“In a global arena, what businessmen need in order to be competitive is transparency and a level playing field.” – Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
There’s a common misconception out there about transparency. Far too often, companies see it only as a tool to be used when owning up to a mistake or righting a wrong. This approach is shortsighted and isn’t an effective way to build trust. Customers will be far more forgiving of mistakes if a company has a history of being forthright with all interactions — not just the negative ones.
Over the years, social media has become a necessary tool for not just marketing a business, but enhancing its image as well.
In Ghana, the rate at which people patronize social media has increased rapidly. Making it important for any company or organization, or even the government that wants to enhance transparency to have at least one active social media account or better still be active on all major social media platforms.
Transparency is usually defined as being obvious, easy to see or understand, or having a degree of accessibility.
The demand for transparency, in general, has risen over the years, as the public has become more vocal and vigilant in monitoring what goes on around them.Transparency is a vital step on the ladder to sustainable success. #SocialMedia #Success Click To Tweet
The only way organizations in Ghana can respond to this demand is by being socially active, via the internet. The question, however, is in the Ghanaian context of how social media can be used to enhance transparency.
Social media enables the public to determine what an organization stands for
Effective use of social media has a way of giving organizations a personal image. And then eventually develop a consistent voice. Organizations can clearly enlighten their target audience with this platform on what exactly they are interested in, believe in and stand up for.
For example, using social media, telecommunications giant, MTN has made it clear that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an area they are highly committed to, and this has given them a ‘humane’ image.
Transparency builds social capital
Organizations use Social media to not only enhance transparency through relationship building but also to increase the customer or social base, till they become a formidable force to reckon with.
The organization creates an approachable image. This enables the public to voice out their opinions and expectations. Fostering feedback and prompt interaction between the organization and its social base.
This helps organizations to know the next progressive steps to take. With activities like webinars, advertisements and social media campaigns, a solid image is created.
Social media aids easy dissemination and reception of accurate information
With the help of social media, the public is able to know where exactly to get accurate information from. They literally ‘hear it from the horse’s own mouth’, that is the organization’s social media account.In order to build brand loyalty, companies need to first build trust. #SocialMedia #Success Click To Tweet
Before information is twisted or altered completely the organization is able to get out there first. This helps to reduce the effect of occasionally false or exaggerated media reportage. And as a result, may reduce the number of times the organization may have to engage in ‘image damage control’.
Social media has many advantages in boosting transparency. It is up to every organization to be responsible in how they employ this tool in branding their image.
Thinking of how to make your business more transparent or ‘user-friendly’? Social media may just be the answer.
Are you getting the results you desire from social media? Is Your brand’s social media profile effectively?
Download the social media strategy guide to help assess and improve your results on social media.