Social media disclosure: best practice

April 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Posted in Case studies, Ethics | 2 Comments
Tags: best practice, Ethics, ftc guidelines, social media, womma, word of mouth

Ethics are one of the four pillars of WOM UK. Best practice in terms of listening and engagement is a big issue in word of mouth, where legislation is lagging behind activity, and the lines are often blurred between brand and consumer spaces.

We help both practitioners and clients keep on top of the latest ethical standards and case studies via our blog posts and events but members also get access to the WOMMA ethics assessment tool and case study library, as well as the collective knowledge and guidance our own WOM UK Council.

WOMMA’s latest contribution is this deck, essential reading for anyone looking to understand the landscape in the US, which is of huge relevance to our industry here.

Do you think we’ll move towards some FTC-style guidelines? What are the different challenges our side of the pond? Post your thoughts and comments below and do think about joining WOM UK if you’d like much, much more where this came from.


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  1. We have encountered these guidelines in the work we do around WoM marketing in the B2B space. The agency I work for; inEvidence, help run customer advocacy programmes for global technology clients and a large portion of our work involves working with their customers to create case studies, podcasts, videos etc as a form of recommendation.

    Our work in America means that we have to clearly substantiate any cost savings or benefits statements that a customer says about a company. I see the value in this but it can be difficult for customers to show the in-depth methodology sometimes required and can therefore put them off giving such statements in the first place.

    In terms of reward it should be just that; a way of thanking customers for their time to offer recommendations and feedback. As soon as the word ‘incentive’ is used to try and gain more references it is quickly quashed as it devalues the whole process. Companies should be doing enough to create valued advocates who want to spread the good word, any kind of incentive reeks of desperation and we advise to avoid completely.


  2. Thanks for sharing your experiences James. For me the key is passion. If you’re aiming for meaningful and valuable advocacy, you want to instil the FEELING or EXPERIENCE in the consumer that drives their conversation – not just aim to get the conversation, any old how. The conversation is the result, not the aim. The feeling or experience is what makes them go on to talk, recommend and buy for years to come.

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