality?”


Of course, your mental health always comes first. We hope that, with these guidelines, you can find new ways of thinking about your social media as an empowering tool for you and your career, without getting sucked into its potential pitfalls.


As always, TSMA is here to help!  If you’re looking for additional support with your social media give us a shout.


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