Sunday, March 20, 2011

Extrovertic's Social Media Guidelines

We recently created an Extrovertic task force to develop a set of social media guidelines for our own use at the agency. Here's what it came up with:

Social Media is a reality. It is ever present, all encompassing. We are connected to it on our phones, our computers, TV, advertising. It’s everywhere. As amazing as it is in certain respects, it also poses a whole new slew of problems for those who are plugged in. Who is exempt from viewing our Facebook pages, depicting incendiary pictures of our weekend debauchery? Who follows our tweets about who we hooked up with last night? There’s a lot of information out there and a lot of people we don’t want to see it.
Taking a step back, we must be cognizant of the positive aspects of social networking/media. Our clients are able to see us as well rounded individuals. Our networks can be used to locate new coworkers and connect with old friends. And most importantly, these mediums are integral to the promotion of the brands we support.
So where does that leave us? We need social media but, it has the potential to wreak havoc if used without due diligence. We also need to bear in mind the fact that as an advertising agency, we thrive on creative expression. Here are some simple guidelines to tweet, LinkIn, Facebook and YouTube by:

  • If you wouldn’t want your mom to see it, the picture is probably not appropriate to post on the Web 
  • If you wouldn't want it on the cover of the New York Times you shouldn't put it on your profile page 
  • You know how when you write or create something, you want to get credit for it? So does everybody else. Respect copyrights and fair use whenever you publish anything onto the Web 
  • The brands we represent trust us to be their advocates. They also trust us to treat their brands with respect. Make sure to not cite any of our clients or other people or agencies we work with, without their approval. Always make sure to link back to the source if you make a reference. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid publishing anything that has the potential to cast a less than stellar light on a client 
  • Let's say you are cruising Facebook, and you come across an interesting article about a brand you work on. And you feel compelled to post the article to your page with a snazzy comment. Or you decide to write about Extrovertic on your personal blog. Even if you have something positive to say, you should include a disclaimer that whatever you write, are your opinions and your opinions alone 
  • “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”. Aretha had it down. Show respect for your audience. Don’t use slurs, obscene words or personal insults when talking about clients 
  • If you absolutely must post the picture of you in the adorable but obscenely short dress you bought for that “Jersey Shore”-themed party, make sure your picture settings are limited to viewing rights for your closest and best friends only 
  • Same applies if you are incapable of resisting the urge to post the picture of you doing a keg stand last Thirsty Thursday 
  • Try to add value to every piece of social media you participate in. Whether its promoting a brand you work on or highlighting an interesting article you read, try to make it have a      purpose 
  • Facebook is sort of like Farmville in that if you let it, it can take over your life. And your job. Facebook’s a part of advertising so it makes sense that you spend some time on it every day. Same with YouTube. And Twitter. Just make sure you keep a good balance between work and surfing the social media channels 
  • If you are going out with co-workers, and want to post pictures on Facebook, keep it kosher. Our clients may be less than inclined to see us slumped in the corner of a dusky bar, coworker turned nurse plying our lips apart with revitalizing liquids 
  • These days, virtually everybody tweets. Maybe even your mom, sister or priest. Just make sure to tweet clean and if you tweet about/for work, keep it professional 
  • Last but not least, the infamous YouTube. Videos of your kids having a food fight and putting mashed potatoes in each other’s hair; super cute. Videos of you drunkenly singing “I Will Always Love You” at a karaoke bar, you might want to leave that on your personal computer 

These guidelines were created for all of you, so please take advantage of them. They give you not only a great opportunity to practice what we preach, but also to get the word out to potential clients and employees about what sets Extrovertic apart from your average healthcare agency.
So be social. Be media savvy. Be respectful. Be Extrovertic.
And have fun.
Thanks to Jamie Silverman, Pete Van Bloem, Susan Wall, Richard Bloom and the rest of the Extrovertic Social Media Task Force. And an advance thank you to our readers, who I'm sure will be sending us their great thoughts and suggestions.
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