Social Media Candor

Image from Faipdeoiad via Flickr

Lately I’ve been thinking about the degree of transparency and candor an individual or organization should adopt on social media.

I’ve had discussions with people who believe in complete and open dialog – a pull no punches approach.  Social media has proven to be very successful for open discussion, but it also can come at cost.

In 2009, Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, was fined $25,000 by the NBA for violating rules about criticizing referees (as shown in the tweet below).

More recently, a blogger was ordered to pay $2.5 million to investment firm she slammed on a number her blogs.  This candor cost her everything, was it worth it?

How can I have candor, but not screw up?

In Charlene Li’s book, Open Leadership, she indicates that it’s critical for organizations (and individuals) to establish parameters for transparency on social media.  Guidelines need to be established indicating what organizations will be open about, to what degree, etc.

There are number of questions to ask yourself before posting on social media:

  • Will my comments or conversations leave a positive impression?
  • Could there be legal risks surrounding the content I’ve shared?
  • How would the content be viewed by staff, customers, friends, etc?
  • Am I willing to live with the outcomes – both positive and negative?

While open discussion is crucial on social media, it’s always best to think before you post.

What do you think? Should you be completely open on social media or is there is a limit?

  • Chris Syme

    Good stuff Mike. I like the idea of establishing transparency boundaries. Charlene Li’s stuff is awesome. Groundswell still influences my thinking on social.

  • Mike McCready

    Thanks Chris. I need to read Groundswell. I’ve head so many great things about it.