What is transparent and why should you care?
transparency is the ability of a company to be open with their information. As we learned in our Social Media class ,Social Media builds trust, and trust my friends is the foundation to building valuable long-lasting relationships with your future customers. You want that don’t you?
What about the risks involved with being transparent? What are the limits with sharing too much information?
In my search for this answer I came across this blog http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.04/wired40_ceo.html that talks about any fears with being transparent.
- Some secrets are met to be kept, but as the blog states ” You can’t hide anything anymore”. An example they shared was about the powerful Microsoft, they paid people to “bluff up” the Wikipedia entries about them. People are going to find out anyway, so lesson number uno be open and honest in the first place!
- “Secrecy is dying. It’s probably already dead” This world has an entire business section that profits from leaking people secrets and with technology so readily available (camera phones & Facebook), attempting to keep anything a secret is a losing battle. I like the example the blog shares about the company Zappos.com, where the CEO has told his employees to direct customers to other stores if they can’t find their products. He figures this will make his customers happy, and “the more they know about us, the more they’ll like us”. Lesson number two, everyone is going to gossip about you and find out your business, so why not be smart and make it work for you.
- “The new breed of naked executives”, people who enjoy writing, blogging and social media are going to have a competitive advantage over other CEOs. This leads to one of the benefits about being transparent, you invite people to collaborate and improve your company. An interesting fact this blog talks about is Google. “When you type in a term, the search engine puts the site with the most links pointing toward it at the top of the list. That means bloggers and discussion boards are extremely powerful in influencing Google’s search results, because bloggers and discussion-board posters are promiscuous linkers, constantly pointing to things they love or hate…” Lesson number three, It’s all or nothing. If you are going to be an open CEO you have to go at it 100%, otherwise it could blow up in your face.
Like they say if you can’t beat them, join them! You can ignore or avoid the internet and gossip world, so you might as well make transparency work to your benefit and join. The result are the many benefits that come with being transparent, they include:
- An Opportunity to improve relationships, and connect with people
- Being open invites people to improve your company and allows collaboration when you let people in
- Spreads love. Well not exactly but when your open and you share, information, knowledge, and ideas, you are spreading the word about your company and inviting new people to learn about your company.
So be transparent, be open, communicate, post new information and new material frequently, and make it work to your advantage!
– Michelle –