Transparency: The Quality Everyone Needs More of on Social Media

In a way, social media is like a cocktail party.

If you’ve ever been to a cocktail party (or any party, for that matter) you know those times when you’ve run into people who can’t stop talking about themselves.

You’re staring down at your glass while he goes on and on, “And then we landed in Barcelona and I said, ‘Where’s my Pinot Noir?’ HAHAHAHA.”

It’s like being trapped in a horrible dream.

But the same thing happens on social media platforms. People who lack a certain realness—a down-to-earth quality—aren’t as interesting. We tune them out.

So what can we do to not be “that guy”? Be more transparent (and less self-centered.)


Transparency and Social Media

Transparency comes when we let other people in to get a behind the scenes look. It’s like showing what you look like without makeup when you first wake up in the morning with crazy hair and puffy eyes.

The opposite of transparency, however, is boasting. When we boast on social media and fall into the trap of self-promoting all the time, the audience stops wanting to listen. It feels gross and unwelcome.

Why do we care about transparency?

We know that people are motivated to listen to people who provide them value and ideas that they can ultimately apply in their own lives and businesses.

We also know that it’s much easier to admire someone who leads by example and is humble (think primility—pride/humility) rather than someone who works hard and talks about it all the time.

Look at Ryan Seacrest, for example. He’s likeable because he presents himself in a very real way. He invites his audience to see the hard work he’s doing by letting them see his behind-the-scenes life—not just the nights he’s on the red carpet chatting with celebs. He presents the normal things along with the things that are really exciting.

For example: Looking at Ryan Seacrest’s Twitter feed, you’ll find a video of his dog, a photo of him at a juice bar, and a picture of him hanging out with his sister. Very “normal guy” stuff.

How You Can Be More Transparent

Being more transparent on social media platforms often means being more deliberate about being social. You can’t always be a megaphone saying, “Hey, read my new post! Buy my thing!” You have to speak to other people, ask questions, and show interest in what others are doing.

Informal conversations

Participating in relevant conversations is a way for you to meet and form relationships with other people. You don’t need to give a long-winded response every time, but sharing your insight and experience helps people understand your expertise in a more natural way.

Follow People You Admire in Your Niche

Look for the people who are actively using social media in your specific niche and using it well. Follow them to study what they’re doing—is it retweeting other people’s content? Is it using certain hashtags? How are they speaking to other people there? Find the things you think work well for those people, and see how you can leverage them to be more transparent and social in your own efforts.

Shine Your Spotlight on Others

When you come across a great article or photo, share it. Mention whoever created it and let people know why you think it’s so great. Doing something like this is a way for you to demonstrate that you’re not all about you—you care about introducing your audience to other great content creators as well.

Remember: Social Media is a Cocktail Party

Keep in mind the kind of person you’d like talking to at a cocktail party, and you’re on the right path to being a better social media user.

Transparency is essential—so always keep it front and center.


Kaleigh Moore

Kaleigh Moore is no stranger to small business. She's the Founder of Lumen -- a business that offers copywriting, social media services, and graphic design. When she's not contributing to the EnMast blog, you'll find her running or at the movies (because the running helps manage the movie snack consumption.) Connect with Kaleigh on Twitter, LinkedIn, or read her blog.

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