Is Authenticity the new buzzword for 2022? 

Bereal is a new app obsessed with authenticity, moving away from the carefully curated highlight reels that have come to define other social media platforms like Instagram. What does this reveal about consumers and this generation’s true interests? Are consumers truly interested in the filtered highlight reels or is an authentic social media presence the key to connecting with consumers? With influencer marketing and advertising taking over social media platforms, is BeReal ever going to truly escape commerciality?

 Initially released in December 2019, it is only recently that BeReal has gained traction with it reaching over 3.3 million downloads globally in 2022, suggesting a pivot towards more genuine and unfiltered content. Cat Anderson, Head of Marketing for EMEA, Sprout Social said: The rapid rise of BeReal gives us remarkable insight into what content wins young consumers over. They want content that provides authentic, real and unfiltered glimpses into the lives of the people and brands they love. [1] Advertising goes against BeReal’s main ethos, however, this hasnt prevented brands from creating a presence on the platform and finding new ways to tap into this rise of authenticity in an increasingly virtual world.

 What is BeReal?

The fundamental backbone of BeReal is maintaining online authenticity, as it says in the name, it encourages its users to ‘be real.’ There are no filters and no re-takes, making it a completely un-curated form of content. Each day users receive a push notification that gives them a two-minute window to take a candid photo of their daily life. This notification can be at any time of the day, the whole idea is to not be able to plan ahead!

Authenticity might be a new buzzword in 2022, but why is this so important for your brand?

1.Gen Z is increasingly aware of brand values, and they are better at sensing when brands are inconsistent. This is how BeReal might be useful in showing what goes on behind the scenes, creating consistency between the values suggested and the company’s actions.

2. Consumers are often bombarded with messages which makes them more likely to ignore messages that they can’t relate to. Authenticity is the perfect way to cut through the noise and get your message across.

3. The tumultuous transition between pre and post-pandemic life left many feeling alienated and disconnected, which has subsequently created an upsurge in consumers looking for connection and relatability. 

4. By keeping it ‘real’ brands can rebuild trust, the trust that has been disrupted due to false information and dishonest marketing techniques on social media. When customers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand and 76% will buy from them over a competitor.

5. Authenticity humanises your brand. Apps like BeReal give exposure to the day-to-day life of your company, ultimately connecting your consumers to not just the product but the process that goes into creating that product.

6. Surveys show that consumers are 2.4 times more likely to consider user-generated content (UGC) authentic compared to brand-generated content. [3]

 How can brands approach BeReal?

BeReal has a huge potential for creating marketing success, as proven by Sprout Socials UKI Index which revealed that a third (32%) of consumers rank authenticity on social media as the most important detail when influencers and creators are sharing brand content. [4] So if advertising and brand promotion go against the rules of BeReal, brands need to re-consider how they will enter this space. Brands are needing to find innovative and creative approaches to using this platform. Posting behind-the-scenes snapshots and integrating consumers into the back end of the business are both ways to approach BeReal.

One great example of a brand that has successfully utilised BeReal is Chipotle, a brand which has a reputation for its innovative approach to social media. Last month, they shared a limited-offer promo code on the app, providing the first 100 code-users with a free meal. Chipotles director of social and influencer stated that all the codes were gone in about 30 minutes and that every day after that, it was under a minute. [5]

Whilst social media is a trend and is often characterised by a dramatic rise and fall of different platforms, there is always a message behind why people gravitate towards social media platforms. The rise of BeReal has taught marketers just how invaluable authenticity is in every stage of their marketing strategy.

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Sources:

[2] https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/social-media-connection/

[5] https://www.morningbrew.com/series/summer-of-gen-z/stories/2022/05/24/how-chipotle-is-experimenting-with-bereal-gen-z-s-new-favorite-social-platform