The Key to Finding Balance between Authenticity & Performance on Social Media


Dr. Jeff Pooley, Renowned Professor of Media and Communication at Muhlenberg College takes the hot seat.

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Episode Summary

Being authentic has become the key to creating meaningful social media content and building a loyal audience.

The more vulnerable you become, the stronger the bond you form between you and your followers. We are trained as marketers and professionals to be true to ourselves because being ourselves is to our strategic advantage.

But what happens when authenticity is staged – or even strategically calculated to fit a marketing strategy? Is it even authentic at all?

Taking the hot seat to unravel this dilemma, or perhaps opportunity, is Dr. Jeff Pooley, Professor of Media and Communication at Muhlenberg College.

Jeff challenges marketing leaders to think about social media and self. How do we come across?

Hot Topics of this episode:

  • The authenticity dilemma on social media – many marketers are tapping into the idea that if their employees are authentic on social media, they will be able to increase engagement on their posts. But does that otherwise create “calculated authenticity” for best performance rather than true-self authenticity?
  • In everyday life, it takes effort to come off as effortless – Jeff addresses how we can show up authentically on social media and explores some modern-day paradoxes around staged authenticity.
  • The current gap between higher education and professional training: how students who want practical skills and professors who want to teach critical media thinking can come together for students to excel in the professional world.

Meet Dr. Jeff Pooley

With a Ph.D, M.Phil., M.A., from Columbia University and an A.B., from Harvard College, Dr. Jeff Pooley is currently serving as a Professor at Muhlenberg College and Director of mediastudies.press, an open-access scholarly publisher.

Dr. Jeff Pooley teaches courses that encourage students to reflect on what it means to live in a media-saturated society. He aims to make the familiar strange– to help students see how little the social world they inhabit resembles ways of living from even two centuries ago.

Dr. Pooley does not disguise his own curiosity and excitement with peers and students as they work to make sense of social media, algorithms, celebrity culture or whatever facet of media is taken up. For Dr. Pooley, it’s about the process of curiosity-driven inquiry, and not really any particular material, that he considers the main lesson. He also tries to include modest media production in otherwise “analytic” courses, on the theory that media-making and understanding media go hand in hand.

A passionate teacher, Dr. Jeff Pooley loves to share the intoxication of curiosity. If you’d like to keep up with Dr. Jeff Pooley, follow him on Twitter!

Or catch more of his research here.

Watch the recording:

Stay in the Loop

Radically Transparent is a podcast geared towards the modern-day B2B marketer. Host Jennifer Gutman and her guests are a mixture of renowned marketing and sales leaders from B2B marketing organizations around the globe.

Each episode shines a light on the inner workings of B2B leadership– including what keeps successful CEOs, CMOs, VPs, and social media teams up at night, professionally. The conversations are real, raw, and authentic, all while revealing to listeners the unfiltered, not-so-known truths of today’s most interesting marketers.

Quickly becoming one of Oktopost’s most popular original podcast shows on the internet, new episodes air every Thursday on Radically Transparent, a podcast channel, built for marketers, by marketers.

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