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Your behavior is your true transparency

91355052 Everyone talks about social media and its amazing marketing impact.  And I'm the first one in that line.  I've seen the impact first hand, both for my agency McLellan Marketing Group, our blog and for our clients.

But...that impact is not one-sided.  While it can do remarkable things for a business, it can also do damage.  Here's the funny thing about transparency (the buzzword du jour for social media).

It's transparent.

Social media are a set of tools that expose you and your business -- good or bad.  But it's more than just the tools.  It is also a dramatic shift in attitude.  It's choosing to put yourself or your business on display -- call it the marketing equivalent of wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Unlike traditional marketing tools, such as print ads or direct mail pieces, you don't get to turn it on and off.  It's not a prescribed exposure.  You're either out there...or not.  But if you are out there, it's a 24/7 deal. 

  • Tout remarkable customer service?  Then, your tweets and Facebook updates had better demonstrate that commitment. 
  • Profess to be a blogger?  Then, your blog should be updated on a regular basis. 
  • Tell everyone that you believe your people are your greatest asset?  Then how they talk about your company in their own social media interactions better reflect that mutual respect.

Because social media tactics are ongoing conversations rather than one time exposures, it's much harder to sustain a fallacy.  Sooner or later -- the true you/your company shows through.  And that's the point. 

If you walk your talk, social media can offer you an incredible opportunity to create connections with raving fans who can and will actually come together to help you promote the work you do. 

But, if you're a poser of any sort -- they'll ferret that out too.

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Comments

Drew,
It may not be rational, but I have a negative reaction when I go to visit someone's blog for the first time and see that it has not been updated for months.

That's part of the transparency.

Jeff,

Agreed. It makes me wonder what other commitments they aren't honoring. And it certainly makes me question their ability to follow through.

Does someone need to blog every day? No, of course not. But if you're only blogging once a month -- why bother?

In that case, re-structure the site so it looks like you refresh it every 30 days or so. But don't call it a blog.

Drew

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