Social Media Ethics: Is This an Oymoron?

27 Nov

What do you think about this provocative scenario and questions from Level343, an international SEO and content marketing company? This is the link to the full story: Social Media Ethics – Have You Thought About It?

The premise: You specialize in some form of Internet Marketing that includes Social Media. You take on a client and as part of your contract; you will be promoting the client in some way via social media – the brand, or a product, or a service, etc. The following are questions about a client’s brand promotion from both a practical and ethical standpoint.

  1. “Do you use your personal social media accounts to promote the client’s brand/product or do you create new accounts specific to this client? If you use your own accounts, do you think there is any ethical breach in promoting a client from your own brand? Are you transparent when promoting by indicating that the promotion is for a client? From a practical standpoint, do you think using your own accounts to promote a client is confusing to your followers? If you create new accounts specific to the client, do you use your own name and photo, or do you create a persona? Do you find any ethical dilemmas in either instance? From a practical standpoint, do you find it difficult to start from scratch with no built-in followers to leverage, or is it just a part of the job to begin a new with each client?”
  2. “Some and/or many social networks have a Terms of Service that prohibits users from creating multiple accounts. Obviously, if you create a new account for each client, you would certainly be going against those networks’ TOS, and potentially, with many clients, you could be breaching that TOS dozens of times. The possibility of having all of those accounts banned – plus any future accounts created by you – is certainly one thing to consider. Do you worry about this, or just take it in stride as a natural risk that is a part of the job? Do you do anything in particular to circumvent detection? (No need to divulge techniques if you don’t wish to do so, of course).”
  3. “If a client does something that you have strong personal feelings against – for example, the client brand takes a strong, public political or religious stand that offends you personally – and your job is to continue social media efforts for them, how do you handle that (especially if your social accounts use your own name and photo)?”
  4. “How do you handle the ‘transparency issue’ when commenting on blogs or forums as a part of the client’s campaign? Do you reveal the connection with the client, or do you remain anonymous? If you’d rather not say, you can instead answer the question from a hypothetical point of view, giving your thoughts on the ethics of anonymous vs. transparent commenting.”

     

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