I did not realize that transparency is an issue in the world of social media until I read this John Cass’ blog post.
I used to run a couple of social media accounts for my clients and write content but I have never considered myself a ghostwriter. I thought that everyone knows that some companies outsource their social media management and no one thinks that it is a problem not to tell the audience about it. Well, if you’ve been in a certain industry for a while, you tend to forget that some standards in your industry do not always apply to different industries or the real world.
Ellie Brown has made some great points about the importance and impact of transparency in social media on her blog. One of her statements made me wonder something regarding my work in the past.
“If asked, be honest about who you are.”
I have been in a blog team for one of my clients before. On the blog, it was clearly stated that the writers were just freelance writers, not from the company selling the products. The content was also claimed to be written by the writers. However, there was actually so much editing done by my client before the content was published all the time. If you look at the first draft and the finished work, they are completely different. If I were just a reader, not knowing the whole system of this blog, I’d think that these writers know too much about the products and doubt that they are actually an employee of the company. Because my client was extremely passionate about this blog and would like to tell the audience about every single detail of the products, some of the entries were even more detailed than the product pages. The blog itself was very informative, relevant and valuable to the audience and accessed by many people from around the world. It was a successful blog.
Yet, is the content really transparent? Does everyone know that some of the published work in social media is edited, monitored, or controlled by the client(s), although it is stated that someone not from the company writes the content? Is transparency important in every part of social media?
Transparency may not always matter to some degree in the world of social media.
In my opinion, I don’t mind who writes the content and how much editing has been taken place by their clients before the content is published online as long as it is valuable to audience. However, I hesitate to say that the content is transparent.
What do you think? If you would like to share your opinion, feel free to post a comment.
Until next time!