Keep Social Honest 2014
- 06 June 2014
Today, consumers face an onslaught of complex messages from numerous directions and across multiple devices. Facebook tells you what your friends like before they do. Brands compete for your attention on your Twitter feed and supermarkets offer coupons in exchange for comments.
Moreover, a persuasive review on Amazon or TripAdvisor from someone you don’t even know will probably influence your opinion more than a friend or family member. This transformation in how we absorb and share information isn’t a problem in itself.
Social media has been empowering and liberating in a multitude of ways. But as a fifth of the world’s population has piled onto Facebook, brands and businesses have spotted new opportunities to win our affection and ultimately our money - and the processes involved are increasingly being questioned. Indeed, we live in a world where even the Prime Minister has been accused of paying Facebook to get more likes.
Taking steps to ensure the integrity of interactions between businesses and consumers on social media has therefore never been more pressing and the good news is that it’s a win-win endeavour.
Consumers get relevant, captivating and genuinely useful content and marketers get to reach their commercial goals more effectively, efficiently and innovatively. It is for this reason that we have undertaken this major and unique research study, supported by YouGov, to explore the path to positive engagement between consumers and brands.
Admittedly thorny at points along the way, it is a path that culminates with a voluntary set of standards for business to help keep social honest. We have called these standards the ‘10 Commandments of Keeping Social Honest’ and we believe they are pledges that brands and businesses cannot afford to break.
In this report, we take you on the journey of the rationale behind these 10 Commandments, which we then explain. But we would urge you not to see the 10 Commandments as marking the end of this journey. Far from it, we believe they mark the beginning of a way forward that will maintain the reputation and value of social media for users and businesses alike.
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