Social media transparency is critical if you are going to attempt a social media campaign. It is too easy to be found out and there are those individuals sitting at home with nothing better to do than take a shot at you.
Just to give you an example, when people ask me where I went to university, I tell them I went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York on a hockey scholarship. That is the truth, however, that if someone wanted to dig deeper it is easy to find my statistics on the internet. The stats reveal that I only played about 7 games in total and that is close to the truth. I partied my way out of a scholarship but that is another story.
I have listened to a plethora of other athletes embellish their athletic careers only to find out the truth on a reasonably reliable website.
On a recent trip to a social media marketing session in Atlanta, a guest speaker told 2,000 people about his encounter with P Diddy on Twitter. By the time I got home the following day, several of those in attendance were questioning the authenticity of the story through Twitter, Facebook and some well know blogs. Accusations were flying around the net at a feverish pitch. By the end of the day, the story was proven false and the presenter had apologized in multiple formats.
That took all of 48 hours and the guest speaker’s reputation is now in the can.
The perception is that if you are embellishing, hiding, or purposely attempting to fool the public on one part of your career or your business that you most likely you are BSing about everything else.
In Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s book, Trust Agents, they talk about companies being “naked on the web“.
Here are a few of Chris’ tips on how to be naked on the web.
- Be who you are, not an icon. People want the real public face of you (at least, the “best of” you).
- Be helpful. It’s not always about pushing your brand. Sometimes, the best way to get results is to help others be successful. Can you equip others to do their job better? Do that.
- Be there before the sale. The best way to drive stronger marketing experiences and convert people into customers is to be there long before you need something from people. Sure, it takes longer, but I’ve seen lots of situations where this is what brought in the big sale over another person. If your prospect feels like she knows you, it works really well.
Read the complete blog entry for more on social media transparency.