Etiquette is the proper way to behave and Ethics studies ideas about good and bad behavior. Both combine into Professionalism, which is the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior expected from a person trained to do a job such as social media marketing. Because social media blurs the lines between our personal and professional lives it is useful to look at actions in social media from three perspectives: Personal (as an individual), Professional (as an employee or perspective employee) and Brand (as an organization). To simplify the discussion I have created questions for each category in the Social Media Etiquette and Ethics Guide below. Click here to download.
Before you post or comment in a personal capacity consider:
Is it all about me? No one likes someone who only talks about themselves. The same applies in social media. Balance boasting with complimenting.
Am I stalking someone? It is good to be driven and persistent but be careful not to cross the line into creepy. Don’t be too aggressive in outreach.
Am I spamming them? Not everything or even the majority of what you post should ask for something. Don’t make everything self-serving.
Am I venting or ranting? Venting and ranting may feel good, but research says it doesn’t help and no matter how justified you feel, it never presents you in a positive light. Do not post negative comments or gossip.
Did I ask before I tagged? You had a great time and want to share those memories, but your friends, family or employer may have different standards than a friends. Check before you tag people in posts.
Did I read before commenting or sharing? Don’t make yourself look foolish by not fully reviewing something you are commenting on or sharing with others. Don’t jump to conclusions.
Am I grateful and respectful? Don’t take people for granted. Respond and thank those who engage with you.
Is this the right medium for the message? Not everything should be said in social media. Consider the feelings of the other person. Some messages should be given in person, by phone or email.
Am I logged into the right account? There are too many corporate examples of embarrassing posts meant for personal jokes that went out on official brand accounts. Always double check which account you are on. Don’t post personal information on brand accounts.
Before you post or comment as a professional consider:
Does it meet the Social Media Policy? Most organizations have official social media policies that you probably received when hired. Don’t assume you know what the policy says. Many employees have been fired for not following company social media regulations. Make sure you know and follow employer or client requirements.
Does it hurt my company’s reputation? No matter how many disclaimers you put on your accounts such as “views are my own” certain content and behavior will negatively impact your employer. If your bio states where you work, your personal account represents your employer.
Does it help my company’s marketing? Employee advocacy is an important strategy. Have a positive impact on your company’s image and when you can advocate for your brand in social.
Would my boss/client be happy to see it? You may not have “friended” your boss or client but a co-worker may have and your post is only a share or screen grab away. Even private accounts are never fully private.
Am I being open about who I work for? It is good to post positive content about your employer and it is nice to receive gifts, but if you are trying to pass it off as unbiased opinion that is wrong. Be transparent about your financial connections.
Am I being fair and accurate? Everyone is entitled to their person opinion, but if your opinion tends to always be unfounded and seems to have an agenda it will reflect negatively upon you. Criticism is welcome when it is constructive and opinion is backed by evidence.
Am I being respectful and not malicious? People can get very insensitive, judgmental and angry in social media posts. That does not convey a professional image. Don’t post what you wouldn’t say in person. Even an outburst in person fades in memory, but a malicious post is there forever.
Does it respect intellectual property? Not everything on the Internet is free. Check for or get permission to post company or client brand assets and content.
Is this confidential information? As an employee or contractor you are granted access to privileged and confidential information. Don’t assume it is fine to share. Do not disclose non-public company or client information.
Before posting or commenting as a brand on a social account consider:
Does it speak to my target market? Social media is unique from traditional marketing and requires a different perspective to be effective. Be sure to focus on your target’s wants and needs not yours.
Does it add value? Social media only works if people view and share it. Make your content educational, insightful or entertaining to grab interest and draw engagement.
Does it fit the social channel? Don’t post content ideal for Twitter on Instagram or Reddit. Each channel has its own culture and community. Make sure each post fits the channel’s environment, mission and policies or standards.
Is it authentic and transparent? Trying to trick people into clicking a link or making a purchase will get you nowhere. Don’t hide or exclude any relevant information.
Is it real and unique? Bots can automate tasks and be a great time saver, but use them for the right actions. Don’t use auto responses and create anything that could be perceived as spam.
Is it positive and respectful? It may be fine to talk trash about competitors or complain about customers in the office, but not in social media. Don’t badmouth the competition or customers.
Does it meet codes of conduct? As professionals we are part of trade associations that set standards of conduct. Be sure you are meeting these ethical standards such as the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s Code of Ethics.
Does it meet all laws and regulations? Government has been catching up with social media and have issued regulations and laws you must follow. See guides on requirements like the FTC social media endorsement guidelines.
Does it meet the Social Media Policy? Most likely your brand or a client’s brand has a social media policy. Ensure you follow your own company standards.
Visual Literacy.Using Instagram to select a single photo to capture an overall concept would transfer to so many subject areas.
People, in general, love Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other networks, because they want to share their pictures, videos and thoughts with the world; this sort of sharing makes people feel important. When kids feel important about what they share, they, in turn, believe that what they learn is important. This is truly what 21st-century learning is about.
Eliza, 29, said she’d mostly abandoned using swipe apps for their intended purpose. “Tinder transitioned from being a thing where I actually wanted to meet people to being, ‘I’m bored, tell me I’m pretty,’” she said. “I don’t really meet people on it anymore.”
Talking to women in their 20s and 30s about the ways they avoid swipe burnout (or at least make swiping more pleasant), almost all of them said basically the same thing as Serena, 34: “I can only stand dating apps at this point because I delete them frequently. It feels less like a full-time job that way.” She was contemplating joining Match.com, one of the oldest and most traditional dating sites, in hopes that it might mean sifting through fewer profiles in search of decent, mature people looking to go on real dates.
The default Mastodon web interface is a little more complex than Twitter, but no more than, for instance, TweetDeck. There are, of course, other interfaces you could use with Mastodon, including mobile apps or custom Atom feeds or custom web apps using Mastodon’s rich API. Since everyone starts out with the web UI, however, it’s a good thing to look at to get used to Mastodon’s capabilities.
how the digital medium will foster engagement and enhance learning outcomes.
aware of the implications of having students post content on third-party services (those not provided or hosted by your institution).
Social media usage in the classroom intersects with both FERPA and Copyright Compliance, so keep this checklist handy as you develop your class activity.
Include details about the activity in your syllabus & course description.
Link to institutional policies.
Use aliases for social media accounts.
Teach your students to use digital media responsibly.
Know where to provide assignment feedback.
Don’t use personal accounts for university business.
Understand the Terms of Service.
Engaging with students – both inside and outside the classroom – who are continually linked in to social media and online devices presents a range of opportunities, challenges and pitfalls.
By DAVID SMITH | April 5, 2017
More and more of our public, private and professional lives are migrating online. There is little doubt that social media will infiltrate every aspect of our day-to-day existence. If used effectively, online tools are revolutionary for communicating and stimulating important conversations.
a study, the “Why We Post” project, has just been published by nine anthropologists, led by Daniel Miller of University College, London. worked independently for 15 months at locations in Brazil, Britain, Chile, China (one rural and one industrial site), India, Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turkey.
In rural China and Turkey social media were viewed as a distraction from education. But in industrial China and Brazil they were seen to be an educational resource. Such a divide was evident in India, too. There, high-income families regarded them with suspicion but low-income families advocated them as a supplementary source of schooling. In Britain, meanwhile, they were valued not directly as a means of education, but as a way for pupils, parents and teachers to communicate.
How would you answer if addressed by this study? How do you see social media? Do you see it differently then before?
On a recent visit in 2015, I found the social media landscape dramatically changed, again. Facebook began actively steering reading practices through changes in 2013 to the News Feed algorithm, which determines content in the site’s central feature. That year, Facebook announced an effort to prioritize “high quality content,” defined as timely, relevant, and trustworthy—and not clickbait, memes, or other viral links. This policy, along with changing practices in sharing news content generally, meant that current events can unfold on and through social media.
how much of your news do you acquire through social media? do you trust the information you acquire through social media? #FakeNews – have explored this hashtag? What is your take on fake news?
meaning management :
Anthropologists and the culturally sensitive analysts take complex bits of data and develop a higher-order sense of them. Information and meaning work at cross purposes. In managing meaning, context is everything while in managing information context is error and noise. When we give our social listening projects to information specialists, we lose an appreciation of context and with it the ability to extract the meanings that provide insight for our companies and brands.
Meaning management also involves a deeper appreciation of social listening as a component of a broader meaning-making system, rather than as, simply, a data source to be exploited.
How do you perceive meaning management? Do you see yourself being a professional with the ability to collect, analyze and interpret such data for your company?