Ethical Social Media Marketing

12 Feb 2009 (Thu)

“… ALL MEDIA IS SOCIAL AND ALL SOCIAL IS MEDIA,” wrote Edelman Digital director Steve Rubel in his Micro Persuasion blog this month (”All Media is Social, All Social is Media“) and last October (”Ethical Social Media Marketing“).

In the February 2009 post, Rubel commented:

Steve Rubel, SVP, Director of Insights for Edelman Digital“Yet many, particularly in PR, still treat ordinary citizens, traditional journalism and branded content as distinct islands of media. Going forward, it’s best to see them as a contiguous archipelago.

“Consider that in 2008 some 58 percent of newspapers featured some form of user-generated content on their sites, according to the Bivings Group. This is up from just 24 percent in 2007. The mix includes: user-generated photos (58 percent), homegrown video (18 percent) and articles (15 percent). Meanwhile, the number of newspaper sites that are allowing readers to comment on articles has more than doubled to 75 percent.

“On the other side of the coin, we’ve seen time and again that social networks like Facebook, Friendfeed and Twitter are now essential sources of news and information for millions.”

This brings us to the social media ethics question. In the October 2008 post, Rubel wrote:

“First, all things social are media and all things media are now social – so I am not sure what “social media” is any more.

“More importantly, social media marketing also implies that social networks, blogs and other like channels are advertising venues. They’re not. They’re public spaces just like our great National Parks. We must respect them as such. Otherwise we’re going to pollute the environment and make them less enjoyable for everyone - especially the citizens who thrive there, just like the amazing ecosystem that thrives in places like Yellowstone…

“Social media marketing works best when it’s integrated into the experience and takes a “win-win” approach.”

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