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Transparency In BtoB Social Media

  • Indium Corporation
  • Toby BloombergThere is a lot of excellent discussion occurring these days regarding transparency in business to business (BtoB, B to B, B2B) social media. I  particularly like the efforts being put forth by my friends Toby Bloomberg and John Cass. Their recent report on AGENCY  transparency in social media offers 30+ diverse opinions on the   matter (Toby's report - John's report). I posted on this report yesterday. And speaking of transparency, I  am proud to say that Toby is my (and Indium Corporation's) "blogmother", giving me my start back in 2004. THANKS, Toby!

    Well, there is more to transparency than keeping agencies in line. WE, as B2B marcom professionals, have to keep ourselves in good order, as well. It gets complicated in social media, especially when you have blog posts feeding into Facebook posts and Facebook posts feeding into Tweets (and on and on). Looking at these posts from the customer's point of view, it can often appear "vague" as to who is the author.   At least two questions can arise:
    • who, from the company, authored this?
    • did ANYONE from the company author this, or is it ghost written?
    I  am very proud of the fact that all of the content published by our company is authored by our staff or by technology consultants hired expressly to create specific content on our behalf (working closely with our staff). We make every effort to clearly state the author and their position. My position is that this is the way it should be in a technology environment, and in today's social media climate. That said, there are cases where our social media program publishes items that have no author stated.

    For example, every time one of our technologists posts a blog entry, that entry is automatically fed into our Indium Corporation Facebook page. The problem is that the blog post contains no author data since that info appears surrounding the post. Only the content gets sent over. If you follow the link from Facebook back to the post, it is all there. But, I  always try to think like our customer - and they might not want to follow the link, might not notice the situation, might be too busy, etc. I feel it is my job to go out of my way to be transparent and make the authorship information clear and readily available.

    To this goal I  have just added this TRANSPARENCY  STATEMENT to my Facebook page (see the section outlined in red in the image):

    Our Facebook content source includes blog postings, Tweets, data sheets, etc.

    The authors are 100% Indium Corporation staff.

    Author info appears in original content or like this (rick).

    Questions? Please ask.

    It may not be the perfect solution, but it clearly addresses my company's style, intentions, and respect for our readers. I  believe I  still have a long way to go to be as transparent and thorough as I'd like to be.

    I  hope to learn some helpful tips and get some advice from you. Please comment and share your views.