One doesn’t tend to think of social media as being dangerous per se, but it doesn’t hurt to think in terms of safety anyway. As Brian Olson points out in his blog post, Future Shock-Shock Absorbing, part of using social media means being prepared to “deal with unexpected situations.”
Here are seven tips for avoiding trouble, shared during a conversation about Legal & Copyright Considerations for Social Media Marketing, presented by Jim Thomas, and hosted by Social Marketing for Business:
1. Draw well-defined lines
There is some danger when a personal profile doesn’t accurately describe its owner. A good way to prevent it is to manage and maintain your own personal profiles. Don’t forget to go back from time to time and read them, ensuring they haven’t become stagnant or outdated.
Alan Case, a member of the Social Marketing Group cited LinkedIn as a good example where it is imperative that your personal profile contain current, comprehensive and correct information. Further, Alan suggested paying attention to the distinctions between your profiles on personal pages and on business pages.
2. Connect and combine your media
Don’t use your media in silos and risk isolating your engagement initiatives. Group member, Linda Mooney, responded to a Facebook friend’s invitation to sign up for her blog and receive an art print in exchange. Linda not only received a print, but she also received a collage made of other works by the same artist, as well as coupons.
Linda pointed out how this artist maximized her marketing by connecting her Facebook page to her blog and then combined her print advertising by mailing directly to her well-targeted market.
3. Provide value
Alyx Reese, who manages social media for Roof Brokers Inc., is working to grow their Twitter following. While businesses often damage their reputation by using social media to self-promote, Alyx is attracting attention by adding value to her community. She searches for news items and advice that she knows her customers and potential customers will find useful. Then, she’s “re-tweeting like crazy.”
Alyx is thrilled every time she receives notification of a new follower on Twitter. She says the real measure of success, though, is increased activity on the company’s Better Business Bureau listing and on their website.
4. Measure your success
One of our newer members, Phil Clemens, pointed out that Pinterest just launched a new analytics tool. If you’re not tracking progress, you could spend a lot of time spinning your wheels. Measuring ROI in social media is challenging, so new tools like this are always welcome.
5. Emphasize your message
By bringing our attention to Pinterest Launches Free Analytics Tool, a meeting handout, Phil also demonstrated the importance of not letting your message get lost in the shuffle. Adding emphasis can be done by directing attention and reiterating.
6. Share, don’t steal
Luke Holzmann, spokesperson for the YouTube tips group, warned against downloading from someone else’s channel and then uploading to your own. “This will get you into hot water,” he said. Instead, if you want to share someone’s video content, link to it (on YouTube, for example) or embed it in your blog post. This ensures proper credit and attribution.
7. Attribution before assertion
Our group’s videographer, Brian Olson of Conversation Starters, stepped from behind the video camera to share this pearl of wisdom that is generally directed toward journalists, but can also apply to many social media users. “Attribution before assertion” not only gives proper credit, but also helps the audience from being distracted or confused.
Photo by maxthedog67 on flickr