Currently, one of the most important aspects in business is to enable the flow of information between the corporation and the stakeholders. Therefore, social media plays a pivotal role in increasing the level of a companys disclosure of the agreements, deals, transactions, and practices to enhance verifiability. Managers and marketers use the social media to increase information flow and to receive feedback concerning particular products. In a similar fashion, UAE government ventures into the use of microblogging sites including Twitter to discuss issues affecting the education and health sectors. Although the use multiple social media sites can lead to counterproductive results, the approach is essential as it promotes transparency through responsive customer service, corporate communication, creation of a sense of community, and increased ability of the customers and citizens to monitor and control the activities of the suppliers.
In the United States, approximately 60% of subscribers participate in social media discussions. As a result, the wide internet connectivity presents both risk and benefit for business organizations. In other words, a firm may create a positive perception concerning its products through creative social media marketing. Conversely, the shift of power to the subscriber may cause negative effects such as the tarnishing of long-established brands. Therefore, the entities should implement strategies to enhance transparency through the internet and social media. Social interaction sites such as Twitter, Badoo, and Facebook increase transparency, as they allow businessmen to make corporate communication. However, the audience compels organizations to advertise or promote products using correct information because social media users respond almost on real-time basis. An error in presenting an advert may lead to a damaged reputation of the firm. Therefore, marketers should ensure that only the right information is disseminated to the public.
In addition, Twitter and Facebook create a sense of community and belongingness among subscribers. Thus, the sites facilitate knowledge sharing and open communication. The traditional methods of creating transparency in government include proactive dissemination of information, public meetings, release of materials, and leaks from whistle blowers. Notably, the internet is a convenient way of collecting, sharing, and accessing information for both governments and corporations. As a result, e-business and e-government are effective approaches to improve public participation and transparency. However, it is important to note that mere efforts by organization to achieve transparency may be limited if the cultural milieu of the people concerning it is negative. Nevertheless, the internet holds a greater capability of increasing openness in service delivery since it allows citizens to track activities and promotes their ability to monitor and control government operations. Moreover, it facilitates collaborative relationships between the firms and the buyers. For instance, the Bhoomi electronic land record system in India saves more than 7 million farmers from paying bribes to officials. The local people access information in an open and transparent manner at Rs. 2 compared to Rs. 100 previously. However, the attitude of the society may inhibit the use of the internet and social media to increase transparency. Scholars illustrate that achieving the goal of openness and accountability depends on the acceptance of ICT among the citizens.
In particular, social media involves a conglomeration of websites, blogs, and other web-based services that increase information sharing and interaction to influence openness. Users become a community that shares interests, thus, encourages the accuracy of information presented. The ability to share variety of media content across a targeted group promotes engagement and democratic participation. In addition, business managers use social media such as Facebook to assist in co-production of vital documents between them and the customers. Importantly, e-business and e-government can be useful technologies to enhance crowdsourcing in which a certain portion of the community or a group of clients is assigned to complete a particular task on behalf of the entity.
More importantly, greater social inter-connectedness is an effective way of achieving social benefits including transparency. Social media promotes social capital through increased accesses to information via the connection of affiliate networks. Communities that do not have a culture of openness may learn the importance of participating in discussions concerning products and services offered by the government of businesses through social media.
Although social media is a great tool in promoting transparency, various barriers to information sharing exist. For instance, governments such as China use the Great Firewall of China to regulate access to particular details and data. As a result, the members of the public show reduced level of participation. Additionally, the effectiveness of social media in enhancing transparency depends of the cultural attitudes of the population. Nevertheless, the increasing shift of power from the suppliers of services to the consumers compels organizations to use social media, not as a means for self-promotion, but as a tool to increase openness and accountability with regards to service delivery.
In conclusion, Social interaction sites such as Twitter increase transparency, as they allow businessmen to make corporate communication. In addition, the sites create a sense of community and belongingness among subscribers, thus, facilitate knowledge sharing and open communication. The internet holds a greater capability of increasing openness in service delivery since it allows citizens to track activities and promotes their ability to monitor and control government operations.
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