Free-Range Social Media: No Cruelty, Just Better PR

What if we were to tweet like we eat? A careless consumer, who eats fast food with abandon for the sake of comfort and convenience would recklessly post information with little or no attributions to original authors, sincerity or value add for our customers – we would post just to be posting. A conscious consumer, who is aware of where her food comes from and how it was treated, would post tweets that were not merely gratifying, but invigorating, providing fuel to be better at what you and your followers do.

Consultant Brené Brown started, what she calls the “Free-Range Social Media Movement” to encourage responsible activity on social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and blogs to encourage supportive digital communities free of “cages, copying and cruelty.” We delved a little deeper into Brown’s Free-Range tenet, “No Cruelty,” to demonstrate how the Free-Range approach can help you avoid pitfalls in you social media strategy.

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No Cruelty – The Urgency of Attributions

There are mountains upon mountains of information out there. (According to a recent press release from Atigeo, 2.5 quintillion bytes are created daily.) As we research to prepare content for our blog posts, we may come across so many people saying the same thing, we think there’s no point in citing an original author, because its hard to determine where an idea really began when you see it everywhere. Cite anyways and always.

Brown acknowledges that mistakes are still inevitable, when you do make a mistake, mis-crediting a photo or improperly summarizing an author’s argument, for example, do your best to fix it quickly. The social media world is big and small at the same time. You never know who you might run into at a blogging conference or who may know the person you misquoted on Twitter – fix it fast to save yourself any awkward encounters.

Citing your sources is not only preemptive, but advantageous. Attributing your original sources and then linking back to them helps you build community with that author, who you find intriguing. Even if you disagree with an author, acknowledging them can help you foster dialogue. Your ability to engage other contributors to your area of focus helps position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Followers will identify the sources you reference, openly support or justifiably disagree with as a sign of your credibility.

Do your digital body right, support the Free-Range Social Media Movement; Be a healthy tweeter.

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