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Authenticity Matters [VIDEO]

Brands are used to delivering messages, but in today’s digital world where billions of independent social readers exist, marketing requires more than messages.

Authenticity includes infusing personality into communications. People inherently want a human voice to converse with that is part of a brand’s outreach team.

Author Dorie Clark, White House Director of Social Innovation Michael Smith, Author Rohit Bhargava, Author C.C. Chapman, IEEE President Karen Bartleson and Blogger Alan Rosenblatt discuss what it will take for brands to succeed in the social context. Please find the entire transcript of “Authenticity Matters” below!

Over the course of a few months, Vocus interviewed more than two dozen experts and influencers on the State of Marketing. Our efforts produced nine short videos that we’re releasing over the next couple of months in a thought leadership video series. Watch them all here.

Dorie Clark: “In a connected world, authenticity is essential. You can’t get away with being untrue to yourself. At least you can’t get away with it for very long. And the consequences can be severe, if you’re found out.

So, we’re entering a world where transparency is important. And this comes into play with your personal brand because when you’re putting yourself out there, I think that there is somewhat of a tendency for people to want to sugarcoat their image or create their ‘best-sells.’ And to a certain extent, that’s fine, that’s what we should do. Everyone dresses up for job interviews and puts strong adjectives on their resume. But throughout social identities, we need to throw in information about ourselves so that people also begin to get a sense of the real you.”

Michael Smith: “People don’t want to interact with an ad campaign; they want to interact with a personality. So, when the web was started, you might remember that it was all brochureware — you would go to a website and you pretty much read a brochure. What happened in web 2.0 was the idea of interactivity. All the successful brands know that you can’t just tweet your press releases. You have to have a personality.

If someone said they liked your soda, you reply and say thank you. At the of the day, your customers knows that you’re trying to sell them something. So you have to be authentic, you have to be aware that you’re trying to target a vastly diverse populous, so you have to be careful with how you’re using your brand to shape a conversation.”

Rohit Bhargava: “If you know that there’s a friend of yours that’s tweeting about brands all the time and it’s just because someone is paying them, you stop paying attention to that person. And you probably will stop paying attention to them in real life instead of just on Twitter, because we don’t separate people that way. So I think that part of it is your personal reputation — are you credible or are you not — and are you hurting your personal credibility by doing something like that.”

C.C. Chapman: “Just be honest and be real and work it into the storytelling because let’s face it, it’s what marketing is these days. Its content marketing, its storytelling, it’s not that day where you can push it into your audience and they have to listen — we all have choices. Just be real, it’s not complicated. If you’re real and honest, people are going to know it.”

Karen Bartleson: “This is my prediction, we’ll see if it comes true or not: I believe that as brands start on the path of social media, the ones who don’t understand the authenticity will be ignored. The ones that are real will be the ones that will emerge. We won’t go back to old fashioned messaging and pushing things because nobody wants that anymore, they don’t believe in it.”

Alan Rosenblatt: “The reality is that social is about that three-dimensional conversation space. It’s about you talking to your audience while your audience is talking to each other and others that aren’t in your audience — that’s the social space. It becomes easier to do that if you have a human voice going into that space because it invariably is being permeated through a bunch of other human voices sharing it.”

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