Transparency & Social Media

Embracing social media 100% may be the best investment, you as a business owner, can make for your company and brand. However, businesses already renowned in the social media world, can also be considered pioneers of this method of advertising and marketing.

Although many have heard of the benefits, fear of possible damage may have kept them at bay long enough that they are just now dipping a toe in the proverbial social media pool. Some of these businesses may be ultimately considered about the meaning behind the transparency of social media  as well as the implementation of.

Social media marketers speak about social media transparency and the importance of being open, authentic, and honest about their company’s brands or opportunities. However, keeping in mind that it is all about the people, and little of the product, that is the most important element of maintaining a balance in social media transparency.

What is Social Media Transparency?

Commonly, this phrase is used in reference with news media to inform the public why and how the business gathers information from a variety of sources. This is really no different than providing the name of which reliable source told you what. We already regularly do this in our daily rumor mills. The discussion of odd or unusual details may illicit a “who told you that?” Social media transparency only makes this a proactive measure. “This is what I heard, and here are the reliable sources that support that notion.”

As a business, sometimes your only role is to provide those details, the who as important as the why, and for many companies, being a reliable source of sources is just as important to their visibility. Regardless of the stepping stones of sources, the point is to lend credibility to your message, and build trust with your consumers.

As an individual we check-in and tweet with data, photos and more, so if we are transparent, we expect business to do the same right?

Transparency in Digital Media

When considering this element in relation to social media and most certainly when it comes to covering or reviewing products, or social business blogging, the main focus is to be open and honest in all elements of what you share. Are you doing a review for the new iPad? Share right away with your viewers that you received an iPad to research and blog about their product. As long as it breaches no contract, it is also good to share if you may not have received a free device to do your review, but that your review was paid or sponsored by another source.

It can also be used as a simple means of saying “Hey, I heard about this idea from a post at and thought I’d share my opinion, thoughts, or review of this idea.” Not only is this the transparency that should be focused on, it is also good netiquette. It is the acknowledgement that while your post or blog is not created by a specific expert in a field, it is based on one, and here is the person who wrote the material that inspired your own.

If your business or brand is highly followed on Twitter for a specific reason. Perhaps because you are the go-to company who helps to determine the safest toys for children. Advertising a toy as ‘safe’ because you were paid to do so, without sharing that you were paid to do so, is not only misleading, but can be the beginning of the end of your brand and every consumer who values its sources.

Can You Trust Me?

Although not all reasons behind transparency can present such dire consequences as the reference to children’s toys, the lack of transparency can indeed cause a shining company to fail simply due to lack of disclosure.

Social media is no doubt, a double-edged sword. The same format that can make your company’s brand a vital one, can also hammer away at it until transparency transforms into invisibility.




  1. Adam Lee says:

    This is what’s wrong with social media now. Nobody gives credits to where they got their idea or something. Some people may not know they’ve already crossed the line of intellectual property when they post a status using a line of a book or a lyrics to a song without placing the source. The thing is, in social media, this is being disregarded.

  2. Roberta says:

    “Social media is no doubt a double-edged sword.” I agree with that line. It could go right or wrong for you depending on how you use it and how you see it. It’s pretty tricky and it’s pretty much complicated.

  3. This is sometimes what’s wrong with social media. Sometimes it is too transparent that people would know and see even those information that (though harmless) others shouldn’t know about. Another thing is when you place words that could deceive and no one would really know if it’s for real since it is just a bunch of words placed on the net and that’s just it. There’s no communication, no connection. People couldn’t see through you if you’re lying on the internet.

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