What we learned at SXSW: Are you truly being authentic on social media?

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Photo: Flickr (MKH Marketing)


It is often said that our personal social media accounts are our highlight reels. “Unfiltered: Do Women need to get real on Instagram?” was a SXSW panel presented by Ashley Ford from Buzzfeed, Lori Leibovich of Time Inc/Real Simple, Stacey London (Style expert/TV personality, and Busy Phillips of Cougartown (TV actor). This panel covered how our social media accounts depict our best version of ourselves and how we have learned to represent ourselves online.


On social media we are our own celebrity and our very own publicist.


We decide what types of posts, photos, and general content we would like to share with our followers. The invention of social media allowed the average person to actually matter – whereas before you had to be famous, a political leader or do something truly amazing to get your voice heard.

Our social media accounts connect us with others and can be inspirational but social media can also make us feel bad about ourselves. When we scroll through news feeds we are looking at other highlight reels that are making us feel worse about our own, but this is all about perspective.

One problem with these highlight reels is that young girls don’t always understand that photos that others post aren’t always real and can be heavily edited. As a young woman I remember growing up and being told not to compare myself to the celebrities in magazines and to my friends who had more than I did. Now we not only have to teach the prior, but we also have to tell young girls not to compare their social media accounts to their friends accounts.

Now elementary age school children are learning things in school about what you should and shouldn’t post on social media and how you should and shouldn’t communicate with others online.


Image created with Canva
Image created with Canva


Authenticity can be viewed in several different ways with businesses and individuals when it comes to having an authentic online presence via social media.

Creating real, verifiable, and meaningful posts is what being authentic on social media is all about.

Image created with Canva


Be real. Think about your ideals and morals when creating posts for yourself as an individual or as a company. Always remember that people are viewing what you post whether you think they are or not and these posts are representing your brand either personally or as a company. Make sure you are being real and not trying to depict something your brand doesn’t truly represent.

Be verifiable. Make sure what you are posting online is true and can be verified. Nothing is worse than ignorance via social media platforms.

Be meaningful. Create content to share that is meaningful if you want to engage your followers. Posting things that have no relation back to your brand and aren’t consistent to what you typically post won’t impress anyone.

Be authentic. As a brand on social media you need to be consistent, relevant, and influential in order to be seen as authentic.

Remember to always tailor your content for social media according to the type of audience you are seeking to reach, but remember to do so without sacrificing your authenticity and brand identity above all else.


Content Sources: Entrepreneur.com