By Jeffrey Hayzlett, author of The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing?
I speak frequently about the value of social media, that’s no secret. And how we use social media is as important as how we use any other medium. Social media is now the mainstream. There’s no going back.
Take the Super Bowl ads for example. Not only were they on during the game, but they also had a social media component. Now people watch TV and tweet at the same time. For those who question whether we can really do that—they said the same thing when they added radios to cars. It’s real, and it’s happening.
Companies who thought they once controlled their brands are realizing that social media is the new norm. It’s not about catchy slogans—it’s about listening and being radically transparent.
So what is radical transparency? It means we need to be genuine in our approach. Don’t just spew forth information. Social media is about hearts and minds, not ears and eyeballs.
That said, it’s also about being who you are. If I say, “bite me” in a post, it’s because I mean it. You may disagree, or you may not like it. But for me, radical transparency is all about being true to who I am, and it’s also about being true to you. What works for me is what works for me. It will be different for you—and for everyone else out there as well. That’s why it’s called “social” media and not “one kind” media. The old rules don’t apply in the same way. For as many fans as you have on Facebook or followers on Twitter are the number of ways it can be done.
And ultimately, we all have a choice in who we follow or friend. If you don’t like what I have to say, you have the choice not to follow me. And we can agree to disagree. At the end of the day, those who follow me know that I’m the big, brash guy from South Dakota who tells it like it is, really wears those cowboy boots, and loves to ride horses. I’m me, and I won’t change who I am.
So be true to who you are—in social media and in business. Be radically transparent.