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Keys to Being Social: Responsibility

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Do you ever consider the role of responsibility and digital space?

Doesn’t it seem like the internet is just fast and loose and and wild and care free?

With a creation, you, as the creator, have a certain level of responsibility. That is, of course, if you want your social efforts to maintain some semblance of success.

Along with other posts in the Keys to Being Social Series, character has an impact on your branding because it shapes your entire social strategy, regardless of the platform.

What is responsibility?

Responsibility, as defined by Merriam-Webster.com. [Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2014] is:

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“the state of being the person who caused something to happen, a duty or task that you are required or expected to do, and/or something that you should do because it is morally right, legally required, etc.”

When populating your real estate holdings on the internet, you are causing things to happen. Therefore, you have an obligation to honorably fulfill your those things expected of you. This includes refraining from those things which are both illegal and hateful.

The responsibilities aren’t a mystery and the Little Orphan Annie decoder ring isn’t required.

Responsibility to Create

The primary reason to “put yourself out there” is to gain a following and audience with whom you can share your experience, knowledge, and insight. If you’re artistic, take photos, sketch, shoot video, or make compelling graphics. Musicians can compose and writers publish blogs. The more you publish original content, the better you will become at it and, therefore, increase your likelihood said content will be shared by your social circles.

Responsibility to Respond

Recently at a local mastermind, someone posited that Facebook Pages have little to no engagement. Being the ying to his yang, I raised my hand. I’ve commented plenty of times on tons of pages where the Page admin has not responded at all. Just crickets. Crickets, unless you’re a pet store selling them to frog owners, are not the ideal response. You, the Page admin, yes, you, have a responsibility to respond in a timely manner.

Responsibility to Reciprocate

Reciprocation is the most underused tool in the social toolbox, especially since it is the basis of most relationships. Reciprocation goes beyond good manners. When you take the time to find a tweet or two to share from a new follower or frequent retweeter, I’d be willing to bet that you will win their heart. This tactic kills two birds with the one proverbial stone: you’ve shared content other than your own and encouraged a new relationship.

Responsibility to Moderate

You absolutely cannot let trolls ruin your digital space with their type-written graffiti. That said, all people, even non-troll humans, get mad. Anger motivates people to lash out on social media. This is a good reason to stay on top of notifications, especially during business hours and/or weekends if you are a retail establishment. Having the wisdom and discernment of how and when to reply and where (public or private message) is what separates good brands from great ones. Furthermore, a speedy response can totally turn sentiment around in your favor. A good example of this is Scott Stratten’s post “How Delta’s Tweet Saved the Brand Day.”

Responsibility to Inspire

Apple took the responsibility to inspire very seriously as they put the experience of the user at the top of their priority list. Think about how easy all of their products are to use. They tapped into what is and isn’t intuitive. Look around. How many Baby Boomers and Senior Citizens use iPhones and iPads. How many two-year-olds can play iPhone games straight away?

“Our DNA is as a consumer company – for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.” ~ Steve Jobs

Your posts, the content you decide to share or create, can inspire your digital audience. Inspiration can change behavior. And, if we’re honest, behavior change is one of the primary concerns to a business – especially buying behavior.

In the case of the Chip and Applebee’s Relationship (hat tip to Carol Stephen – Your Social Media Works), clearly the customer engaged with Applebee’s and vice versa. It seems the friendship escalated and is now inspiring many others, presumably this audience as well.

Sound Off:

I asked my tweeps what they thought the relationship is.

Last week at #SMMOC we touched on responsibility as it applies to social media.
How do you think it applies?
Use tag #SocialResponsibility
Bridget Willard (@YouTooCanBeGuru) January 08, 2014

Here are their responses.

Use your Page as the Page to like and comment on other posts. #socialresponsibility
Amy Donohue (@TheFabulousOne) January 08, 2014

Like Pages back that liked yours! #socialresponsibility
Amy Donohue (@TheFabulousOne) January 08, 2014

Remember to check your @ mentions to respond. #payattention #socialresponsibility
Amy Donohue (@TheFabulousOne) January 08, 2014

Make sure to thank people for a RT! #SocialResponsibility
Amy Donohue (@TheFabulousOne) January 08, 2014

If a person takes the time to respond to 1 of your tweets, then respond to them in a timely manner. #SocialResponsibility
tracy (@tracycopy) January 08, 2014

If someone comments on a FB post or responds to your tweet–respond back! #SocialMedia is about engagement, after all. #SocialResponsibility
Kirti D. (@DiyaMarketing) January 08, 2014

It is only right to send tuna to the cats that you talk to on Twitter #SocialResponsibility
Charlie Cat (@Bigbonedcat) January 08, 2014

#SocialResponsibility I regularly visit other pages that took the time to visit mine. I follow their digital trail (likes & comments).—
rubyrusine (@SocialSMktg) January 08, 2014

Did I leave a responsibility off? Tell me in the comments or send me a tweet at @YouTooCanBeGuru.

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