AnnLuck posted her rules of engagement for any business using social media in Youmoz and I’m going to expound on her points.
1. Be transparent – Do not post as someone else, especially as a customer just to appear like someone’s interested in your company and/or product. Disclose your true identity and intentions.
2. Never fight, provoke, flame or offend – In short, be courteous! Act like your meeting your other half’s parents for the first time. This will not only make you ensure that you put your best foot forward but will help you avoid any potential lawsuits.
3. Inform/Educate – Do not promote. Though sales is your end goal leave the hard selling techniques to the other marketing methods you are currently employing (ads, your websites, etc.) and use your social media account to simply drum up more awareness of your products/services and company.
4. Don’t insert links in forum posts – Allow the signature to act as a link. The only exception is when someone asks specifically for a link or for information wherein a link is needed in order to give complete info.
5. Don’t respond to post more than 3 months old – Exceptions are posts that have been revived by someone looking for more current info on the same subject.
6. Don’t answer a question that has already been answered unless you can honestly add something useful – Enough said.
7. If you are posting as yourself or your own web personality, do it from home – I guess this part is more of a reminder for employees who tend to abuse their office internet access. It doesn’t have much to do about your behavior in social media sites.