Curated to Candid – The Rise of Authentic Content on Social Media

boutique public relations agency

These days, content is king. Whether you are a beauty company or a nonprofit organization, pushing new and engaging content on your website and social media channels is a necessary way to get your brand in front of the right audience. Some companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars producing high-quality content like photography, videos and other marketing assets to publish on social media. However, in recent years, a push for more authentic and relatable content has taken over on social media. Making your content more authentic to your brand is an important part of your content strategy in 2021 – but how do we achieve a more relatable, down-to-Earth look? Here’s some tips from our boutique public relations agency on how to create authentic, engaging content on social media. 

The Rise and Fall of the “Instagram Aesthetic” 

When Instagram first started gaining momentum among businesses & influencers back in 2014, profiles were being polished and perfected to create visually pleasing grids and imagery. Intense filters and pumped up saturation was very trendy. Over the years, the “Instagram Aesthetic” gained popularity, with perfectly curated feeds and polished DSLR photography. 

Fast forward to 2021, where Gen Z is leading the charge for more authentic and relatable content. Younger generations are much more likely to primarily use their cell phones for photos, and minimal editing before posting. So much so, that things like “photo-dumps,” where a user simply posts a carousel of multiple, sometimes completely unrelated and unedited photos at once, are becoming popular. 

For brands, this means that less polished & posed imagery is being favored over studio photography and magazine-style model shots. To make this happen, utilizing and sharing user-generated content of other people using your products is a great way to make a more authentic and relatable experience on your feed. While studio photography and beautiful aesthetics still have a place on social media, don’t over-edit or over-pose all of your photos – a balance is key. 

Finding Your Voice 

Another way to make your content more authentic is to hone in on and refresh your brand’s voice. These days, audiences are looking to brands to offer educational, entertaining and informative content. However, robotic and uninteresting captions have never performed well on social media. The more that you can make your brand sound like an actual human the better. 


To find your brand’s voice, try creating a “brand persona” of who you want to be online. Think of your brand as if they were a person, and ask yourself: how would they write this caption? Are they young or old? Do they make tongue-in-cheek comments, or are they more serious and straightforward? Are they short and to the point, or do they prefer in-depth arguments and detailed stories? Creating a brand personality will help you create engaging content that will resonate with your target audience. 


Utilize Real-Time Posting 

A surefire way to make sure that your content isn’t overly polished is to use Live features and real-time posting. Perfection is not the goal of live content. In fact, as the great Tina Fey once said: “Perfect is boring on Live TV”. For example, posting about an event or product launch to your feed or in stories as it happens gives your followers a peek behind the curtain, meeting the brand in its most authentic form. Instagram Live is also a fantastic way to engage with your audience authentically, especially when not overproduced. Sometimes a quick Q&A is a great way to show the personality and reality of the brand, and make your followers feel like they are a part of the company. 

Curating your social media content is important because it affects how you are perceived by others, and can impact your personal and professional reputation. By being intentional about the content you post, you can control the narrative around your brand and ensure that your messaging is consistent and aligned with your goals. Additionally, curating your content can help you establish a strong online presence, build credibility and authority, and attract a targeted audience. It also allows you to showcase your unique perspective and expertise, and to engage with your followers in a meaningful way. Ultimately, taking the time to curate your social media content can help you leverage the power of social media to achieve your personal and professional objectives.

Straight from our boutique public relations agency, these tips will take your social media feed from curated to candid. To learn more about how to spice up your social media content, click here.