Social media is a great marketing tool that can catapult a business or brand to success if you know how to use it to its full potential. When you take advantage of all the useful tools that social media platforms have to offer and understand how to strategize the content you share, it can be the best and least expensive way to reach a large portion of your target customers.
There are several ways for businesses to use social media to increase transparency, many of which are still uncommon. If you know what they are, you can make the most of your social media pages. To provide some of these lesser-known secrets to success, nine members of Business Journals Leadership Trust discuss various ways that professionals and brands can use social media to increase transparency.
1. Focus social media content around FAQs.
Focus your social media content around your frequently asked questions. Be proactive in answering your customer’s questions before they even ask. This will help you educate your audience and draw them closer to you so that you can build engagement with them. Also, a great byproduct is that sometimes this will uncover another level of customer misunderstandings that you can address to increase conversion. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency
2. Capitalize on negative reviews by owning up.
Positive reviews on Facebook and other platforms can help build your credibility, however, negative reviews can have a huge impact on the perception of your brand as well as your ability to compete for new business. The most reputable brands capitalize on negative reviews as an opportunity to take ownership and turn detractors into raving fans, and prospective customers will always take notice. – Melea McRae, Crux KC
3. Use social media to highlight successes.
Social media can have positive and negative implications. An organization should use social media to highlight company successes. This is great exposure for an organization. Potential clients may be looking at this when considering you for a contract they are procuring. On the negative side, spotlighting key staff successes provides an opportunity for competitors to poach your resources. – Jerry Ramos, Ramos Consulting, LLC
4. Show behind-the-scenes company culture.
A brand can use social media to show the behind-the-scenes of how it operates, share employee highlights and talk about company culture. This can help increase transparency and show authenticity. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
5. Communicate clearly with customers.
Increased transparency helps to drive successful communication. When an organization is communicating clearly with their customers on a public platform, others are able to view that information as well. This creates a culture of transparency within and outside of the organization, giving future customers an opportunity to see what is really inside. – Mackenzie Toland, A New Leaf Therapeutic Services PLLC
6. Cross-market with partners and community.
One way to use social media to increase transparency is to cross-market with partners. Once you start that conversation and dialogue on social media, connecting with partners and your community, your followers will better understand who you spend your time with and your “why.” When you cross-market across partners and platforms, you amplify your effect and your message to both audiences. – Jack Smith, Fortuna Business Management Consulting
7. Promote employee-generated content.
Use social media to promote employee-generated content. Videos on TikTok and Instagram, for example, can really help to give potential employees and customers an authentic glimpse into your culture. – Kenneth Bowles, WilsonHCG
8. Be vulnerable and share personal stories.
Social media provides an opportunity for business owners to be vulnerable and really share their story — the good and the bad. When transparency is present, it is relatable and people respect it and are able to feel connected to you. When someone feels connected, they tend to be more open to listening and supporting whatever it is you are doing. It can be uncomfortable, yet so rewarding. – Amber Duncan, Jackie
9. Release statements and interact directly.
In times of crisis, social media can be a powerful tool. Brands can use social media to release statements, which allows a large portion of their customer base to stay in the know. They can also use social platforms to interact directly with customers who are affected by the crisis. Consider social media an effective community management platform, not just a photo-sharing app. – Lauren Reed, Reed Public Relations