I've been working in and with social media for over a decade. Being social online is nothing new, but many people, brands and businesses still don't know how they should use the social platforms available to them today. There's nothing wrong with getting started, trying new things and seeing what works for you or your business, but increasingly I'm seeing social media being used negatively. With social media what you put out there, you get back ten-fold, so the last thing you want to be doing is being seen as negative. Social media represents a unique opportunity for you to reach new customers, to establish your brand's online reputation, to educate your audience and to place your business in a position of global online influence.
I often discuss social media etiquette and best practice with other influencers or experts and whilst there is much debate over how you should or shouldn't 'do' social media, I believe there are some clear cut principles to success that we should all be trying to emulate to keep social media a positive experience for all participants. This is something I have long talked about and no doubt bored my colleagues and friends with over the last two years, but it feels like the right time to put pen. So today, I'm proud to publish the guiding principles of how Socially-M will continue to operate online. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the first draft of the Socially-M Social Mission! These principles will guide how I and the rest of #TeamSociallyM conduct our business online. They are:
1. Social media is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and not a one off event, post or campaign. Accounts entrusted to me will receive constant care and attention to maintain momentum and sustain a presence that continues to deliver results.
2. Social media is an organism that revolves around people, it is not a business process. I will ensure that it remains all about people and building online relationships.
3. I will listen keenly, speak softly and reply quickly. Everything I post will be respectful to and of others online, supporting them positively and constructively.
4. I will be a celebrant, not a celebrity of the online community and I acknowledge that everyone is an influencer of their own audience and deserving of my attention.
5. Social media does not exist in a vacuum, I will make every effort to ensure that traditional media and social media work together to deliver results.
6. I will embrace negative content about you or your brand, see it as a positive opportunity to solve problems for people that talk about you, even if they don't address you directly.
7. Your followers own your brand online, I will always aim to improve follower interaction and demonstrate the value of customer experience, not focus on vanity metrics around follower acquisition.
8. I will always put brand fulfillment and audience engagement before financial gain through social media, as monetisation attempts go up, customer experience goes down.
9. I will always aim to add value to social media, to strive to understand, meet and exceed the expectations and needs of the brand and it's audience.
10. I will always embrace disruption, take time to notice ideas and concepts that challenge my understanding of how the social media world works.
This is still very much a work in progress, but I hope to develop the principles into a complete mission statement for Socially-M. As ever I appreciate all your feedback, comments or any additional principles you think should be part of our mission. I have no doubt that this will be an ever evolving document, but is my hope that I can encourage the team and many others to voluntarily sign up to the same values and maybe even offer them a Socially-M Social Mission badge to add to their own websites!
Let me know what you think.