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Social Media: White Hat vs. Black Hat

Aug 20, 2009   |   Getting Social
Social Media

When it comes to social media campaigns, there is much debate over what constitutes “black hat” (spam or negative promotion) and “white hat” (natural promotion) strategies. At SES San Jose 2009,social media experts shared their opinions on what regular practices are considered good vs. bad when promoting your company on social media channels.

Dave Evans, VP, Digital Voodoo

Beth Harte, Community Manager , MarketingProfs.
Lee Odden,
SES Advisory Board & CEO, TopRank Online Marketing
Dave Snyder, Co-Founder, Search & Social
Chris Bennett, President & Founder, 97th Floor

Top “Black Hat” Practices To Stay Away From:

  • Paying or incentivizing users to leave you reviews or comments
  • Sending direct internal messages (through social channel) or emails to users that are unsolicited or not previously “opted-in”
  • Creating fake blog post comments
  • Spamming Digg or any other social bookmarking channel
  • Leaving over keyword-stuffed content on any social channel
  • Pushing hard sales-driven content to social communities

Overall, here are some key points made at this SES session to keeping a level-minded strategy on social media campaigns.

  • Before posting content, keep in mind your intent. Your social community can smell an insincere social participant from a hundred miles away. Don’t hard sell. Let it come from your natural fanbase.
  • Have a privacy policy or user policy on your company blog. Be transparent about your intentions with user activity.
  • Be genuine. Think about your social strategies before you start. In the end, you want your social marketing to benefit the community and be a positive voice in your industry and social community.
  • Self police your content. Think like Wikipedia and be constantly editing the conversation before it goes out.

In summary, the session provided some critical insight to the best practices a company can take when participating in social media marketing. Learn from past mistakes, move forward with a clear perspective on your company’s strategies, and be transparent in your intentions with your social community. They will trust you more and have higher chance of converting in the long run!

Contributed by: Natalie Evans, Milestone Internet Marketing

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