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Your lack of social transparency may cause you to lose customers

You may have heard it is important to be transparent with your customers on social media, but a new report from Sprout Social gives quantifiable evidence about how transparency — especially on social media — can draw customers to your business and encourage your current customers to become repeat customers.

Some of the top takeaways from the report include:

Lack of Social Media Transparency

  • A full 85 percent of survey respondents claimed they will be more likely to give the company a second chance after a bad experience if that company has a history of transparency.
  • Likewise, 85 percent of respondents said they are more likely to remain loyal to a brand during a crisis if that company has been known to be transparent.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 people (89 percent) responded that a brand can regain trust if it admits to its mistakes and is open about the steps it will undertake to resolve the issue.

A deeper look at the report also yields some interesting information to those seeking to convince organization leaders that transparency is vital in marketing efforts as well as business operations.

Industries from which people most want transparency

A full 81 percent of respondents said that businesses have an obligation to be transparent when publishing on social media. Conversely, only 71 percent of individuals said they should be held to the same standard themselves. So, in a very real way, your customers are expecting more from you than they expect from themselves.

Nearly 8 out of 10 respondents (79 percent) said that politicians have a responsibility to be transparent on social media and 77 percent of respondents claimed nonprofits have the same obligation.

What actions make people think you aren’t transparent

It almost doesn’t matter if you think you are transparent if your customers or potential customers don’t feel the same way. When asked which brand behaviors demonstrate a lack of transparency, nearly 7 out of 10 people said that withholding information (69 percent) and ignoring customer questions (68 percent) were the two largest culprits.

Lack of Social Media Transparency

One out of five respondents (20 percent) also claimed that “not posting very often” made brands look less-than-transparent on social media.

Topics that show brand transparency

The good news for brands is that the survey also shows what organizations can do to show to consumers they are trying to be transparent. More than 3 in 5 respondents (61 percent) said that admitting mistakes was a successful way for brands to demonstrate transparency. Likewise, almost as many respondents (58 percent) claimed honestly responding to customers’ questions was a positive way to show transparency.

In a video about the concept of his book ‘Hug Your Haters’, marketing expert Jay Baer comments on why openly and honestly engaging with your audiences is so important.

“Today, with more and more customers interacting with businesses in public instead of in private, customer service has become a spectator sport,” Baer said. “It’s not just about making the unhappy customer happy. Now, it’s about how the onlookers perceive your business as well.”

Content Radar

Snickers shows that with a little creativity, even a banner ad can be effective. Those who click on the ad claiming that they can “get one for the price of two” are greeted by a caring friend who asks if you are hungry and confused and then offers you a coupon for $1 off when you buy two Snickers.

Content Radar

Video ad spend is expected to hit $103 billion in 5 years. This number is up from the  $90.7 billion spent this year, according to a Forrester report.

Content Radar

YouTube is giving users a way to track how much time they spend on the mobile app. The “Time Watched” section details how much time users have spent in the app today, yesterday, and the prior seven days.

Content Radar

Facebook has started to roll out a pixel for groups that gives marketers the opportunity to track user behavior after clicking on posts. The pixel will only be available to groups with 250 members or more.

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