From risk to responsibility: Social media & the evolution of transparency

Fake news. Data breaches. Privacy concerns. In our hyper-connected, hyper-complicated world, consumers shop with a healthy dose of skepticism. Brands are fighting an uphill battle to earn the trust—and business—of today’s consumer.

To understand the current state of brand-consumer relationships, we surveyed 1,000 consumers on their beliefs, expectations and desires on the role of transparency in business today.

Read on for the highlights, and download the full report to get all of the data.

Download the Full Report

The responsibility of transparency

Most brands have historically viewed transparency as a risk to their business—the fear of sharing too much meant they shared nothing at all. The results are lifeless, stale and unappealing corporate entities—the exact opposite of what drives people to social media. However, in today’s social, connected society, it should come as no surprise that 86% of people say transparency from businesses is more important than ever before.

Social drives demand

Social media has given consumers unprecedented access to brands and their representatives, emboldening them to hold brands accountable in real-time. Forty percent of consumers who say that transparency is more important than ever before credit the shift to social—and 36% of this group also attribute this to social making transparency easier to monitor.

Wide white space

In light of that shift, 81% of people believe businesses have a responsibility to be transparent when posting on social media—that’s higher than the standards they set for politicians, friends/family or themselves. But only 15% of consumers believe brands are currently “very transparent” on social.

Millennials raise the bar

When it comes to Millennials, businesses are the group they want to be most transparent on social, and this generation is particularly interested in hearing from both brands and CEOs about their values on the channel.

Download the full report to build your own transparent brand.

Download the Full Report

The rewards of transparency

As the expectations around transparency grow, so do the rewards. Those brands that get ahead of the message by proactively integrating transparency into their policies, operations and even missteps will come out on top. Those benefits don’t end at basic brand perception—they support sales, customer service and crisis management.

Drive sales

More than half of consumers (53%) are likely to consider brands that are transparent on social for their next purchase. And one third of consumers say they would purchase more from brands whose CEOs demonstrate transparency on social.

Convert a crisis

85% of people say a business’ history of being transparent makes them more likely to give it a second chance after a bad experience. And 89% of people say a business can regain their trust if it admits to a mistake and is transparent about the steps it will take to resolve the issue.

Retain customers

On the flip side, a lack of transparency on social leaves 86% of people likely to take their business to a competitor.

Download the full report to build your own transparent brand.

What else you’ll find in the Brands Get Real report:

The role of the CEO as a transparency champion.

Specifics on industry expectations of transparency.

Examples of brands showcasing transparency on social.

Communication strategies for developing a transparent brand.

Download the full report to build your own transparent brand.

Download the Full Report