Reputation management is not new and yet so many brands fail to honor the discipline in the social media space. Now more than ever, social media demands brands embrace a human voice and consider the way those around them interpret their actions and commentary. Think Emily Post. Social etiquette icons know the nuances of human emotion and how attitude and action impact perception.
All this to say, I've pissed people off. Inadvertently, of course. As most of us working in the space can attest, there is a great deal of experimentation that goes into deeply understanding and recommending social strategy, tactics and tools to our clients. This experimentation can lead to a maelstrom of social hand-slapping. We do this to learn for our clients and understand voice executions and limitations in the social spaces, the inner-workings of new tools and to study crowd sentiment. Because of my social sacrifice (all for you), I have learned there are three clear rules for managing a social media reputation and, if you follow them, your community and your mother will be proud.
- Be authentic. Brands must be themselves and have a clear, very human relationship with their social communities. Product pushing and promotion will harm authenticity. Insider sales tips and contesting is attractive to a fan base, however cannot be the only form of communication shared in the space. Think of that guy at your friend's dinner party always trying to sell you insurance. He's really boring, not to mention untrustworthy. Don't be him.
- Be original. Inspiration is the name of the game. Brands that lead with new thinking and engage and excite with participatory campaigns and thought leadership win. People want to be pleasantly surprised. Intrigue and unexpected delights inspire. Think of a new love, where treats like roses and love letters shake up perception and win hearts. Do that with your community and they will love you forever.
- Be grateful. Thankfulness is an elementary human trait. We are inculcated from toddlerhood with reminders to say "thank you" at every turn. Why then, when brands come to the social space do they forget that rudimentary rule? It's simple, be thankful for the community growing around your brand. Honor them with replies, special access and inspiration. Always thank them.
Are there others? What social etiquette tips do you think brands need?