Maintaining Transparency on Social Media: Here is what the Smartest Brands Do

Maintaining Transparency on Social Media: Here is what the Smartest Brands Do
February 1, 2014 Dr.Khushbu Pandya

When on social media, you put a part of your business up in the open for the world to see. The foundation of social media marketing lies in taking a realistic and earthy approach to forming genuine connections with prospective customers and employees. Therefore, if you hide facts, exaggerate, or try to forge details, it defeats the very purpose of having a presence in social media.

Transparency on Social Media

Being transparent on social media doesn’t imply publicly sharing confidential details about your brand. But whatever bit you choose to share online must be genuine, unaltered information. It may be about your work culture, product quality, prices or testimonials – lying or even being excessively diplomatic is not a thing that would make you go far in the social media space.

Have a Genuine Social Media Identity

If you are operating your organization’s marketing activity on social media, mark your presence with a genuine identity. If possible, put up your picture and be available for regular e-personal interactions with people. Of course, you do not need to use your personal social media profile for professional work, but a personal touch to the professional profile will make it glow in the marketing space.

Do Not Over-Praise Your Product. Be Honest in Your Product Descriptions on Social Media Channels.

Use beautiful words to describe your product, but refrain from going over the board in praising things. Say only as much as does justice to the product’s actual quality. Remember that sooner or later, customers will know how the real thing is when they buy it; if you show them a misleading picture with rosy descriptions, they will be disappointed and may never return to you again, besides doing hard-to-repair negative publicity.

Acknowledge Your Mistakes.

A wrong delivery, a defective piece, a technical glitch, an occasional service loophole – mistakes are unavoidable; acknowledge yours openly and apologize for them to win unmistakable trust from customers. A brand that is so keen on serving their customers well as to apologize for any minor folly in the public space is sure a thing to go for. Therefore, handle mistakes well; learn from them and let people know you are trying to rectify them.

Professionally and Methodically Respond to Negative Criticism or Complaints

Criticism, like mistakes, is inevitable. If a disgruntled customer posts a nasty review on your social media page, respond professionally. Instead of hiding or deleting it, try to get a resolution in the comment chain itself. Try to understand what annoyed the customer to provoke a negative comment, take appropriate action, and make it known in the social media space that you have taken sufficient corrective measures. This will let people know that you genuinely care about every individual customer’s satisfaction.

If Possible, Give People a Peek into Your Brand’s Life

When people are interested in a brand, they like to be told more about it. Tell a story about how you started, what inspires you and where you plan to go. Create a section containing roles, personalities and pictures of your team (a great way to make employees feel integrated too).

Stories about how your product is created is also a good way to involve people on social media, for example, if you are selling handicrafts, writing about the sourcing destination and design processes will make for an interesting read.

So be transparent, be smart, and win long-term customers on social media!

Dr. Khushbu Pandya is the first person in Gujarat & India to initiate and successfully complete her Doctoral study in Social Media field. She has worked in academics and industry both and then started her own consulting and training firm to help brands and professionals achieve their social media goals. More about her is documented at www.drkhushbupandya.com

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