Pedro MartinezPedro is a Technology Leader, former CIO/CTO and co-founder, speaker, father of 3, former paratrooper and US Army veteran.  He counts with 19 years of experience in Tech.  Follow Pedro for valuable information about Cloud adoption and overall Digital Transformation.

“You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.”


Social = Transparency

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Social Trash Representation

Photo: Social Trash Representation

Being “Social” or using the tools of “social media,” or been active in “social networking,” is the new way of doing business, mainly for small and medium-size businesses, and it is here to stay. Well, not so new, but it’s what’s hot right now. For the purpose of this blog, I’m just going to refer to social media, social network as “Social.”

The chemistry has shift from the reaching-masses approach to a more customized, personal way of dealing with others in business. It means that each person, whether as an individual or part of an organization, simply needs to be him or herself and use tools of communication to “connect” with the rest of the world. That requires everyone involved to be transparent, more or less honest, and open to neutrally “Connect” with the rest of the world. Why? Because everyone will be EXPOSED.

It can be argued that for some people, this transparency implies that they are not being themselves, and to be honest, that can be an accurate statement, depending on the personality. However, Social is no longer a movement, a culture or a preference; it is a way of living. This way of living may push some people outside of their comfort zone, because it brings change for those that have lived in a shell, the shy and anti-social. Social helps those individuals find others with common sets of interests, so no one would have to be alone out here.

When I first heard the word transparency associated to social media and social networks, the first thing that came to mind was the hundreds of resumes I have reviewed in the past from job applicants. How many times resumes didn’t match facts? I don’t know how many, but if I were to make a wild guess, probably 50%. Then I thought, — “this is probably the reason why there are so many late adopters of the, so called, social media movement.”

Some people have trash to clean up in certain areas. Social exposes the trash, the not so clean past, the lies, the double, or sometimes, multiple lives that some are trying to live. Did I just invented the term “Social Trash!?!?” This could very well be the reason for late adopters of communication tools; such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare and others, appear to have something to hide.

Personal branding, which is often a term used when discussing Social, is like your work attire. It needs to be clean, with no wrinkles and very presentable; otherwise, you will be labeled and treated as such based on your poor and un-kept appearance. The main difference between these two is that with clothing you can fake who you are, if you can clean up your appearance pretty well. Trying to pretend to be something you are not, thinking you’re being social, will only get you and your personal brand burned, because this is a playground of transparency. You will be exposed and embarrassed if you think you can fool others. The cards will have to be laid out on the table. That is the only way to connect, to get Social, to be transparent.

What does this mean for companies?

There are a few specific benefits and very little risk. Employees are exposed to the open community called “The Internet.” Anything said or written is immediately published and automatically opened to scrutiny. This translates into an employee that will have very little to hide, that will be conscious of what he or she does outside the confinements of the office and will promote the company services and products. That’s free Marketing.

Companies’ Human Resources departments have probably benefited more from the very beginning from the ramifications of Social networking than most departments, including sales. Social allows companies to:

  • Show off the internal culture while promoting the brand
  • Connect with and start up conversations with potential talent, even if there isn’t a job opening
  • Share information across media to reach as many people as possible, both internally and externally
  • Spy on employees. —No, I didn’t say that. I’m kidding, I swear!

For Marketing and Sales departments, Social means a longer arm reach. Sales and Marketing strategies can be taken to the next level by connecting with the key individuals of an organization. Let’s be honest, if I’m in need of a product or service, I would rather award the job to someone I know or have had a prior connection to, since I know that this person has a reputation to keep.

This entire concept and association between transparency and late adopters of social networking tools, can only makes me wonder, —“Do those corporations, which haven’t make the Social move yet, have something to hide or afraid that when exposed the world will notice some of trash?”

I would love to hear your opinion.

Cheers & Good Ashes!