Why Relatability Matters on Social Media

Gone are the days where we aspire to be the people we follow on Instagram, incoming are the days where if the people you follow aren’t your pals, they certainly feel like them.

What is relatability?

According to this thing called the Dictionary, relatability is:

“The quality of being able to easily form social or emotional connections.”

I guess I first started noticing the shift at the beginning of the pandemic, which ‘coincidentally’ was also the rise in the popularity of TikTok. Take Tinx for example, now known as the internets big sister, she is unabashedly honest. From giving out dating advice and explaining every detail of her lunch to how to depuff your face from a hangover – there isn’t something that Tinx doesn’t seem to share. Why did she stand out for this blog? Because:

  • She gives advice, and teaches
  • She’s entertaining
  • She’s a storyteller
  • She shows the ups, and the downs
  • She communicates with her audience on a regular basis

What do all of these have in common… you got it! Tinx is relatable.

Another example that comes to mind, is Emma Chamberlain. I have been watching Emma Chamberlain for a very long time. Before the pandemic Emma felt like an anomaly, there was no one who was quite as honest. She clearly didn’t care what she looked like, or what she put out on the internet – she was just unabashedly herself. Yes, her Instagram is very aesthetically pleasing, but on YouTube you’ll find a 12 minute video of her trying to make soup or her just sitting and ordering food in a hotel room. I mean… this comment gives you everything you need to know:

She isn’t trying to prove herself to anyone, she’s just her, and Emma has become unbelievably successful off of the back of this. Not only is she a Louis Vuitton influencer, she now also interviews celebrities for Vogue at the Met Gala – but that doesn’t stop her from sharing her eye infection:

Recently TikTok released a deck titled How TikTok Creators Redefined Influence’ , which is quite insightful, and they also have a not-so-subtle dig at Instagram:

“…people have grown disconnected from traditional influencers. It feels like we’re being talked at – not given the inside scoop from a trusted advisor. Influencers on competitor platforms are now more likely to be seen as ‘show offs’ or disingenuous, compared to creators on TikTok.”

This is why relatability is important, and why I believe the internet is shifting, or shifted. We no longer want to be sold to anymore, we don’t want flashy things shoved down our throats, we want real life and honesty, we want to be taught something new and useful and we trust those who do this, and the same applies to brands.

Nowadays, we want to associate with brands who have the same beliefs as us, who are open when it comes to their brand standards, marketing and what they are selling. Never try and trick a social audience, they will call out your bullsh*t from a mile off (trust me).

How do you make a brand relatable? Add a human touch, give your audience the feeling that they are being listening to, not talked at. Made a mistake? Own up to it. Teach and provide knowledge of your products, tell your products story – how did they come to be? Communicate, have a discussion with your audience. And most importantly:

Be honest

Ask yourself, does our social media have – “The quality of being able to easily form social or emotional connections.”?

And please, please don’t try and be ‘down with the kids’, own the fact that you aren’t and they’ll probably flock to you faster.

Anyway, that’s me. Any questions drop me a note.

See you on the flipside,


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