Transparency doesn't mean showing it all on Social Media

As originally posted on Women 2.0.

Family vacation photos. Funny cat videos. Favorite recipes. We are all familiar with these visuals on our personal social media accounts. But when it comes to our business social media, what qualifies as transparency and what classifies as over sharing? How do you create an effective social media strategy that doesn’t compromise professionalism or brand identity?

When working with our clients, I get asked this all the time. Many businesses want to have more dynamic social media content but get nervous about sharing anything too personal.

Social media from a business perspective is to provide entertainment, information and actionable content, which the audience finds valuable. Personal updates from a business, help to, “put a face to the brand” and humanize who they are, to better relate to their followers.

To help shed some light on how to share personal company insights, I put together a list of both do’s and don'ts of what to share on social media:

Do:

  • Profile different employees, their background and role within the company
  • Share birthday celebrations
  • Share work anniversaries
  • Show behind the scenes shots of planning meetings or event preparations
  • Share accomplishments, milestones and rewards
  • Made a mistake on that last email or post? Own it
  • Share that amazing box of gourmet doughnuts
  • Provide value

Don’t:

  • Leverage any national tragedy
  • Use images or content that aren’t original, create your own
  • Show images of holiday parties - especially towards the end of the night
  • Show clothing with other company logos without permission i.e. Sports teams, Nike, etc.
  • Refrain from sharing any images including alcohol - unless it is a networking event with people discreetly holding a glass of wine.
  • Share employee vacation photos
  • Share any confidential client or company information
  • Get political unless that is your industry

When it comes to planning these more “personal” and “inside looks” into your business be sure all content published is in line with your mission. Try answering a few questions to make sure it is appropriate; Does this display the value of following our company? Are we in line with our core values? If our client or customer was sitting next to us, would we share the photo?

If there is ever a question on whether or not to post, don’t. Look for examples from competitors and other industry leaders to see what their followers appreciate and responding positively. Remember to keep it professional but have fun with it.

Charlotte Chipperfield
Founder & CEO, Chipperfield Media LLC.