30 October 2012 8 Comments

Social Media: Transparency and Authenticity in Online Marketing

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Brand Transparency, Brand Accountability, Brand Authenticity, Brand Value, Brand Power, Brand and OpenessSmall, startup brands and social media advertising go hand in hand. There has never been a medium so welcoming and with so much potential. By developing a successful marketing strategy, a simple business idea accompanied by a strong plan can turn any brand into a household name – especially through the use of Facebook, with its one-billion users.

However, there are many potential snags any business could run into along the way, like failing to be transparent and authentic in their everyday dealings.

Let’s face facts here. No one really knows who is behind the screen; they only see your brand. Being able to tell if the people operating the brand are legitimate, honest, trustworthy, and all those other things – that’s what’s important to fans, customers, and the basic passers-by whom you’re hoping to convert.

Why Transparency is Important :There is a long list of reasons one could give as to why it’s important to be transparent and authentic in your business dealings, but you can skip over the loose, long rhetoric here and get right to meat of the matter. It’s important to show transparency and authenticity for one reason above all else: Trust.

Sure, people might enjoy the taste of Coca-Cola, but the customer base also trusts that Coke products and merchandise will meet their high expectations of quality.

Advertising on Facebook properly can ensure that you build a base, but only trust will bolster your brand to the point you need to enjoy long-term success and business growth. If you’re not authentic or transparent, you’re automatically set up for failure.

Transparent Measures Brands Can Take: Although transparency and authenticity are two separate things, they are also synonymous with one another in the context of brand-building using social media marketing. To that end, you can kill the proverbial two birds with a single stone by implementing some straightforward tactics.

Remain Honest about Your Business :Honesty being the best policy might be a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason. Especially when marketing via social media, it’s important to remain open and honest about your business. You don’t have to pull the curtain back; you just have to be straightforward and honest to a fault about what it is your business is about.

Remain Accountable for Your Business: If you happen to make a mistake, no matter what it is, you have to own up to it. Businesses already come across as robotic and soulless. Don’t add to this image by ignoring mistakes you have made. Be ready to apologize and to show some accountability for the mistakes you have made.

Remain Interactive with Your Channels :Touching further on the “soulless” aspect of a brand, this is something every successful brand conquers, and contrarily an obstacle that the unsuccessful brands do not. One way to show people that you’re transparent and authentic is to stay active in your communication. Take things beyond a support level and let your brand show personality.

An open and trustworthy brand is a popular brand, whereas a shutoff, phony-feeling brand ultimately fails despite targeting or spending. Needless to say, authenticity and transparency matter a great deal.

Author: Eric Taylor of Qwaya.com sent this piece in.

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