Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

Honesty is the best policy

Honesty is the best policySocial media professionals, the decent ones, often preach the same simply rules of the business.

  1. Don’t post anything online you wouldn’t want  your mother to find
  2. Be honest
  3. Be transparent

I turned down a freelance gig recently because the company wanted me to ghost tweet, that is tweeting as if I was someone else without revealing it.

Mitch Joel recently interviewed Mark W. Schaefer about the topic. It’s worth checking out the interview to better understand the topic. Dave Fleet also has a great post about ghost blogging.

Yesterday, I shared a post on my posterous blog by Andy Sernovitz about a PR firm that got busted by the FTC for pretending to be consumers, posting fake reviews, and failing to disclose that they were paid. Not cool.

My friend Jon Henshaw wrote a great comment about the ordeal, in it he explains that some people will always try to get away with this and that many will. Unfortunately, he’s right.

The question should be, what if you get caught? Like all things, is the risk worth the reward. And in most cases, it’s not. It’s not worth sullying a brand, or putting yourself in a position to be sued by your client. And yes, there’s also the part about not spamming up the Internet with crap, but that will *never* go away.

Check out Social Media Business Council’s Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit for more information on how to be honest, transparent and to keep your mothers proud.


Photo from Flickr by: tricky ™


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