Transparency as a Marketing Tool
Transparency. It has become the norm with social networking and online marketing. We each have our ownbarometer between too much information and not enough revealed.Wikipedia states: “transparency in asocialcontext more generally, implies openness, communication, andaccountability. It is a metaphorical extension of the meaning a "transparent" object is one that can be seen
through.”Weaving transparency is important for an effective marketing message and branding. How much though is toomuch? This has been one of the most challenging areas I have wrestled with in social networking.My training as a therapist has always reinforced the necessity to “remain a blank wall,” allowing the client tocreate her own picture about me. I always prided myself on sharing as little personal information as possiblewith my clients unless it benefitted them in some way. My clients knew I deeply cared about them; they justnever knew much about me or my personal life.So here comes social networking. Transparency is the “name of the game.” Well, I was immediately out of mycomfort zone because it went against everything I had been doing in my counseling practice. My beliefs weregetting in the way of progress.Professional tenets, began to be questioned. Slowly I experimented with sharing parts of my life. At first I wasn’tsure what to say. That unease was probably reflected in my message.I continue to explore how much to share about me and my life. My coach continues to encourage me to revealmore. There were suggestions I resisted, but after letting them simmer for awhile I always gave it a shot. I trusther and know she wants the best for me.Revealing parts about my life was uncomfortable. I felt very vulnerable. I had always been a private person.Connecting to others through social networking was more important to me than firmly holding onto my beliefs.Now was the time to step out of my comfort zone.Okay, I was ready to do what was necessary. Of course, I made mistakes along the way. Sometimes I can be veryopinionated. Other times I was resistant. Using video was one of the biggest hurdles to get past.There are some people who I feel are way over the top. They share TMI (too much information). This wasactually helpful for figuring out what I felt was inappropriate. At an event where Mari Smith spoke she helpedme determine the difference between personal and private. Basically if I was not comfortable with somethingbeing a headline on the New York Times, then it was private. Okay. I could work with that.Social networking and your marketing campaign is designed to build relationships. There is value to allowingpeople to catch a glimpse behind the curtain. Transparency helps to foster the relationship.