Social Media Ethics

Deciding what to push out to your followers on social

Social media is great. If you’re a business, you especially love it because it allows you to communicate with customers and build a brand voice.

However, as the world continues to go digital, companies need to establish a code of ethics for their social media conduct.

Be Transparent

When a crisis breaks out, most companies initial reaction is to keep quiet. However, companies on social media need to address their publics as quickly as possible.

This does not mean getting defensive. The best approach companies can take is to be transparent with their customers. They must openly post about the issue and own up to any mistakes. Reference my earlier post for more information on Crisis Communication.

In addition to communicating with publics, transparency also means that you are open about who and why you are promoting another brand.

According to Business2Community, “If you are endorsing some product, idea or personality; you need to disclose why you are endorsing it. Mentioning your relationship with that particular product, non-profit entity, brand or political entity in your campaign, handle, or bio is essential.”

Don’t just spread information

Topics on social media spread like wildfire. Although a topic may be trending, companies must ensure that the information is factual.

Not only does it need to be factual, they must make sure whatever your company pushes out aligns with the company’s mission.

According to NPR, “When determining whether to pass along information being reported on social media sites by other news outlets or individuals, be thoughtful. When we point to what others are saying, in the eyes of many we are effectively reporting that information ourselves.”

Therefore, be careful when you spread social media content and make sure it represents your company.

Be respectful of everyone

Social media is global. People around the world use all social platforms daily. Therefore, any content sent out through a company’s page must be respectful of all cultures.

It can be easy for communication specialists to forget this when they are communicating online with their clientele. However, sending out a post that disrespects one ethnicity or nationality could potentially alienate a huge client base.

According to Mashable, social media managers must, “think about how your country or region’s cultural norms differ among age groups, genders, geographical areas and so on, and then consider these differences among consumers in other cultures. Learning about and respecting other cultures will help you localize your brand’s message.”

Consider the Impact

The bottom line of all social media ethics is to consider the impact. Once a post is online, it never goes away. Rouge posts have the potential to seriously damage the reputation of any company. As a social media manager, it is your team’s responsibility to ensure that all posts are tasteful and encourage healthy interaction with your brand.


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