Time to Be Real mce blog

Time to Be Real - Authenticity on social media

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20th July 2022

Time to Be Real - Authenticity on social media

Social media feeds us false narratives every single day. We scroll past influencers and celebrities on Instagram and often wish our lives were as good as theirs. What we tend to forget is - social media isn’t real life!


This is where BeReal is changing the game. BeReal is a photo sharing app that notifies all its users at once, sending out a push notification saying Time to Be Real.

Once users receive this alert, everyone has 2 minutes to upload a photo of what they are doing at that exact moment in time - whether that be curled up in bed watching a film alone, out for brunch with the girls or on a walk with the dog, you have to post within the timeframe in order to be real.

The app takes snapshots from both your front and back-facing cameras, leaving nothing to hide. The alert goes off at a different time every day too, making sure there’s a bit of a variety in the photos and excitement waiting for the notification to pop up on screen! Most importantly, you are not allowed to see anyone else’s BeReal until you’ve posted your own.

The Hype

BeReal has blown up amongst Gen Z users over the past few months. According to TechCrunch, the app was created in 2019 and had 10,000 users in January 2021. By April 2022, the app had been installed 7.67 million times and had 2.93 million daily active users, a number that is only continuing to grow.

BeReal has taken the pressure off being perfect online. Its key ethos is authenticity. Its lack of filters and sense of urgency are designed to keep everything as genuine as possible, something which is lacking on other apps. With mainstream social media apps encouraging users to post the highlights of their lives, BeReal wants to change that.

Striving for brand authenticity

Although BeReal doesn’t allow companies to create profiles, their aims and ethos are something we can all learn from in the public relations and social media world.

Consumers increasingly want to see authentic content and real people on social media. People are becoming tired of being constantly sold to, leading to a decrease in brand trust. In order to gain back this trust, authenticity is key.

How to be an authentic brand online

  1. Be real: As previously stated – BE REAL. The first step is to define your company’s purpose and what matters to it, as well as making sure it resonates with everything you do. Once you know and stick to your key values, it’s easier to be your authentic self online and build an authentic brand.
  2. Show the behind-the-scenes: People relate to people. Posting behind-the-scenes footage of the workers, the different stages of the company and the lifestyle can help your brand to be relatable to consumers. If they can see who exactly they are buying from and what exactly goes on behind the scenes, it will build consumer trust. One brand who do this extremely well are fairtrade chocolate Tony’s Chocolonely - https://www.instagram.com/tonyschocolonely_uk_ire/?hl=en
  3. Use the right influencers: Many brands use influencers to help promote their products and reach a new audience. In order to be authentic, it’s essential to utilise influencers who resonate with your brand and share the same values rather than choosing one because they have 100k followers. For example, if you are a sustainable fashion brand but partner with someone who is posting SHEIN hauls every day, it can make you look disingenuous, and people may be less likely to trust your brand.
  4. Be natural: As BeReal has taught us, there is nothing wrong with showing your true self, filter-free. Of course, high-quality content makes for an effective social media feed, but this doesn’t mean photos have to photoshopped or edited to the max.
  5. Use real people: Rather than having picture perfect models in all your brand photos, why not use your own customers of all shapes and sizes? People often prefer to see people they can relate to and like to see how a certain piece of clothing looks on different body types. Using real customers also makes the brand more authentic as the people in the photos are those that genuinely like the brand.

Final thoughts

Put simply, authenticity means to be your true self. If there’s one thing that BeReal has highlighted, social media users are leaning towards and preferring more authentic content. We can all live the app’s ethos in our everyday lives and in the working world too. Whether you look after a company’s social media page, advise brands on what to post or are thinking about your next social media post, why not try a more authentic approach and lose the filters! You’re perfect the way you are.

If you need help with your social media strategy, get in touch with the MCE team today!

By Charlotte Cautley