There has been considerable debate around the responsibilities of administering and moderating social media tools, such as Facebook pages. The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have recently determined that comments on an organisation or business Facebook page, as well as user generated content, is considered a form of advertising.
This has significant ramifications, given that an organisation is not only liable for its own content on social media networks, but also content posted on the page by followers. As a result there is a need for strong and proactive social media policies to manage social media and to establish acceptable guidelines for content.
Today’s #npau tweetchat discussed how the not-for-profit sector should respond to managing Facebook content. The discussion equally applies to businesses that are utilising social media as a marketing tool:
Given that these recent rulings have clarified the role of social media as a form of advertising, it is essential that a cohesive marketing approach is adopted. Social Media is a form of marketing and should be supported by a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Likewise social media needs to treated as any other form of media engagement and should be supported by policies that identify designated spokespeople and acceptable parameters for comments.
Comments that express negativity should be engaged so that an organisation can demonstrate its commitment to customer service and responding to feedback. Guidelines should clearly stipulate that offensive comments such as those that discriminate, bully or make false claims (including spam) will be removed and not tolerated.
Social media can be a valuable marketing tool but ensure that the policies and guidelines are in place as part of an overall marketing strategy.