#BigSocial: The Importance of Purpose and Authenticity

First up on the day of The Big UK Social Media Conference #BigSocial was ‘content, PR and social lover’, Sharon Flaherty, also known as the MD of BrandContent, a boutique content marketing consultancy.

Since people spend about 30% of their time on social channels, it’s important for businesses and brands that the content produced is GOOD – high quality, engaging, interesting and relevant. With so much being shared constantly, Sharon stressed that we shouldn’t be adding to it by cluttering the space with rubbish.

Defining a purpose of your brand on social is absolutely key, according to Sharon, which was a running theme throughout the day. Ask: what are you GIVING to your audience and what they should expect from you online. Some of the key elements mentioned:

  • Inspire
  • Entertain
  • Reassure
  • Educate
  • Inform
  • Support
  • Motivate


From this list, make sure your brand’s content – PURPOSE – ticks at least one of these. A good point Sharon mentioned was to recognise that every brand is different and to not automatically do what your competitors are doing; as quoted from Pharrell, you should pride yourself on your individuality, as that’s what makes you who you are. A little cheesy but we agree!

Authenticity was another key word brought up numerous times throughout the conference. This is the core of what makes you ‘you’, helping to bring your brand’s voice and story to life, as well as giving your audience something REAL and unique – that is where you get your real connections.

Brand ambassadors can help to realise this, using real people to endorse the brand and help to resonate more with your target audience; they can relate to them. This approach can also provide variety, using different people and stories to appeal to different audiences and cast a wider net when promoting your brand in the relevant space.

So, the key takeaways as highlighted by Sharon when it comes to defining purpose and authenticity:

  • What makes you different? Essentially the nuts and bolts of the brand
  • Defining the purpose of your content, a key part of any social strategy
  • The impact of your content on your audience

A final word: Define your content – what you are telling the world – and let that be your purpose. Excellent end to a thought-provoking talk.

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