What does it mean to be authentic?

In the raw and brightly lit world of social media, one trait is valued above all others: authenticity. I think it’s fair to say that…

In the raw and brightly lit world of social media, one trait is valued above all others: authenticity. I think it’s fair to say that most of us are authentic in our day to day lives. What you see is what you get. But how can this translate to your business and, more specifically, representing your business on the socials?

The question, or should I say the reason why this is even a topic, is because of social media. The majority of all our businesses have some exposure to social media, some more than others, and many exist and are successful because they have mastered social media. I know of some jewellery retailers who don’t have a website and purely market themselves on Instagram.

Are you ready for your close-up?

I want to focus on this concept of authenticity. When you communicate with your customers, are you only doing it by way of photos of jewellery – still images of diamond rings being placed on someone’s finger? Or are you using TikTok? I can’t emphasise enough the importance of using this medium if you’re not already doing so. As so many of this readership are small to medium diamond jewellery businesses, I think it’s worth considering every now and then appearing personally in your marketing material. If you would prefer not to be filmed, use one of your team members. You should delve into this medium.

There is no doubt that we like to portray a certain image, but if you create an image which you can’t substantiate and naturally align too, people will quickly see through it and you will lose your charm and authenticity (assuming you are charming 😊).

I have seen some excellent Facebook Lives with Q&A, which work well if you want to show something on the bench or a process, such as resizing a ring. A clip such as this can then be sped up for an Instagram reel or TikTok video.

Be authentic on all channels

Authenticity is not just about your image or being filmed, it’s also about the response you send in an email. If the customer has purchased something from you personally in the past, they would be familiar with the language that you use. If you were to send them a stock standard or very formal email or text it will be very clear to your customer that it didn’t come from you. They will assume that you probably couldn’t be bothered to even respond to them and this will diminish your brand.

Showing the inside of your workshop or showroom creates huge value, even if it’s messy – because it’s authentic. Hey, if that’s you, that’s ok! You’re not pretending. But on the other hand, this could be an opportunity for you to rethink the image you’re sending. Maybe you might decide to tidy it up. Too often, we stop seeing our own mess – but a new customer will see it. It’s a bit like graffiti – after a while you stop looking at it, but a new passer-by will notice.

If you step back and think about your brand and everything that goes into it, ask yourself, is it authentic? Or are you projecting who you want to be? It’s great to aspire to improve, but a fancy box doesn’t define who you are. Authenticity is the whole package, right down to how you respond to a customer’s comment on an Instagram post.

The power of TikTok

Here are some stats about TikTok:
In 2021, there were over three billion content downloads and one billion daily users. Ready for the craziest stat? Ninety percent of them use it every day.

Do you know who Khaby Lame is? He happens to have 151 million followers and 2.5 billion likes. All he does is show comparisons to the more ridiculous post, and never speaks. He lets his TikTok videos tell the story.

Have you seen the Evermee jewellery brand and their TikTok promo? It was simple but highly successful. 

Did you know that there are TikTok ad managers? A key reason for TikTok’s success is that it’s easy to create and easy to consume. It’s a short form video (and also, these days, slideshows of still photos similar to Instagram) that creators can easily add trending music to, grabbing viewers’ attention and making them easy to share.

Colleagues who are very successful influencers have used TikTok as a marketing tool, which has directly contributed to multimillion-dollar sales of jewellery.

In the connected world we live in, trying to create a new persona won’t work, because you will be caught out. Trying to improve yourself and not being afraid to show some vulnerability, and even failure, is massively valuable because it’s real life. As the famous song from the Greatest Showman goes… this is me.

Further reading: