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Corporate Social Media Principles

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This morning Business Week wrote an excellent post on corporations adopting (or not adopting) social media called, “Social Media Exposes the Corporate Psychopath.” The article addresses the need for corporations to get over themselves and their fear of social media.

According to a poll by Harris Interactive, corporations are seen as one of the least trusted overall entities (compared against congress, law offices, etc). Social media can help increase trust between users and corporations by allowing corporations to become a bit more transparent. What exactly is transparent? Well transparent is actively engaging in and interacting with your users, transparent is answering questions and addressing concerns directly, transparent is providing more company information via a public medium such as a blog, transparent is giving users more insight into the corporate culture and company goals.

Businessweek calls this need for companies to engage in social media, “21st Century Responsibility” and I couldn’t agree more. According to G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Vitón (the writers of the Businessweek article) there are 3 fundamental principles that corporations need to adhere to in order to master social media.

The first principle is “architect a proper presence”
This deals with identifying your communities, both who they are and where they are, and understanding how to engage with those communities.

The second principle is “Gain Credibility Based on Your Target’s World View”
This principle basically states that you should do what you can to help your communities instead of trying to always sell to them.

The third and final principle is “Co-Creating Dialogue Where Your Company Reaps the Benefit of Exchange”

This principle focuses on building actual relationships with your communities by exchanging ideas and emotions.

These principles make for a solid foundation that companies should follow if they want to succeed in the social media space.

What do you think about the above 3 principles?  Would you add any more?

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