Ethical Imperative in Social Media | Building Ethics, Trust, and Engagement

Successful Social Media Principles and Best Practices:

How do we create more effective and ethical social media campaigns. Basically it boils down to connecting and engaging better. Steve Rubel point out that some social media campaigns fail because they lack collaboration. Rubel posits:

The key reason is they ignore the Collaboration Imperative.

People who participate on social networks, blogs and other similar venues are there for a reason – and that’s to connect around shared areas of interest and passion, often with an outcome in mind. This is why advertising, to date, hasn’t been a home run here. Most of it doesn’t add value to what people are looking to accomplish on these sites.

Social media marketing works best when it’s integrated into the experience and takes a “win-win” approach. It’s action oriented, transparent and built on…Public Engagement.

Steve continues:

Over the last few years we have all watched the remarkable rise of Google. It’s such a force in our lives. I have family members who aren’t Internet addicts like us and whenever I start talking about Google the remark how they could never live without it. It’s quite amazing for a site was hardly on people’s radar even just five years ago.

We live in a world of die-hard Googlers. And what we’ve seen over the last five years or so is that search engines increasingly favor what some call socially-connected, high-quality content. The great rewards of visibility go to those who create quality content that legitimately earns links – and do so daily.

Steve correctly points out the importance of trust and ethics to social media:

Thus, I need to bring my ethical A-game online every day and it’s something all of us in marketing, SEO or PR need to consider, even if you don’t have an issue this dramatic.

Finally, there’s the current global economic environment. We all know it’s not pretty. However, I remain very optimistic about the prospects of the PR industry and view it as a safe haven in this environment – if we, once again, come to the table with our public engagement A-game. Ethical behavior is key here. Ethics create trust and trust is king.

Unlike previous recessions and depressions, we now live in an era of great transparency. It’s very hard to hide in a world where everyone has a camera-phone, a Facebook page or a blog. Accounts of corporations doing good and doing bad will surface quickly online thanks to an intricate global network that includes social media, traditional media and search engines.

The transparency and trust trend-lines – which are directly linked – remain evergreen.

Finally, Rubel concludes:

Still, we have a long way to go in addressing ROI in a measurable way. But relationships and trust can be tracked over time and it’s directly linked with public engagement, action, transparency. Further, it’s also hooked into search since, for billions of us, Google is our window on the world.

Wow that’s powerful. What do you think about what Steve said? How can you use social media to bring openness, connection, community, and trust to your brand?

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