Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Transparency in Social Media

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said that, while he couldn't define pornography, "I know it when I see it."

Defining transparency in social media is equally difficult.

Writing for Social Media Today, Elissa Nauful tries to do so anyway in "What Does It Really Mean to Be Transparent?" 

She defines transparency in social media five ways:

You gotta be "you."  Transparency rules out any fudging or posturing.  Being true to thine own self entices customers.  "Your authenticity will translate as both honesty and integrity."

You gotta be tolerant.  Transparency means you'll accept praise and criticism.  That tolerance "will immediately build brand trust."

You gotta be generous.  To be transparent means to share, openly and often.  Not top secrets or tawdry details, but enough hard news to keep people interested.

You gotta be forthright.  Transparency demands that you disclose commercial interests in anything you're plugging.  (The Federal Trade Commission demands that too.)

You gotta be chatty.  Transparent companies socialize.  "They reply to comments, they retweet funny ideas, and they treat their customers like new friends."

How do you define transparency?  Or do you only know it when you see it?
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