Sunday, June 03, 2012

Social Media and Communication, Part 4: Selecting Content

In determining what is and is not acceptable to post on your social media platform, keep in mind these guidelines:

  • Set clear expectations - Tell your appointed contributors about the kind of content that you want and why you want it. The why goes back to establishing your aim.
  • Loosen the leash - You already have chosen your contributors wisely, so now it's time to give them the space to get creative without the worry of constantly wondering whether you are looking over their shoulders, ready to censor them.
  • Uphold your organization's dignity - You still may find times that censorship is important, including when a writer might be posting a message for irrelevant political purposes; for unfair criticism or inflammatory commentary directed toward an individual, group, or idea; for self-promoting messages that override the organizational image. Remember: you're paying for the platform and the contributors, so you retain the right to determine the content.
  • Control the quality of the language - Needless to say, you have selected contributors not only for their understanding of your aim but for the command of language. The quality of writing must be there. This means the content must be relevant and complete; the paragraphs must be organized, emphatic, and focused; the sentences must be clear, concise, and direct; and the words must be correct and appropriate.
  • Debrief regularly - Meet your contributors periodically--the more frequently the better--to tell them which posts ring truest to your ideal for the platform and which could have been improved with the inclusion or deletion of a certain content.