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Using Social Media to Increase Transparency

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Utilizing social media platforms is a natural way to enhance transparency. On a personal level, people use social media to connect with others and stimulate conversations. In time, organizations have recognized the many benefits of using social media to humanize their brand and connect with their communities. When organizations use social media, they build relationships with their community by facilitating open communication that enables them to learn what matters to customers and employees. Why should your organization consider using social media to increase transparency? Because a lack of transparency on social media leaves 86% of people likely to choose a competitor.

Connect With Your Community

Whether we are talking about employees or the community, people want clear, honest, open communication from your organization. Social media facilitates this communication by reaching out to your community where they already spend time. There are many platforms to choose from including, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc., the important thing is to choose platforms that allow the organization to build relationships with the community, while best demonstrating its personality. Professional doesn’t mean perfect. Showcase what is real on social media and your community will respond positivity to your authenticity.

Organizations can no longer ignore social media. Research shows 65% of consumers feel more connected to brands that have a robust presence on social media. People like to see what is “behind-the-scenes” of an organization and get to know and hear from the individuals that help it operate. For example, 7 out of 10 consumers are more connected with a brand whose CEO is active on social media. People also feel more connected when employees share information about the organization because they like to learn about the real people behind the brand. Consumers are even more likely to trust employees over brands.

When organizations understand customers and their wants, data shows that 51% of people feel more connected to that brand. You can get started by listening to individuals engaging with your organization and your competitors across social media. What are they saying about your organization or your industry? What trends are emerging in your industry and how does your community feel about it? How can your organization add value to those conversations? It’s important to put your audience first when using social media and create content that will have communities engaging with your brand.

How to Use Social Media Transparently

Be authentic on social media and work to show the organization’s personality. Start and join in on relevant conversations about your industry or a cause your company cares about. Using graphics, videos, polls, and stories you can share your organization’s aspirations and progress with the community. 67% of people think video is the most transparent content format on social media, with 43% specifically naming live video as the most transparent medium.

The community wants to understand how your organization does business. What are your policies and procedures? What is your production process? Where do your materials come from? How do you make decisions? What have you learned since you’ve been in business? Many pieces of content can come from your company values, processes, and mistakes.

Sprout Social identified the following topics that demonstrate a brand’s transparency on social media, and the topics consumers want brands to be transparent about on social media. Use this research to help generate ideas for what content your organization can create:

Sprout Social research findings on a brand’s transparency on social media, and the topics consumers want brands to be transparent about on social media.

Beware of Actions that Show a Lack of Transparency

  • Withholding Information
  • Ignoring Customer Questions/Reviews
  • Ignoring Employee Questions
  • Avoiding Relevant Political/Social Issues
  • Not Posting Very Often

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