I have noticed that “Authentic” seems to be a new buzzword lately and, as with all buzzwords, it’s meaning seems to be degrading as a result.
For instance, one blogger writes:
“This [being strategic and making [social media] work for you] means creating an online voice that is authentic and employing digital marketing strategies that will help your business generate more leads.”http://socialfulcrum.com/word-of-mouth-marketing/10-inspirational-quotes-for-your-social-media-marketing-game-plan/
Isn’t “employing digital marketing strategies” an inherently ingenuine activity? I know, the new world order of marketing says that we are tracking everyone’s behavior so that we offer exactly the right product to exactly the right customer at exactly the right time and there is nothing deceptive, invasive or generally creepy about it. But really, marketing is about outspending your competitors on your efforts to influence your public’s opinions regardless of whether your products or services are really better than anyone else’s.
What is authentic about giving away units of your product to an audience of Ellen Degeneres fans and paying a team of people to blog and tweet about it using all of Ellen’s hashtags to drive her traffic to your posts about your products. Ok, granted, Ellen is pretty discerning about the products that she promotes but there are plenty of entertainment personalities out there who are not.
To me, being “Authentic” would be, instead using social media as simply another channel to disseminate marketing messages (synonymous with “employing digital marketing strategies”), what about trying to specifically address your competitors and critics and rebut negative reviews with factual data that supports “Authentic” product superiority.
Then again, maybe being authentic for a typical social media marketer is being openly and genuinely manipulative. If authenticity is simply being yourself and you are a nameless, low-paid hack employed by a large online service bureau to produce posts like the one I quoted–which by the way contained the two lines that comprised my quote plus one more to complete the opening paragraph and 10 quotes about social media by social media and business icons, not in any order with no annotation or comment, all of which have probably been quoted a million times–then mindlessly re-posting jargon-filled, unstructured articles about how social media people keep writing about social media, etc. is being perfectly authentic.
So, does anyone have any insights on what Authenticity really is, what people are perceiving it to be, or maybe just what it means to you personally?