The internet evolves on almost a daily basis. Yet for those who navigated the web pages of
old before the dot com boom, people always warned not to put out too much personal information about yourself. But now, the more information about yourself you can put out, the better.
So why is this? How did we transfer from this cautionary practice of anonymity on the web to open information about who we are? Furthermore, why should you be completely open and give as much information about your business as possible?
The Wild West of the World Wide Web
In the ‘old days’ of the internet, regulation was sparse. Businesses were unsure of what a website could do for its development. And after the dot com burst, ecommerce was teetering on the brink of failure. Local consumers were still getting used to buying things online. Generations used to seeing and feeling a product in their hands were wary about giving a website their credit card information. Who was on the other side of the screen? How could they trust you?
The Honesty Broker
The creation of social media sites addressed that trust issue consumers had with online businesses. The social norm on these sites was that you needed to be honest about who you were. And due to these platforms, that information could be verified and legitimized. A demand rose for people to be completely open on their profiles, and that hiding information was not acceptable.
As social media evolved, businesses found that they could gain the trust of the consumer in these platforms by being completely open. LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook all gave businesses legitimacy by verifying their profiles. Social media helped turn the tide on anonymity on the internet. It’s no longer acceptable to be completely anonymous.
Be Open and Be Honest
As a business turning to social media for the first time, the best practice you can adopt is to be completely and utterly honest about your business. Give your address, contact phone number, and put your face out there as the owner.
The more honest you are, the better you will be received by the community. So give your information, be honest, and let those local consumers know who you are.