As you may know, respect is a two-way street. The golden rule in life is to treat others as you would like to be treated. In social media marketing, it’s called ethics.
HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO SOCIAL MEDIA?
If we think about how much time people spend creating and receiving content on social media, then we also need to consider how our consumption affects us. AsapSCIENCE does a pretty good job at explaining that in the video below:
WHAT EFFECT DOES SOCIAL MEDIA HAVE ON BRANDS?
Anytime a person or a brand decides to implement social media marketing into their business, they should strategize for how to deal with potential implications. Cyber-bullying, privacy, a decrease in production, and a false sense of connection are all factors that impact companies and customers.
ARE THESE FACTORS THE RESULT IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR, CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY OR BOTH?
Yes, and no. We know that bullying has been around, probably since man’s first appearance – however, the internet has taken it to another level. Before the internet age, victims of bullying could withdraw themselves from harmful environments (transferring schools, quitting jobs, etc.) – whereas now, harassment is more difficult to escape.
When it comes down to privacy, social media teaches us that sharing is caring. What it has slept on in the past, and is awakening to now to is the fact that too much sharing puts people at risk of privacy invasion. Case in point – a famous celebrity who was recently the victim of a robbery after sharing too much of her whereabouts.
Aside from cyber-lurking, social media can be a huge distraction from our daily activities. The US staffing agency, Intelligence Office, found that social media is used by up to one-third of workers every day. Whether or not that’s in the workplace or elsewhere depends on what employers know.
Last of the social media implications for brands is a false sense of connection. Do you know what the difference is between a meaningful relationship formed in person vs on social media? I don’t, but some do – and when it comes to emotional marketing brands have to be careful not to trick fans into thinking that they are a real person. Of course companies want to build relationships with people, in order to convert them into loyal followers, but at the end of they day those followers are people. Determining the difference between right and wrong goes back to business ethics.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR COMPANIES?
It means that brands are responsible for their reputation. Cyber-bullying, privacy, distraction, and false-persona can be avoided with planned tactics when these implications are surfaced. A good social moderator, privacy and workplace policy, and caring more about what customers want are easy practices that brands should instill when pursuing the internet as a vehicle for communication.