authenticity in social media

WTF? Friday: Why Fake it When You Can Have the Real Thing?

By Communications, Social Media

Today’s post is brought to you by Ken Mueller, the owner of Inkling Media, a Social Media and marketing company in Lancaster, PA.

You just can’t fake some things.WTF?

The other day I saw one of my friends post on Twitter:

NEWS FLASH: Fake tans don’t look real

And he’s right. You can spot a fake tan a mile away. A fake tan screams, “I’m vain and I was nowhere near the beach!”

Same with toupees.

Is it more embarrassing to go bald and show the world, or try to cover it up with a piece of “processed hair matter” that screams, “If I were bald you MIGHT look at me, but NOW you can’t take your eyes off of me and the monstrosity on my head, can you???”

Like any great marketing, they grab your attention, but for all the wrong reasons. People can see through fake. Fake might work for a while, but eventually you will be found out.

What does faking it look like in Social Media?

Claiming to be something you’re not – your credentials can be Googled, and what you say about yourself can be either confirmed or denied by those you have known over the years. And the more you share online, the more people can tell if you have no clue what you are talking about.

Claming to NOT be something you are – You’ve read the reviews on Yelp where you just know that the glowing review was written by the mother or spouse of the restaurant owner, or it might actually be an employee pretending to be a happy customer. On the other side, I’ve seen horrible reviews that just feel as if they were written by the competition. Don’t do it.

Astroturfing – This is when businesses create fake profiles of individuals who then comment on their blogs, Facebook pages, etc.. The idea is that you are “seeding” conversation, and making it look like you have a larger following than you do. This will bite you in the butt big time if you are ever caught…and odds are, you will be caught.

Don’t be stupid. You can try to fake things, but it’s very likely you’ll be found out, and the damage done can be pretty bad. Be real. Be who you are. By all means, filter yourself, but don’t try to give people the wrong impressions.

Sure we can beat the words “authenticity” and “transparency” to death, but they are incredibly important. It’s like signing up for a dating site and posting a picture of a beautiful man or woman, and claiming to be much younger than you are. That game only goes so far. Eventually you’ll have to go on a date and it will be obvious you’re lying.

Faking it never works. Well…almost never…