Why being real on social media is the BEST thing you can do

So one day, I REALLY messed up. I had just finished having my mammogram and the girls were hurting! So, I decided to text my husband to let him know all was clear but that I was hurting.

Well, this happened instead:

mamogram-post

Yep, you read that right. Instead of texting my husband, I texted my son’s teacher! I was SO embarrassed!

Or how about this very REAL shot of me during one of my Crossfit workouts. Yeah, not so glamorous!
crossfit

So, why am I sharing these crazy stories with you? Because they matter. We spend so much time trying to paint this picture perfect life on social media, trying to craft the perfect posts, the glamorous pictures and the winning opportunities, that we fail to connect with our audience on a deeper level; a REAL level.

Your audience wants to know that they are not alone; that you have embarrassing moments too. That you don’t always look picture perfect. And that you too experience hurts in life. But before I go any further, let me just preface it with this: you don’t have to share everything online. It’s ok to be choosy about what you will and will not share on social media. Use discernment. What I feel comfortable sharing you may not feel comfortable with and that’s ok. The point is, that every post should not be a picture perfect post. People want to get to know the real you.

I’ll never forget the time that I shared with my audience about my miscarriage:

miscarriage

Honestly, the outpouring that I received blew me away. To know that people were praying on my behalf, touched me in a way I never imagined. And the messages of women who had gone through a miscarriage too and where finding healing, gave me hope.

Or, the time my son had a 20-day fever. Yep, you read that right, a 20-day fever that put him in the hospital with visits from multiple doctors. Needless to say, I was worried, tired and at times, wondered where God was:

liam-fever

People want to get to know the REAL you. Not only do they want to see “real” pictures, but they want to read real, authentic posts. The problem is, that those are hard to come by.

What ends up happening is that we spend SO much time trying to compose the perfect posts that reveal “perfection” in our lives and businesses (so that we too can feel good about ourselves), that we end up missing out on really connecting with our audience because the reality is, they need your real posts. They need to know that they are not in it alone. They need to know that you are HUMAN. And this is what will cause people to want to get to know you and do business with you. People are tired of fake; they want real.

So today, let me encourage you, don’t be afraid to be real. I recently shared with a client who is a nutrition/weight loss coach that she needed some “real” pictures on her social media platforms. That it was ok for her to share a picture of the time she had a cheeseburger with fries and that there was no shame in being real.

It’s the real stories and pictures that allow people to immediately connect with you. Think about it, you’re in a conversation and someone shares a story with you and you’re like, “That happened to you too?” Or you look at them and say, “Oh my goodness, that sounds just like me!” Just like face-to-face conversations, you have a big opportunity to connect with others on social media through your stories.

My challenge for you this week is to take a few minutes and think of 3 real life stories that you can share on social media. Stories that you know will connect with your community. And with those stories, try to post 3 real pictures. People want to see you and they want to hear from your heart. Don’t be afraid to let them into your world. Don’t be afraid to show that you are human too, just like them.

Sharing the real you is one of the key ways that will help you stand out above the noise and crowds on social media. And it’s one of the key ways that will help to #BeDifferent and #BeWorthFollowing.

Share with me below, what keeps you from sharing some of your real stories online?

 

Jen Bennett

Dr. Jen Bennett is the Inspirational Communication Specialist and Project Manager at iBloom. Jen’s passion is helping businesses, ministries and individuals, #BeWorthFollowing. Jen enjoys speaking, training, and writing on all things that inspire and help leaders build a digital footprint and personal brand that is different and that helps them stand out and influence people in a crowded and noisy social media world.

Comments

  1. Hi Jen,
    I am sure I have stories that would hit home with my audience but I guess I just don’t know where to start or how to put into words. My marriage of 2 years was destroyed by alcoholism, 6 months after my divorce my ex-husband was involved in car accident that took the life of another person and it was a result of his drinking. Trying to be there for my children who were young adults was unreal. There is more to the story but just not sure how to put into a blog that would help someone else and that it would hit home without seeming like I am bashing my ex. Which is not want I want to do at all. Any suggestions?

    Thank you for this blog, I know I have stories that could help my readers.

    Susan

    • Great question Susan. What I would do is take some time to write out a variety of things. Take time to have a brainstorming session. You will want to write words or sentences down around these things:

      * How did you feel when you were going through this? Emotions?
      * How did you take care of your children during this?
      * What questions did you have during this?
      * What confusions did you have during this?
      * What was God showing you during this season?

      As you just start writing these things out, I think you will find that you will have a variety of things to share on, without having to bring your family into it. You can be vague what the people involved, but you can be specific about how this was a tough season and then get specific about the parts that concern you: Your emotions, lessons, etc.

      I hope that helps and provides some clarity 🙂

  2. Sorry that should be my marriage of 21 years.

  3. Robin Puchala says:

    I’m sure fear of rejection or judgment. I want to 8nclude heavy stuff from our family without just Daddy/Mommy bashing!

  4. Love this. As I share, I generally find myself sharing my struggles and areas the Lord is working on in my life and His words to me. I am not a writer nor eloquent by any means. But my Jesus is and that’s what I share. Thank you for confirmation. I so try not to down any individual but do sometimes share stories about me kids.

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