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Imperfection is Trending on Social Media: Here’s How to Do it Perfectly

Authenticity is in, fake is out. Aka imperfect is the new perfect.

Don’t get us wrong – we love a flawless Instagram feed. But in a world of perfectly staged photos, it’s refreshing to see real and relatable posts while scrolling feeds and watching Stories (which provide even more opportunities to be more real and in the moment).

Ok but how can you do imperfect perfectly?

Here’s 5 ways you can start applying this trend to your social media strategy right now:

Embrace your flaws

Yes your strengths set you apart, but so do your quirks and flaws, so don’t be afraid to flaunt them because they make you different than any other brand. If you have a few outtakes during a photoshoot share them! Scrolling through a few bloopers will make your followers smile and it reminds them that there’s real people behind your brand…real people trying to trying and failing to take a “real” selfie.

Example: @indietwenty

This boss babe gets personal and silly on social, and we love it! Scrolling through this feed you can actually get to know Rachel aka the business owner behind this beautiful brand. Her longer, more personal captions really show her off personality, and she’s embracing imperfection in all the right ways. How does this foster stronger brand connections? When Rachel shouts her good news from the rooftops, you’re happy for her because you feel like you know her. And when Rachel gets real on why she hasn’t posted in a while, you sympathize instead of writing her off.

Stage more realistic photos

A feed full of flawless flat lays is beautiful, but after a while it gets a little boring. Variety keeps your followers interested and engaged! Now this doesn’t mean you should stop staging altogether, but rather start staging your photos in a more realistic, natural way. Aka less perfect. Food is messy – so take a messy food pic. Think about creating a natural habitat where people would actually eat. As long as the food looks delicious, you’re doing it right.

Example: @remedyhouse

Take a bite first or wait until halfway through the meal to take your pic. Whatever you do, switch it up. This local coffee shop has mastered the flay lay as well as the more realistically staged photo where empty plates can be your be your friend. Think about it: if you can’t wait to take a bite, that’s actually a plus.

Messy can be cute

If you’re a stickler for symmetry, this tip may throw you for a loop. But trust us – off-center is okay! You can cut objects off, try different angles that throw off the perspective, anything to make your followers linger or look twice instead of scrolling past. If your first instinct is to balance a photo, start balanced and then mess everything up a little bit. The right amount of clutter can be cute after all. Now, imperfect *doesn’t* mean sloppy, so you should still put thought into the photos you post. Just try to resist the urge to make every single one look like it was highly produced for some magazine by a professional photographer.

Example: @oxfordpennant

We love this feed for many reasons. First of all, it’s full of variety. By switching up the look of their photos frequently, this account keeps us interested. And they aren’t afraid to experiment with angles and post photos that are definitely different… and a little bit messy.

Tell the whole story

Striving to create a highlight reel is becoming a problem of the past. The new goal? Use your Stories to create an accurate representation of your brand. Share your successes face-to-face with your followers and don’t shy away from sharing your challenges. Every business has them, and sometimes your followers need to be reminded that there’s real imperfect human behind your brand. After all, social media is about building relationships and real relationships start with real connections! P.S. Remember Stories only last for 24 hours, so Stories = the perfect place to be imperfect.

Example: @nighroadfarmhouse

Here’s a best of both worlds example: Their feed is perfection, and their stories are a little imperfect, raw, and real. Brands get bonus points for giving followers a real behind-the-scenes look at their day-today, so remember this, the next time you’re putting together a Story.

Own your mistakes

Think about it: How many perfect people do you know? None. Humans aren’t perfect, and thus companies run by humans are not perfect. You’re going to make mistakes – everyone does. How you handle these mistakes is what really counts…especially in the eyes of consumers. Don’t delete the negative comments – respond to them (and do it gracefully). If someone calls you out for a misspelled caption or typo in your IG Story, thank them for pointing it out and correct it.

Example: @stepoutbuffalo

When you’re posting as frequently as we do, you’re going to make mistakes. Just accept it. When a typo like this one happens, have fun with it! Your followers will enjoy the laugh.

The takeaway:

When it comes to social media the new norm for 2019 is realness and imperfection. Take a look at these examples and see which ones make the most sense for your business, then give it a try and see how your followers respond!


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At Step Out Buffalo, we help businesses promote themselves and their events on our website, email, and social media channels. Our team is comprised of experts who know exactly how to make your business or event stand out, and we’ll put you in all the right places so you get noticed by all the right people. Hit us up if you’d like to learn more about our business and/or events-based promotions – there’s a reason 94% of our readers go places they’ve seen on

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Step Out Buffalo Business

Step Out Buffalo Business is a business focused publication featuring tips and tricks for entrepreneurs and small business people in Buffalo & Western New York. We write what we know and when we don't know, we ask an expert in the field. We've gained our knowledge through experience growing businesses in various industries.

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