I sat down with Bob Pearson to discuss word of mouth ethics for his great new book Pre-Commerce.
Q: A lot of companies are still gun-shy about jumping into social media. Many of them are worried about the ethics, policies and rules of the road—and rightly so. Socialmedia.org believes strongly in supporting ethical behavior, so what do you think companies should focus on today?
A: You will get caught if you try anything sleazy. You are being watched by millions of eyes that have the tools to out you if you try anything that even appears inappropriate. Your brand will be called out, you’ll be humiliated, and the damage will be a measureable loss in sales. There is no more gray area. There is no more hiding behind corporate communications. So how do you stay safe? It’s really a pretty simple rule of thumb: If you have to ask, the answer is no.
Bob’s book is something you should pick up. He helps us get our head around one big idea: By the time a customer gets to your store or website, they already know all about you. It’s too late to make much difference. You need to learn how to work with all of those relationships and conversations that happen before you ever meet them.