Ethics of Social Media Marketing

October 2, 2017

1. KYA – Know Your Audience:

Before embarking on any social marketing drive, make sure that you:

  • Know about your audience, their preferences, interests and choices

  • Have a complete demographic and psychographic overview

This will help you refine your target audience and also facilitate in developing anti-spam mechanism. In addition, it will allow you to segment the audience and send over relevant messages that will drive engagement; the ultimate goal.

2. Stay Away from Biases:

Businesses and marketers need to stay away from (negative) political, religious, ethnic, or any cultural bias that could be termed as controversial. A slight mistake can lead to a big PR disaster and loss of your job (as marketer). We have seen that many top social media managers got fired for just one wrong tweet.

3. Never Compromise On Privacy:

Privacy is a very sensitive domain as it is top concern of the internet generation. If you are doing some marketing via social media, make sure you do not violate privacy rules. Some companies extract Facebook and LinkedIn data to build their email campaigns. This is a cutting-edge sword and requires attention to core concerns. Just a promise of not spamming might not be enough, you need to give unsubscribe option with every message you deliver. To read more about ethical email marketing, refer to my old piece at Business2Community.

4. Be Transparent:

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.

5. Speak Truth:

If you have some interest or affiliation in something being discussed, you need to politely communicate your affiliation. It does not require that you explain your interests but tell as to why are you supporting a particular thing. Another important element here is to be true to yourself as well as the audience.

6. Think Before You Tweet:

Internet if flooded with unauthentic information pieces, which has made the marketer’s job more complicated. Therefore, always verify what you share before sending it out for prospects. Any factual error may lead to embarrassment and negative perception of the brand.

7. Imagine the Impact:

If you are sharing some information through your social channel which has been acquired from a third party source, give clear disclaimers to avoid suspicions of conflict of interest. Moreover; be very careful about your tweets and retweets. Public perception matters a lot. For instance, you might retweet something a politician has said in order to spread the news but some may view it as your support for that person. This can be very tricky for your brand.

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