What Does Transparency Mean on Facebook?

One of the biggest challenges that nonprofits have with social media – and Facebook in particular – is being transparent without being creepy.

You already know that your social media messages should be very different from your direct mail or brochure messaging. For one thing, it should be pithier.

It should also feel more human. The reason why is that Facebook users spend most of their time interacting with their friends, which in turn establishes a sort of “native language” on Facebook. The more your nonprofit can understand and speak this native language, the more likely Facebook users will engage with you. But you shouldn’t be too personal…

Your nonprofit messaging shouldn’t be too personal

See the rub? you want to be “human” on Facebook, but not too personal. So where do you draw the line? The best way to think about this is to understand what Facebook users expect from you in the first place.

You also want to have the right people representing you on social media channels who understand the organization, the community’s culture, and also the guidelines.

Mitch Joel said it best in a recent post:

“Brands must use real people to have real interactions with the people interested in them. Those real people must know what the brand stands for and how to communicate that. It’s about being transparent without damaging the brand. It’s about being personal within the confines of the brand narrative. And, ultimately, it’s about adding value and being helpful… it’s not about becoming someone’s best friend. It’s also not about being fake or a corporate shill. It must be authentic and transparent. It shouldn’t be creepy.”

How does your org establish a human presence without being to personal?

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  1. This blog post is so relevant to me right now. I’m currently taking a social media class and this week’s lessons cover Facebook and transparency. Additionally, I’m working for a nonprofit that’s working on finding our Facebook identity and trying to figure out where the TMI line is.

    The nonprofit I work for provides services to children with chronic and terminal medical diagnoses. Recently, we’ve started to give personal, but not personally identifiable, shout outs to the families we work with. The verdict is still out on whether or not this is a good practice.