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While working on building keyword list for an SEO campaign I ran across a few interesting tidbits of information on "best practices". One of the ones that struck me most was where a group put together and open source document to give guidelines to organizations on best practices in social media interactions.

How we conduct ourselves online can be a huge tool in building our brand or destroying it. However nowhere have I found a a written or suggested automotive best practices for social media engagement. What is correct for one may be an aberration to another.

In a previous post here I talked about anonymity in blog commenting by a vendor. I can see the benefit that an individual may have in remaining unknown for personal privacy issues, but also see the need to establish a point of reference for basing your opinion and how not doing so can ultimately damage your message.

The report I was found was broke down into six areas to concentrate on in establishing in house "best practices". And will cover each one in a series of post.

They are:

* Checklist 1: Disclosure of Identity
* Checklist 2: Personal/Unofficial Blogging and Outreach
* Checklist 3: Blogger Relations
* Checklist 4: Compensation and Incentives
* Checklist 5: Agency and Contractor Disclosure
* Checklist 6: Creative Flexibility

Here is what they say about disclosure of Identity:

When communicating with blogs or bloggers on behalf of my company or on topics related to the business of my company, I will:

1. Disclose who I am, who I work for, and any other relevant affiliations from the very first encounter.
2. Disclose any business/client relationship if I am communicating on behalf of a third party.
3. Provide a means of communicating with me.
4. Comply with all laws and regulations regarding disclosure of identity.
5. We will inform employees, agencies, and advocates that we have a formal relationship of these disclosure policies and take action quickly to correct problems where possible.
6. Pseudonyms:
(Option A) Never use a false or obscured identity or pseudonym.
(Option B) If aliases or role accounts are used for employee privacy, security, or other business reasons, these identities will clearly indicate the organization I represent and provide means for two-way communications with that alias.
7. “We Didn’t Know”
Clearly disclose our involvement on all blogs produced by the company or our agencies.

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