What Are IG Candid Challenges? How Being More Authentic on Social Media Can Help Your Small Business
It seems like every time you turn around, there’s a new social media sensation taking the world by storm. If you are a particularly avid social media user (or if you have teenagers at home!), you may have been hearing a lot about “BeReal” lately.
BeReal is mainly targeted toward the younger generation and isn’t anything you really need to concern yourself as an online business owner. But, Instagram is currently internally testing a similar feature called “IG Candid Challenges.”
If it takes off over the next few months, it’ll really highlight just how important it is to stay authentic on social media — even for small business owners!
What is BeReal?
BeReal is the newest internet sensation among the younger crowd. In a time where everyone’s taking hundreds of photos at once, choosing their absolute favorite, then spending hours crafting the perfect caption before posting it on social media, BeReal encourages users to, well, be real!
Here’s how it works:
Users create a profile, then, at random times each day, they receive a notification on their phone prompting them to take a candid photo.
With a dual-camera posting method, users take a selfie and a photo with their rear-facing camera at once so they can show their followers what they’re doing and what they look like doing it.
There are no filters to choose from and no do-overs — it’s all about being authentic!
At this time, the user base is made up mostly of Gen Z-ers, who have rejected the Millennial trend of “perfect” social media posts in favor of more authentic content.
Unlike Instagram, BeReal is incredibly personal in terms of content — so using it for business purposes is not the best idea.
But, it looks like Instagram may be rolling out a new feature similar to BeReal called “IG Candid Challenges” over the next few months! If it happens, it could be a great way to get more personal on your business account.
Introducing IG Candid Challenges!
As we’ve seen with Reels, Instagram is always looking for new ways to keep up with the latest social media trends. Due to the success of BeReal over the past few months, they’ve now begun internally testing a new feature: IG Candid Challenges!
If implemented, IG Candid Challenges will be almost identical to BeReal. Users will be given a two-minute timeframe to take and post a candid photo using both their front and rear-facing cameras. But, instead of posting to your feed, the photos will be available on your story for 24 hours.
Instagram has claimed that Candid Challenges is still in the very early stages of testing, so it’s not available to users just yet. But, the fact that they’re picking up on this trend underlines one of the main principles of small business social media marketing — staying authentic is an absolute must!
Why It’s Important to Keep Things Authentic on Social Media
Although BeReal is just starting to gain traction, its success represents a growing trend on social media — replacing perfectly curated content with more authentic content!
“Influencer culture” has been on the rise across social media over the past decade. Posed pictures, sparkling clean kitchens, and long-winded captions are all clear signs of this. But, even top-followed influencers are beginning to pull back the curtain a bit and showcase who they truly are online.
While you shouldn’t completely ditch the professional photos and curated captions, letting your followers see more of who you are when no one is watching comes with a huge advantage — making your content more relatable!
Sharing more information about your life gives your business its own “personality.” By showing people your hobbies and interests and giving your followers a better look at your daily life, you open yourself up to new relationships and more active followers!
People are more inclined to work with a small business when they know who they’re working with. While keeping things strictly professional will work in the short-term, long-term success comes from repeat customers. And, what helps you find these repeat customers? Building lasting relationships!
How much you let your followers know what’s going on in your life depends on what you’re comfortable with. Maybe you’ll share a couple of photos from a concert you just attended, or perhaps you’ll post a quick video sharing some big personal news like a new house or engagement in the family.
Remember that you don’t need to and shouldn’t post anything you’re uncomfortable with. But, sharing your interests, hobbies, and life outside of business will encourage your followers to interact with your account more.
Maybe they’ll congratulate you on moving to a new home, or maybe they’ll chime in to let you know how much they love your favorite band. Knowing you have something in common, or even just an advocate for some recent changes in your life is the first step in forming personal relationships in the business world.
If Instagram does implement this new feature over the next few months, take full advantage of it. Maybe it’ll catch you watching your guilty pleasure TV show and you’ll get a few “swipe ups” from followers letting you know they love it too. Or, perhaps it’ll notify you to post while you’re working on something business-related and get people curious about your process!
Being Authentic Builds Relationships
You never know what will strike a chord with your audience. Posting something that just seems like part of daily life could turn into something that begins a long-lasting, mutually-beneficial business relationship with a follower or two!
Next time you have big news to share, business-related or otherwise, consider posting a quick video or snapping a photo to share on social media. It could be just what your account needs to develop its personality and build your brand.