Social Media: Is Honesty the Best Policy?

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Social media is an outlet for both people and businesses to share what is going on in their world. In my social media circles at least, what I would consider over-sharing is rampant. People talk too much about what they had for dinner (and how it settled in their stomach), exactly what they’re doing, and way too much more. While some people do make a conscious effort to keep it professional, many others certainly do not.

So what’s the story with businesses and sharing too much? While we probably don’t want to know too much about the day to day habits of the business owner or employee, being transparent as a business can draw people in rather than alienate them. Businesses often try to keep mum about anything that happens within the business that has a less than desirable outcome.  While sharing all of the gory details isn’t necessary, keeping your customers engaged and up to speed with what’s going on is a good idea.

Here are a few examples of reasons and ways you should keep your followers in the loop:

To attract more business

Let’s face it, people are nosy. They want to know what’s going on behind the scenes. By talking about some of the day to day workings of the company and what’s going on, you customers will feel like they are getting a glimpse into the inner workings of the company. If customers feel like they know what’s going on and they like how the company is run, they are more likely to give their business to you.

To keep your current customers in the loop

Keeping your current customers happy is what every business strives to do. You took the time to land them as loyal followers, keeping them in the know about what’s going on with your company will keep them coming back for more. You can also take this opportunity to let some of these loyal customers share on your page as well.

To not lose business if something goes wrong

I found an interesting article on Mashable that talked about why it’s important to be honest with your customers. The article cited a bicycling company as an example. The city that the company is located in suffered a flood that affected business. The company had previously planned to launch a huge social media campaign to gain more business, but they had to put the plans on hold when the flood happened. The social media expert who was advising the business told them to just be honest and let their customers know what was going on. Their honesty proved successful for the business.

Being an open book when it comes to your business on social media is a great idea. Your customers will keep coming back if they feel like they understand what is going on with your company from the inside, out.

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

2 comments
WWcopywrite
WWcopywrite

Good post, Megan. I guess honesty gives businesses a human face that people like to give their loyalty to. On the topic of over tweeting,  I just don't get why they do it. More often than not I'm only interested in tweets that link me to interesting material. If someone saturates my twitter feed, I just un follow them.

TLBurriss
TLBurriss

Good article

I live by two rules

#1 - Never do, say or engage on social media (or in real life), in any way that you don't want to be seen, heard or perceived.

#2 - Never say or do anything on social media that you would not say to or do in front of a complete stranger.

Therefore - I won't tell you about my lunch or gastric problems (lol)

These rules help me to have conversations about just about anything with my clients, prospects, peers and community. Thus, build my business via my social media engagement.

Thanks for sharing.