Need a Social Media Poicy?--Start by Just Being Nice.

Just Be Nice–It Really Is That Easy

Earlier this month, I was holding a telebridge training seminar for writers and Renia Carsillo (pictured below), a Small Business Coach and Social Media Expert, was kind enough to share her policy about posting comments on social media pages with the participants on the call.

I was quite impressed with Renia’s simple-to-use, straightforward ideas and I think they could come in handy for many business owners around the world when it comes to ensuring you’re headed in a positive, productive direction in regard to promoting business through social media.

A big thank you to Renia for offering to let me share her ideas below with the BusinessNetworking.com blog readers–if you like what you see, you can get more of Renia’s great insight by visiting her blog, Renia Grows (http://reniacarsillo.net/).

Here is an excerpt from “Rules for Readers” by Renia Carsillo

Just be nice.  It really is that easy.

I see lots of bad behavior every day in social media.  So much that I sometimes think we’re starting to lose our filters.

In my pursuit to help entrepreneurs through social media, I have adapted these best practices for readers, employees, fans, friends, and anyone else interacting with us online.

Think it through before you post it.  Be mindful that what you publish will be public for a long time–protect your privacy and your reputation.

Identify yourself–if you can’t say it with your real name and company role, it shouldn’t be said and will not be posted.  Names are good, photos are even better.

Respect copyright, fair use, and financial disclosure laws.

Don’t site or reference your clients, partners, or suppliers without their approval.  When you do make a reference, link back to the source.

Respect our community and be kind.  Don’t use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, or engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in the workplace.  You should also show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory–such as politics and religion.

Don’t pick fights.  Be the first to correct your own mistakes.

Try to add value.  Provide worthwhile information and perspective.

Be the first to respond to your own mistakes.  If you make an error, be up front about your mistake and correct it quickly as this can help to restore trust.  If you choose to modify content that was previously posted, such as editing a comment, make it clear that you have done so.  Deleting a previously published comment without a disclaimer that you have done so is considered lying and no one likes people who lie.

It all really boils down to that old mantra our parents relayed to us when we were small, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.  If that is too much to ask of you, just make sure that your comments are respectful, well thought out, and honest.

So what do you think of Renia’s policy on social media comments?  Share your thoughts in the comment section . . .

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17 thoughts on “Just Be Nice–It Really Is That Easy

  1. I couldn’t agree more with all of Renia’s Rules! Not only would they make a more pleasant online community, but the added accountability for comments would make it a more valuable experience as well.

    If we expanded the Rules to the non-business world it would be even better!

    Excellent insights by Renia and thanks to Dr. Misner for sharing.

  2. Wonderful advise Renia! Renia’s help, advise, and training on Social Media is very helpful and useful. She is an amazing coach and helps you understand things in a way that is clear and concise. I highly recommend anyone who has not checked out her BLOG mentioned above by Dr. Misner to do so — you won’t be dissappointed!

  3. Great Advice Renia!
    It’s hard enough to make sure I watch what I say… but it’s craziness to think that people take the time to TYPE it out and post, WITHOUT thinking about it… scary

  4. Interesting stuff.It seem so much like common sense, but that may be in short supply these days. Imagine, putting your name and comments for thousands of people to read—uncensored! I might add a thought–“if you don’t know the correct answer, don’t try and bluff it.”

  5. Jim, you are so right!

    My Mom always says (and I’m sure she got it from her Mom) that common sense isn’t all that common.

    People do tend to forget that tweets, texts, and status updates are PERMANENT and easily shared.

    You make a great point.

  6. Admitting your mistakes is a lost art these days. We are too used to politicians doing the “cover up” that we almost expect it now. I think people will respect a company/person more we just sincerely apologize for our errors and make them right. People are never more insulted than when you lie and try to trick them. Nice list! Thanks!

  7. Thank you for the down to earth reminder of basic social graces, and for reminding me that my mum was right, and I thank her for her simple wisdom and courtesies, such as “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at allW.

  8. Renia’s focused perspective on a broad topic continues to be one of her strengths as a social media maven. Great piece. And thanks for reprinting it, Dr. Misner.

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