Should You Be Scared of Your Own Shadow?
Last week, I was introduced to a new term that I just love: Shadow content.
Shadow content are the Tweets, Facebook News Feeds, LinkedIn Activity, etc. that scroll passed us seemingly every minute. There are social network aggregators to help us try and keep it all straight while our iPhones, Blackberries and Droids almost guarantee that we can't miss a thing.
As shadow content was quickly seen as a serious threat to the attention of publishers' loyal readers, our first reaction was to join in and create Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups, rarely ever thinking about implications down the road.
In addition to my many roles, I now need to think about what, how and when my colleagues are using social media sites to represent their brands and reach their readers. That means talking with attorneys and visits with human resources, two activities I don't think anyone likes.
There are more obvious things like making sure no one uses personal e-mail addresses for anything representing a brands. Similarly, employees should not use their company-provided e-mail addresses to set-up a personal account on any of these sites. Both items should be in your company's Internet Acceptable Use policy.
I still can't believe how much original content is added to these sites rather than inbound links to a publication's website. Their terms of service agreements likely don't get read let alone understood,. When you decide to post your content in full, be prepared to start seeing it show up in other places you may never have expected.
Uploading videos to YouTube and embedding them on your website along with ads you sell? Ahem. A simple check of section 4D should get your attention.
A colleague of mine suggested one rule specific to Facebook that allows for a publication Facebook Fan Page rather than a Facebook account created for the brand. If you have others, I would love to hear them.
If you're like many of the people I talk to, your social media strategy is all over the place if it exists at all. I suggest you start making it a priority.