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Is Authenticity in Social Media Dead?

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When I was learning to read, A stood for Apple. But in network presence, it all starts with Authenticity. This is true even though some smart people say that authenticity is dead. They only say that because it is so important, yet most people don't understand what the term means. So this is where our work begins.

Authentic communication is not something you can achieve by waving a magic wand and saying, "from now on I will sound authentic." It is something that comes from the inside out, and is an expression of who you are as well as what you do.

Why is this important? Because building your network presence means having conversations with other humans. Your personality, values, and life experience together form your unique voice, and this "tone" is what people automatically respond to in your writing. Having a consistent tone that genuinely reflects who you are as well as what you offer is the key to authenticity.

Authenticity may be as easy as adopting "a warm, welcoming, powerful voice" for all your social network writing. But if this is uncharted territory for you, or if you are not yet confident in your written presence, you can still achieve it with practice and a little guidance.

A simple series of steps will help identify the strengths and point of view that are unique to you, and that will engage your audience and keep them engaged. You can learn how to let that voice come through in your messaging, and how to balance the content of your message with its tone.

It may sound counter-intuitive that we have to learn how to be ourselves, but most of us weren't taught to write that way. Yet communicating with an authentic voice is much more enjoyable and effective than marketing-speak. For it to become effortless all you need is practice, and the good news is that with so many social networking opportunities, daily practice is only a mouse click away.

Anne Hill is the Founder of Creative Content Coaching, dedicated to helping unique voices succeed in a rapidly changing world. Follow us on Twitter @DynamicContent to learn more about combining strategic online presencing with the creative force of your own authentic voice, to let your message be heard by the people who matter most.

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