Social Media Conduct
The Internet is the most open communication channel and therefore susceptible to really poor communication skills. Of course, anyone who has an opinion is entitled to share it with the world, but things are a bit different when you are a public figure or a spokesperson for a company. You are not speaking personally, and, if something goes wrong, the consequences will be shared.
A Social Media Manager (further refereed to as SMM) needs to put together an internal guideline that will reflect the company’s vision.
Besides the specific rules that will vary depending on the company’s profile, there are some general rules that apply in all cases. Although they are pretty much similar to the basic common sense, unprofessional SMMs seem to forget them sometimes.
1. Originality and authenticity
Besides the obviously commercial return, Social Media has yet another very important role: brand awareness and trust. A PR or SMM needs to be authentic, to convey the company’s vision and inspire trust. All content needs to be original and in full accordance with the organiation’s internal policies and guidelines.
Closely related to the first point, copyright infringement is a big mistake in SMM. You do not have to re-invent the wheel, but there are certain rules you should consider when refering to someone else’s work. Citing the source or asking for the author’s permission is a start.
Don’t use over-promotional content, don’t lie, and fact check what you are saying. IF you don’t follow these simple rules chances are you will be caught out eventually and this will generate an image crisis.
It is so hard to build a community/ online audience, but is even harder to keep it. Online marketing without respect is not only useless, but can also harm your image and lower the brand trust.
5. Bring value
Bring value to the community by providing it fresh and useful information.
6. No Cats
Unless you have a Pet Store, pictures with cats are a big no-no. Under no circumstances should “funny pics” appear on a business profile.