Truth, Transparency, and Trust: Establishing Our Connection
I have gotten several divergent opinions on some of my "transparent sharing" on uber.la.
Perspective One: You need to represent the positive. If you are selling your services as a professional social media strategist, you might want to eliminate or demote the posts about your own struggles with social media. People want to work with winners. By exposing your weaknesses, or things that you don’t know, you might be turning off potential customers.
Perspective Two: I was reading your blog and it seems like you are really being honest and not just projecting the normal "social media is nirvana" crap that most bloggers and social media "experts" tend to write about.
If I am completely transparent, there may not be room for both perspectives. So how do I justify or think about the self-revealing posts about traffic, my own marketing efforts, and what is and is not working?
1. Trust is the currency in the new global economy.
2. Social media is a small part of the overall online marketing mix.
3. I am working for some large clients and have been part of some very large global marketing efforts. (HP, Dell, Microsoft)
4. I am also a small business owner and social media consultant.
If I don’t learn from what I’m doing here on uber.la, then I am not learning. If I learn, I feel compelled to share my findings. That’s what I do.
So if my "oops, this isn’t really working for me" posts tend to expose the problems with social media for the small business, or if my doubts about services like Pinterest and the Newly IPO’d Facebook seem like I might be exposing my own faults, well, that IS WHAT I AM DOING.
You need to hear about the dark underbelly of social media marketing as well as the wonderful success stories. Most of us are not Dell, and most of us will never have the success of the Dell Factory Outlet Couponing on Twitter success. I was there, helping craft the social media around the twitter, facebook and even Dell.com’s own properties. And while that information is very valuable, and the case studies are all over the web for you to examine and use in your own business pitches, the actually value of Dell’s success to the small and medium business is quite limited.
Where does the small business owner go to get the real story of social media and it’s potential impact, or lack-of-impact, on their business? I would point to sites like Hubspot and ReadWriteWeb for deep and often helpful posts and insights. I would also point you to these sections on Uber.la where I have been attempting to expose my own issues as I move along this process. I get better at some things. I drop other things that don’t seem to be working. And as I go along I hope to give you some tools and some insights that might help you, in your business decisions.
Social media is great. I make a living helping companies with their ONLINE MARKETING, not just social media. It IS my goal to remain transparent so that you can see what I AM LEARNING.
If in the long run this transparency establishes TRUST between us, then I have opened a potential relationship for future business together. If, on the other hand, you prefer only the polished side of the story, then my little corner of the web might not be what you are looking for.
Social media is about transparency. If The Cluetrain Manifesto** taught us anything it is that the public will talk about the truth regardless of what the company or person wants the public to talk about. I am engaging in that true talk. And as I say elsewhere, *COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS OPEN.*
I hope you stick around. I hope you learn from my mistakes, my insights, and my victories. I will continue to share ALL OF IT, as best I can.
**Reference: The Cluetrain Manifesto (Amazon affiliate link for convenience)
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