Even in the Wild Wild West that is the Social Media Landscape, there are some rules. And I have no problem sharing a few of them. Some are pretty clear: don’t plagiarize. SelfishMom, Beccarama and I (Coast to Coast Mom couldn’t make it!) talked about the big plagiarism scandal that was all over the mom-blogosphere last week on our Blogging Angels Podcast. For once, we all agreed: don’t steal someone else’s words. It is wrong. That’s not really a tough one.
There are other Blogger rules of conduct to follow: don’t beg for votes, follows, or retweets, don’t take it personally if you are not invited to some event or another. Do write about, or furiously Tweet about events you do attend. Don’t work for free – but do define payment in whatever way works best for you. (Product, experience, exposure.. beccarama has a great post about it) Do offer link love. Don’t relentlessly promote your own posts on Twitter to the exclusion of all else. Do re-tweet, and tweet out other people’s posts you enjoy.
Basically, it’s all Golden Rule stuff: Do unto others. Simple.
For brands and marketing companies, not always so simple, as some of my recent experiences have proven. So here’s a short list of do’s and don’t for brands when working with bloggers.
1. If you insist of paying through PayPal, then you must pay the fee. If the blogger chooses the convenience, you may (stingily) make the blogger pay the fee. If you require payment via PayPal for your convenience, then you pay for it, not the blogger.
2. Do not try to make us work for free and call it something else. Recently, I was offered “The opportunity to meet with (company) executives, to help brainstorm messaging and share (my) insights.” That’s not an opportunity, that’s called consulting. People get paid for that. And not in gift cards that basically force me to give my money back to you.
3. Don’t “offer me the opportunity” to post on your corporate blog, or better yet, to post about you on my own blog, for the great honor of being linked back to. First of all, see number 2, above. Second of all, do you think I don’t know you’re just asking me to use my influence to help? Guess what, I know. I can see the alexa and Google ranking of your site, and they aren’t as good as mine. I think we both know who will benefit from the linking.
4. Don’t tell me I’ve been nominated for some Best Bloggers of the Whatever list, and all I have to do is beg all of my friends to vote for me on your site. In other words, all I have to do is drive a ton of traffic to you. Seriously? (this is Beccarama’s pet peeve)
5. Do respect that whether I run my blog as a business, or as a fun hobby on the side, I deserve no less respect and consideration than any other piece of your marketing puzzle. Let’s face it, if you have millions of dollars to spend on TV ads, and marketing campaigns for your product, you have $50 to pay a blogger for our time and effort. And if you don’t think it’s worth it, then why are you asking all of us to write/tweet/run contests in the first place?
Any do’s and don’t of your own to add? Come on, add one. Just writing mine down made me feel better.