Facebook profiles aren’t the whole picture, just filtered snapshots people choose to share. The more people self-edit and embellish though, the more we diminish the true power and genuine intent of this social network— to enhance, strengthen and maintain connections.
I’m a fan of Facebook. And while I don’t tie my self-worth to the number of Likes I receive, it certainly feels good to see people reacting to my posts. I don’t have children and my cat doesn’t like to be photographed, so, in theory, I don’t have what it takes to get lots of Likes.
But I’m always surprised at the level of engagement I receive and the types of posts that are the most popular. I’ve come to conclude that there is a simplicity in authenticity which produces a magnetic, ripple appeal.
So here are 3 simple suggestions for being more authentic on Facebook:
Be original and be yourself.
It seems duh-worthy, but I never cease to be amazed at the manifestation of “keeping up with the Jones’s” that happen on Facebook. You know what I’m talking about; competing holiday family collages, the deluge of vintage black and white photo tributes to mom the first Sunday of May, or the same angle and filter for the latest selfie trend.
Nothing wrong with any of the above, as long as you’re being true to yourself, and, more importantly, being yourself. There’s a reason people friended you in real life; don’t disappoint them by becoming just another person faking it on Facebook.
Dare to be real and others will relate.
Sharing the good, the great and the glamorous may elicit the admiration and envy of your friends, so, when appropriate, strike a pose and go for it. What I’ve found though, is that some of my most popular posts are about things like new flannel pajamas, the guilty pleasure of bad television, or cheating on my diet. People often Like posts because they can relate and the familiarity triggers an emotional reaction — anything from laughing out loud, head-nodding or a groan. When we relate to each other we are reminded why we’re friends, and that isn’t such a bad thing to leap out at you from the screen.
Don’t share unless you can make it personal.
We’re flooded with headlines everyday and our newsfeeds are self-polluted with all those pages and publications we Liked during a serious bout of FOMO. While it’s easy and almost reflex to hit that “share” button every time we come across something that catches our limited attention span, I find that it’s rare to see more than a handful of Likes on such shares, if that.
The equation changes though when you add your own editorial comment, review, or statement of why this is important to you. Make it personal and people will care about it because they care about and value you.
Authenticity takes courage, in real life and on social networks. But authenticity also serves as an automatic friends filter, and true friends will always make it through, just Like that.
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