A How To Guide for Ethical Social Media Marketing
Social media has become one of the world’s top marketing tools. According to an article by Oberlo, almost half of the world’s population utilizes some form of social media. This makes it a great tool to get your brand or product in front of a user’s eyes. Even though social media is a fantastic tool, it can also have its downfalls. According to PRSSA, Social media is a rapidly changing environment, with complex forms of communication and real-time interaction directly targeted at specific audiences”. It is extremely important to be on top of your social media and have an ethical guide for your business as you continue into the social media world.
1) Know Your Audience:
a. As a brand, it is extremely important to have a good understanding of your audience. Knowing your audience’s preferences and interests will help you as a company understand the best things to post, and what not to post. When you understand your audience, it is easier for your social media team to post things that will help to drive engagement for your brand
2) Stay Away From Any Type of Biases
a. If your brand is not a controversial brand, such as the Kardashians etc, it is important to stay away from controversial postings. Controversial posts would include political, religious, ethnic or cultural biases. Posting controversially is a good way to get people to move away from your brand or even worse, speak out against your brand. If you do need to speak out about politics or religion, it is important to be transparent and honest in your reasonings as to why.
3) Be Transparent With Your Audience
a. As the saying goes, “Honesty is the Best Policy”. With anything that you post, it is important to be completely honest and transparent when speaking to your audience. Whether it is posting about your own product or a partnership with another company, honesty is the key. As mentioned above, if your company feels the need to post politically or controversially, it is important to be totally honest about why you feel the need to make a statement regarding these things.
4) Think Before You Tweet
a. People have always said, once you post on social media, it is out there forever. Whether you delete something within a minute or not, it is likely that someone saw what you posted. It is important to verify all the information you are posting before you click send to save the brand from any embarrassment down the road.
Now that we have discussed ways to ethically participate in social media, it is important to discuss how to try to minimize the impact of a crisis. A social media crisis is an event that can have a negative effect on a brand, company, or individual’s reputation. Unfortunately, a social media crisis is always a possibility when posting on social media so it is important to know how to act if one does arise.
1) Set up listening programs
a. It is important to be notified right away when there is a possible social media crisis. By utilizing social media listening tools such as Google Alerts, you will be able to quickly become aware of any crisis coming your way. When using these tools it is important to recognize who in your company is listening, when are the listening, how are they listening.
2) Understanding the different between a crisis and a mean tweet
a. It is important to understand that a social media crisis can have a large impact on the company as a whole. Sending a tweet about the food tasting bad or someone commenting on well-known policies is not necessarily a crisis.
3) Use an Internal Alert and Response Flowchart
a. Make sure you understand what people need to respond to which crises. Not all crises will have the same people responding to them. In some crises, the normal customer service representative will be able to respond and handle the problem. In other crises, the head executive team will need to step in to handle the issue.
As mentioned above, social media can be tricky, and it is important to stay on top of it and all the constant changes. Making sure to follow your ethical social media guidelines and understanding how to respond to a crisis will make you a pro at social media.
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