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Tough-love Business Coach. Marketing Magician. Inner Imposter Buster. Cocktail Connoisseur. And Queen Of Unpopular Opinions.
With the advent of social media has come the introduction of FTC rules and regulations on the right ways to handle it for your company. The rules are simple and allow a good deal of creativity in interpretation. But, they are rules and when broken can result in stiff penalties and heavy fines, the first meted out so far was for $300K. Here’s what you need to know. To comply, your social media communications:
#1 Require disclosure and truthfulness in social media outreach.
In other words, you can’t pay someone to blog about your brand without disclosing that. There must be a clear distinction, authentic and transparent, between advertising and advertorial and someone’s unpaid, unsolicited opinion and feedback.
#2 Monitor the conversation and correct misstatements.
You have a responsibility to maintain awareness of what is being said particularly by those who work for you and correct any misstatements that they make.
#3 Create social media policies and training programs.
By doing this you have protected yourself and your brand. If a rogue player jumps in and starts making statements, you are immune from punishment as long as you have policies and training programs in place.
This is about being aware and tuned in to the social media activities and communications that your brand generates, whether you are a company of one or hundreds. One of the most profound comments made is that it doesn’t matter what you think your brand is, what matters is what you audience is telling you it is. Companies are now being guided by the consumer, instead of the consumer being dictated to by the company.
Coca-Cola understands this well with their Expedition 206 campaign that has three brand ambassadors chosen by their online fans, taking a trip around the world in 365 days to spread the joy of Coca-Cola. These are not celebrities but regular people who have garnered the support of tens of thousands of fans and been voted on to have this adventure in promotion. Interestingly and suitably the top candidates all speak multiple languages and carry dual citizenship to facilitate such an endeavor. This means that more often these people aren’t going to be American because we don’t promote and certainly don’t require more than one language and rarely do we allow dual citizenship.
Newell Rubbermaid tackles their social media outreach one brand at a time. With Sharpie markers for example they have “Sharpie Sue” who is the voice at their blog. They found that once she began blogging and inviting Sharpie experiences from around the world, the content simply flowed in. It has proved to be a loyal creative following and pushed the brand forward with its own unique momentum. (Check out the real life images here, a Lamborghini completely graffitied in Sharpie then clear coated to protect the art, and a pair of sunglasses, Sharpiefied!)
What will you do to harness the power of social media, play inside the rules, and move your business forward?
Want to use this article? You can, just include the text here: For more simple, easy, and quick tips on social media success check out www.todaybydesign.com. And when you are ready to take your business farther simply and easily, go to www.sixfigureprofessionals.com for your fre< strategy session.
Brand & Web Design by Katie & Co. Design
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© Melissa Galt, Inc.
I wonder if you follow NORDSTROM ~ one of my favorite brands and my design partner has been shopping there since the mid 80’s and that’s 25 years of brand loyalty! Nordstrom is using SM to do everything right~ IMHO ~ Our local Bellevue Washington store has it’s own Doug McCoy who tweets as @NordstromBVUE .
No I dont work for them 🙂 I just find their SM evolution interesting to watch as part of my personal SM research. A great example of what you are talking about.
I’m a huge Norstrom fan and am not surprised at all that they are doing an ace job with SM. I haven’t followed as I am already beyond loyal to them and even have a deadly Nordstrom Visa (dangerous, don’t do it!) They are one of the all time defining retailers with superior customer service. They lead the way! Great to hear from you.
So many ppl are writing right now about how to gain a web presence (how to get more followers, how to target the right kind of interest, etc.) but very few ppl are taking the time to consider the policies and importance of developing a concrete structure for the new online habits that companies and their employees are acquiring. I associate myself with the company I work for when I network, and I think it is a relief to know that there are rules to play by– it gives me guidelines. I like the fact that full disclosure protects not only the employee but the company against “rogue” employees as you call them; that’s something interesting I had never thought of. Thx Melissa!
Great point Krista and so true! Some companies have learned this the hard way.. not pretty. I think the SM evolution happened to quickly for them and they didn’t realize what they were up against. Sharpie is by def. one of the best companies to look at from a case study point of view. Sometimes the small business fails to realize the value of looking at the “big boys” as a model of how to approach SM. They’ve taken the risks and a lot can be learned about what to do and not to do by their example.