Monthly Archives: April 2013

Importance of transparency in social media

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!

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Filed under Blog, MKTG 1552, Social Media

How does social media change the way we work?

Client: “Can you tweet something to promote this event at 1 pm local time in Vancouver tomorrow?

Me: “…Of course. So that’s Saturday at 5 am in Japan if I’m correct?

Client: “Yes. Sorry, it’s a bit early for weekend but please tweet something from your home!

Hung up the phone and wondered if the time zones have vanished in the marketing industry.

This is one of the most shocking and memorable favors I’ve ever been asked when I was working at an ad agency in Japan. Some of you may think it is no problem because you can easily schedule your tweets with HootSuite. Well, this conversation was taken place in Fall 2009 and yes, HootSuite already did exist. However, unfortunately I knew nothing about such handy tool at the time, so I had to wake up before 5 am on my precious weekend and posted some tweets myself. I tweeted like a zombie and thought I couldn’t hate anything more than running a Twitter account for business.

As digital media has played a significant role in marketing for the past few years, the way people work in the marketing industry are now different than the way they used to. Especially if you are running social media accounts for your client, everything moves so quickly and so do you. If someone tweets a question to your client’s account, you have to respond immediately. Whether your client has some news to tweet or post on Facebook or not, you have to post something relevant and valuable to your fans/followers every day in order to keep them interested in your client and to gain new customers.

Here are some questions.

How does social media change the way marketing people work and what else does it change? What kind of benefits and problems does social media create in terms of marketing?

Please think through these questions. I’ll talk about them in future posts.

In this blog, I’ll be focusing on the marketing industry and discussing social media from the creator’s view.

Stay tuned!

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Filed under Introduction, MKTG 1552, Social Media