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By Cindy Rose
Our class presentations this past week have emphasized the transparency of corporations in social media. It seems counterintuitive that a company would want to allow the public to know what goes on behind closed doors, certainly not their secrets. But social media presence demands the good, the bad and the ugly corporate information. How can the old traditional companies adjust to this playing field that consumers are now all but demanding? If they are not already out there on social media they are supposed to be losing customers, because online content marketing isn’t just the future, it’s right now.
It has become obvious that people like to talk to real people in real time. A consumer wants to know that they matter to the company they purchase from. Sound online content marketing and management is the ability to network successfully with consumers without selling anything—and reaping the rewards later. This is something a few large corporations still haven’t learned yet and are dealing with as just another nuisance, to be handled, or not to be handled at all.
Still, the best intentions can have its pitfalls. One example of an old brand trying out a new trick that missed was a Kmart post on Twitter. The store sent out condolences to the victims’ families of Sandy Hook Elementary School, but made the mistake of leaving a hashtag link to some of its toys. Naturally there was a lot of outrage aimed at , which is owned by Sears, which owns many more brands.
Social media, it seems, is here to stay for the long-haul. But it is still in its infancy compared to the corporate giants. Most of the sleeping giants are waking up to the call but there are still some who do not seem to need it because their integrity appears to be unquestioned or their brand has a strong word-of-mouth base, or because they feel they are just too big to fall. Only time will tell if they can keep standing with disingenuous transparency or no social media presence at all.



  1. Ha Ian, that is a great quote. Great post Cynthia. For companies I can see how taking on the social media giant may seem threatening to the business, but it’s the future, time to take risks and enact a social media plan.

  2. You are completely right that companies need to be using transparency. However it is important that they are using proactive social media platforms instead of reactive in order to have successful results. Great post!

  3. Transparency in social media has completely changed the way companies interact with their customers and its always evolving and changing every second of every day. I love how you talked about our presentations showing this because it is so true!! It seems like every company uses a different combination of social media platforms to reach their customers, and it shows that you have to tailor your social media platforms to fit your company.

  4. I think the idea of corporate transparency is interesting. The Nike presentation we saw the other day had me thinking about that. It seems that after the stuff hit the fan with the way Nike treats their overseas workers (sweatshops), they did a lot to mask the issue (The Girl Effect being a good example). Granted, Nike has done more than many corporations to address the labor issues, but they still exist, and probably always will. And I doubt we’ll ever see tweets of underpaid workers stitching together a $100 pair of shoes.

  5. You mentioned content marketing and I think that is an extremely important part of building brand awareness and consumer loyalty. It was actually the topic of discussion in my PR II class the other day. In class, Dr. Menzie showed us this video on YouTube In the video, Tyson Zahner shares his five steps to a successful marketing plan. It’s worth watching!!

    1. The link you provided is very interesting. I found some good tips to take away from it. I like his idea of what benefits your brand can give people. Thanks!

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