Monday, 11 October 2010

Social media- rules of play

I have an ongoing obsession with social media and more specifically the role that it plays in marketing an organisation and communicating with its publics. However, I become infuriated when some organisations continue to make the same mistakes and misuse social media.

Personally I have some golden rules and I would be interested to know whether these are shared with others or if I am just a little finicky? So here are some DOs and DON'Ts which I have come across:

DON'T use social media for the sake of it. Don't set up a fan page or group and just leave it. It requires investment and you will only reap rewards if you put the work in

DON'T get too personal. Remember this is business and if someone leaves a negative comment then be professional and when you respond don't aggrevate the situation

DON'T focus just on what you want to tell people. This is supposed to be two way communication. Create a dialogue, get feedback and try to understand what your customers want

DON'T sink to the level of astroturfing where your colleagues leave positive comments and reviews. It is a slippery slope and can damage credibility

DON'T think one size fits all. Just because it worked for someone else it doesn't mean it will work for you so think about who your customers/clients are, where they are present online and how they want to be communicated with
DO have strict controls on your groups/pages/accounts so that comments are moderated. You don't want a nestle-greenpeace situation on your hands

DO add value to your social networking activity by thinking what users would want from joining (e.g. information about new products, competitions, discounts)

DO use social networking to communicate in a crisis if it is convenient and appropriate for your organisation. It worked well for some airlines during the ash cloud

DO use social networking to create business links and build up your contacts

DO use it for relationship management with clients (depending on your organisation)

DO regularly monitor whether what you are doing is working. Remember not every business has to use social media but it can be helpful for some

I'm sure there are more and I would love to hear what other people consider to be the DOs and DON'Ts of social media

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