Social Media Policy and Guidelines
Following are the social media policy and guidelines that we developed for ourselves and those that may work with us or represent the Sociable! brand. It lays out the core steps that we have to follow in order to protect and grow the Sociable! brand and to make sure we are acting in the spirit of positive engagement and thought leadership.
The Sociable! Code of Engagement
#1) Treat every action as if it will be recorded for eternity.
Almost everything we say online is recorded, logged and backed up somewhere. In every restaurant, bar or conference room, there are dozens of people with mobile video, photo, and blogging apps that can capture our behavior, ready to broadcast it to the world instantly and permanently. You can’t delete a bad blog post, a rude response. Be careful of what you say, blog, tweet and do, because the impact can be permanent.
#2) Talk about what you know.
Being Sociable! is about being a thought leader, and contributor to community, and being authentic and transparent. People rely on us for advice and guidance. Stating opinion as fact can hurt our reputation, and it may even harm the person taking our advice. If you’re wrong about something, you can expect to be called out on it and possibly embarrassed in the social media space by other bloggers or community members. Always be learning, studying and fact checking in the domains you aspire to lead, and don’t exaggerate or fabricate your knowledge or facts.
#3) Get Engaged.
Don’t broadcast, connect. Being Sociable! is about listening, connecting, and contributing. Engagement is about how we make other people feeland the lasting impact that we have on them and their success. To be Sociable! you must monitor conversations, listening to and communicating with individuals in the community in a personable and relevant way.
#4) Digital Rights and Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
If you hear a great quote from someone, an interesting hypothesis or learn a new business process, make sure you give the author due credit. Just because something is not protected under copyright does not mean we can re-purpose it without giving credit. A link back to their site, a mention of them at your seminar or in your video only takes seconds. This builds the trust of everyone watching you, and they will know you’re in this for more than just personal gain. And they will be Sociable! with you as well.
We make our living from the great ideas, content and creative works we create, market and produce. Being Sociable! means our brand is one of integrity, authenticity and transparency. We need to respect others copyright and creative works just like we would want them to do for us. Always ask permission or give attribution to other people’s creations that you use, cite, or include in your work. Every photo, video, quote or audio clip we use must be posted and distributed in a way that respects and maintains the integrity of their work.
#5) No Spam
Never send generic messages to people who have given you permission to connect. If they have added you as a connection in a social network, realize that this is not to be taken lightly. Only send information or communicate in a way that is adding value. Avoid auto messages, auto blog links, or auto anything that makes people feel like a number and not a valued contact.
#6) Know When to Zip it
Be conscious of private or confidential information that has been trusted to you. This means don’t post it anywhere on the web. It also means don’t talk about it in public, where someone else could hear or record you and post it online for the world to see. Know the difference between fact, opinion and slander and always err on the side of being legally diligent. In other words, don’t post anything that could result in an unwanted court appearance.
#7) This is Not a Video Game
Some people see social media as a video game where you collect names and followers, to be presented in some sort of digital trophy case. This game is getting old fast. The real measure of someone who is legitimately Sociable! is their action and impact. Focus on the quality of relationships with people. Focus on getting people to do something when they get to your blog, not on how many people visit it. Think in the term of profits made, impact created or actions caused by your Sociable! activity.
#8) Be Open to All Feedback
The days of corporate white washing are over, so is having a dual life. Everyone now knows what you’re up to in this digital world that lacks privacy. If, or when, you make mistakes, people are going to go after you online on your personal blog, your corporate blog or blast you with a video or a comment on a social network. When this happens, don’t hide and don’t delete their comments or errors you may have made. Instead, engage. Customer complaints are branding opportunities and sometimes our critics are actually bold allies trying to set us straight. It’s important to respond to criticism strategically, not emotionally, and to set the record straight with a correction, the facts, or good old fashion customer service and apologies.
#9) Be Sociable!
Being Sociable! also means not taking our self or our brand too seriously. In order to be a true Sociable! thought leader we must have fun, be passionate and contribute to the success of our clients, peers, family and community as a whole. Most importantly, we continually strive to "get real" by taking our online connections and meet them individually or as a community through events like Meetups, Tweetups, and community functions. We do this to deepen and expand relationships. Without strong Sociable! relationships we’re just another marketer or salesperson making a pitch.