Sunday, June 01, 2008

corporate honesty in social media

Blogging and social media usage has a netiquette and a clear, if not always publicized, set of ethics and morals, a consensus list of rules for conduct. Not to limit creativity or innovation, but to use the new tools most effectively. This means deviating from old school corporate fluff, we-orientation, and MSM hype.

What are some of these new values that are reigning in the new media?

Authenticity. Passion. Transparency.

Three of the values that some old fashioned organizations consistently violate, thinking they can get away with it.
Incentivized opinions are not wanted, nor respected, in the social media realm.

It’s like your husband being secretly paid by a university, in an ethnomethodology experiment, to say romantic things to you, at $10 per statement. Once you found out he was being paid to seduce you, you’d surely be quite disgusted and upset, never trusting his advances ever again.

It’s PayPerPost and other compensated, coached, inauthentic recommendations, or slurs and reproaches, that will poison, pollute, and make worthless the peer-to-peer recommendation system of the social media sphere.

Corporate use of social media cannot be a crass, greedy gaming and exploitation of the online community members. Such BS will backfire. It's marketing suicide, and will be very time-consuming and expensive to correct.

Target has been caught in such deceptive antics. See: "off target".


newsletter (issue #107) from Target Rounders saying:

Your mission: try not to let on in the Facebook group that you are a Rounder. We love your enthusiasm for the Rounders, and I know it can be hard not to want to sing it from the mountaintops (and the shower, and on the bus…).

However, we want to get other members of the Facebook group excited about Target, too! And we don’t want the Rounders program to steal the show from the real star here: Target and Target’s rockin’ Facebook group! So keep it like a secret!


Lying is, unfortunately, a prevalent advertising, and PR practice, that is rejected in the social media realm.

Bloggers are feared, because they'll bash, flame, and destroy any company caught in such immoral and counter-productive behaviors.

Social media communities tend to keep things ethical, creative, and of great practical value. You can insert your messages into the blogosphere, but try to make the core of that message e around this implied attitude:

"Your problems are understood by us. Here's how our products can solve them efficiently, economically, and reliably."


mark1davidson said...

I don't like rules very much. I want to smash them to bits.

steven edward streight said...

Mark 1 Davidson: You must be a PayPerPost blog whore, who lies to people about how much you love or hate a product because they pay you to do so.

Correct assumption, or not?

Rosie Siman said...

thanks for covering this! the star tribune (located in Target's headquarters) covered this today!

check out my blog to see all the coverage: