Social Media Ethics Made Easy

Social Media Ethics Made Easy: How to Comply With FTC Guidelines

Joseph W. Barnes

E-book Price: $19.95
Number of Pages:  120
Print ISBN:  9781606498521
E-book ISBN:  9781606498538

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Social Media Ethics Made Easy takes an in-depth look at the risks of social, digital and mobile media marketing without structured policies. Readers will learn what is at stake from the law to their reputation, and what happens if businesses and/or individuals do not disclose relationships or comply with (FTC) Federal Trade Commission regulations. Readers will come to understand what they should do, why, and how they should do it.

The issues in this book affect every single business from for-profits, to nonprofits, to government and educational institutions. It also addresses the impact on every single social/digital media participant and why they must learn about these guidelines so they can protect their own personal brand. This book is intended for a broad audience including students and professors in both undergrad and graduate schools, and practicing business executives. The goal is to inform management practice and help current and future business leaders navigate through the ethical laws and compliance issues affecting social, digital and mobile media.

Why Facebook Needs to Listen to Make Money!

For all of the billions of dollars we’ve been hearing about with Facebook lately. For all of the smart brainiacs working there. For all of the fabulous things they have created. The one thing that Facebook doesn’t get is how to place effective advertising that serves both users and advertisers.

There’s a very good reason that GM pulled $10-million in advertising from Facebook. There’s a good reason why I’ve heard from many other business owners who have pulled advertising.

Here’s why.

Do I really care that my friends have “liked” certain businesses? I’m on Facebook to socialize right now and there is — no joke — an ad for “Metamucil.” [No jokes please]  Now I have nothing against Metamucil but seriously. Am I really interested in that product while I’m sending birthday messages to my friends on Facebook?

Come on. Facebook has demographics deeper than oil rigs and yet they can’t figure out what I’m interested in?

The other ads below Metamucil were even less relevant and interesting.

The greater challenge for Facebook is to fully understand how and why people use Facebook. Hello! People go there to socialize, unlike Google where people search for a topic.

If I’m on Facebook to socialize, you would think the FB experts could figure out a better way to understand my interests in real time and place ads that are relevant, timely, and interesting.

If I’m writing and wishing people a Happy Birthday are there local businesses that want to reach me? Bakeries, cup cake bakers, card makers, anything related to birthdays.

If I post pictures about taking my kids to the zoo it seems like family-oriented venues would want their ads on my page right away. Maybe even Disney ads?

I could go on and on, but until Facebook becomes realistic about understanding that the web is a REAL TIME experience, their ads will languish off to the side. Google gets it; Facebook doesn’t.

I welcome your comments.

(c) Joseph Barnes,

There is Nothing More Important Than the Customer Experience!

For all of the social and digital media advice and trends I provide on this website, as I preach at conferences, keynotes, when I’m teaching, and anywhere people will listen—all of the social media engagement and listening in the world is trumped by remarkable customer service. 

If you provide remarkable customer service, people will tell others through word of mouth and through social media. Conversely, if you have poor touch points with customer service, people will tell others.

I was flying cross country a couple of weeks ago and had a layover at DFW. Now I know airline gate agents are stressed to the max and have to deal with some outrageous people and situations at times, but watching what was happening for a few hours was amazing.

This happened to be American Airlines. I’m sure American has thousands of amazing people who go out of their way to help customers and make them feel good. However, on this day, at this gate, for a few hours, that wasn’t the case. The customers who would approach these gate agents did so politely. For three hours, never did I see a smile. Never did I see anything other than multi-tasking, transaction agents, mostly looking down while “customers” approached them.

Here are a few things to think about:
1. Love your job or leave it. It’s not prison.
2. Love your customers or leave them. Your job isn’t prison.
3. Provide remarkable customer service that people will talk about, otherwise your business is invisible and no different than any other business.

(c)  Joseph Barnes 

Social Media Surges As Skepticism Rises!

There are some exciting and shocking findings in the nee 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer just released.

The first big finding: “In the wake of a recession that saw large, global companies such as Lehman Brothers, General Motors, and AIG collapse, trust in business imploded.” The public has lost confidence. 

The report shows that people now trust one another more than they do established institutions.”
This is huge. It’s big in this political year but also big because it dovetails with the text big finding.

“Social media saw the biggest percentage increase (75 percent) in trust among media sources.”  

The report goes on to say, “As government officials and CEOs become less a source of trusted information, people are once again turning to their peers. “A person like me” has re-emerged as one of the three-most credible spokespeople, with its biggest increase in credibility since 2004.”
This report continues to back up what I have been predicting for several years: As a marketer you are in the content business. It is about gathering real stories from people affected by your business or organization. As Andy Sernovitz would say, unless your next ad is “remarkable,” that is people will talk about it and take action, don’t run another ad until it is.

Click here to download the Executive Summary.

Half Of Web Users Getting Online Coupons!

The digital discount revolution continues and there are some interesting stories beyond Groupon and Living Social.

eMarketer now estimates nearly half of US adult internet users, or 88.2 million people, have redeemed an online coupon or code for use either online or offline in the past year. By 2013, that number is expected to rise to 96.8 million adults.

Experian Simmons reported that 12% of households redeemed coupons from email or the web that year; it expects that figure to reach 22% in 2011.

Many newspapers are already adding “daily deals,” Amazon is getting into the act, and with the rise in use of QR codes, it may be the time of the consumer!

Social media for social change for social good.

Social media is so much more than marketing, creating communities, listening to customers and having a two-way dialogue. It’s also about using the tools and platforms for change—real change—that makes a difference in the world.

Whether you are an individual, an organization, an association, or a company—it’s your (our) responsibility to use these tools for social good.

I’m reminded of a story from 2010 in which a social media leader had a real epiphany — a real “ah ha” moment about social media for social change. As he tells the story here he is pounding out his blog every day with thousands of readers when his wife comes home and says she wants to help a mother and kids after they became homeless because of a domestic violence situation. The writer took the family in and then  tweeted the need for $5,000 to help set the family up in an apartment. 

Was he surprised. By the next day people had sent in $17,000 via Pay Pal — and he didn’t even know most of these people. 

The moral of this story is to do the same thing. Use your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn connections to help others. Social media for social change for social good.
Joe Barnes

Listen, Build Relationships and Empower

Here’s to Manila Austin who has a good commentary in MediaPost about what works and what doesn’t in branding. Here are some excerpts…

Millions of marketing dollars are spent trying to understand and predict consumer behavior. Rather than predicting a consumer’s next move, marketers should focus on forming meaningful brand relationships by listening to and actively engaging consumers.

No two consumers are exactly alike is a given in marketing. Consumers may represent themselves one way in the LinkedIn business network, and another on Facebook with friends.

Marketers need to listen. Listening is critical for a more meaningful relationship between brands and consumers. Before this happens, however, brands must embrace today’s cultural shift toward more open and adaptive communications across the social Web.

Marketers need new strategies and approaches that are built around continuous and programmatic listening.

If you want to understand, engage and sustain, you’ll need to embrace three tenets of new consumerism: listening, relationship-building and empowerment.

Marketers too often confuse willingness to buy as evidence of a relationship; it’s not. Brands must earn the right to have meaningful relationships with their consumers.

Effective listening must be done with sensitivity to nuances and with a finely tuned ear for discovering unexpected insights. One way to effectively listen to customers is through private online communities where brands can begin to understand how customers negotiate changes in their lives.

Empowerment is the final misunderstood tenet of new consumerism. When you master listening and build a relationship with a consumer, you owe them something in return. And, contrary to conventional wisdom, what they want isn’t coupons or free stuff; they want to impact your brand. That’s real empowerment for today’s consumer.

In the end, consumers are most engaged when they realize a brand — perhaps yours — is actively helping them negotiate the changes in their complex lives, from how and where they communicate to what they consume.

Latest Social & Demographic Trends!

The Pew Research Center is just out the a great report on the latest social and demographic trends. You MUST go to the website. It is full of great content to help you in marketing. Here are some samples:

  • Nearly half (46%) of the public would rather live in a different type of community from the one they’re living in now.
  • There isn’t one American middle class now, there are four.
  • The Top of the Class: Predominantly well-educated males.
  • Struggling Middle: Primarily women and people of color.
  • Satisfied Middle: Has everything but money.
  • The Anxious Middle: The most dissatisfied and downbeat of all 4 groups.

Social Networks & Blogs Pass Email In Usage!

Yes you heard right! Just out from The Nielsen Company may be the biggest news….In 2008, 67% of people online around the world visited what Nielsen calls “member communities,” which include both social networks and blogs—ahead of personal email.

And that category grew twice as fast as any of the other four biggest areas, including search, portals, PC software and email.

The Best Social Media Upload of 2008! (No Kidding!)

It’s from the blog “Radical Trust” and you must watch this!

Here’s what Colin Douma says:
I’ve listened to hundreds of keynotes this year, in person and online, regarding the social media revolution that’s now upon us. I always have a soft spot for those who see this medium for what it truly is: a cultural revolution, not a commercial one.

In order to understand social media, you must understand the cultural positioning of it. Who better to understand this than Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. You may remember his YouTube video which provided much needed context for the cultural impact of new media on society and culture, “Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us“.

This past summer Prof. Wesch uploaded a keynote entitled, An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube which he presented to the Library of Congress on June 23rd, 2008. Although it runs for a marathon of 55mins, it’s already received over 840,000 views, 760+ comments and nearly 50 video responses.

It is, by far, the most informed keynote I’ve seen regarding social media this year.