The need for social transparency has never been greater.

And the need to monitor those representing you in the social space has never been greater.

Problem is Marketers don’t seem too terribly concerned about the need for greater transparency.

In our recent survey on Social and Digital changes since 2009, Marketers are actually less concerned about the need for transparency than they were in 2009 (26% said that the advent of social has impacted their need to be transparent a lot – versus 31% in 2009).

At this year’s WOMMA conference (Word of Mouth Marketing Association), we heard our share of horror stories about Marketers or their Agencies gone mad in the social space.

Without the proper leashes and without a process for following the proposed guidelines for appropriate etiquette in the space, you could be putting your brand and your company at risk.

Agencies that were asked the same question in our survey seem more sensitive to the issue, with 51% stating that social media has increased their sensitivity to the issue of transparency, so if you choose to ignore the topic, you might find that you’re in decent hands.

So what does this all mean for you, the Marketer?

What it means is you need to simply ask the question of your Agency.  If you’re looking for new firm, be sure and ask the Agencies you’re considering what their policy is and what they do/have done to manage the issue of full disclosure in this space.

It’s not all that difficult a thing to do (be transparent that is), but I certainly could see where someone would feel compelled to squash a negative comment about your brand or incentivize individuals to push out favorable remarks about your brand, without the intent of malice, but with the goal of influencing opinion in mind.

Best advice is to err on the side of caution.  Because the last thing you want to do is find yourself standing there with no clothes on and facing bigger issues than those that first presented themselves in the social space.