Social media sites provides an unrivalled platform for firms to reach out and market themselves like never before – instantly, effectively and all for free. But how much should you share online about your operations? Is putting everything out there too much and might it turn people away?
Certainly it’s the case with online marketing that companies have the opportunity to form enhanced relationships with people. Posting photographs of office antics and events can be a fun way to drum up attention and get people interested in what you’re doing. In effect, posting on social media sites draws back a curtain that has long shielded the public from firms’ operations and opens them up to a whole new level of transparency.
It’s that transparency, of course, that internet users demand; it is, after all, one of the founding principles of the internet itself. Online, everyone is exposed, and no one can hide. In terms of branding, it means people can get an inside look at the products and services they care about, and that can – mostly – be good. Firms know this to such an extent that they’re willing to put almost anything about themselves online to create and retain interest, including posting details of their management style and even staff salaries.
In a marketing world often built on great gas clouds of hype, being honest and open is the sure-fire way of earning and retaining trust. As that trust grows, so too will the numbers of followers on the various social media sites as more and more of your material is shared online.
A caveat, however: Sometimes too much sharing can be harmful, especially if it’s overly personal or has the potential to backfire. We all know only too well of well-intentioned marketing posts that came back to haunt firms. So the simple online marketing message is: Share, and care.