Mike Smiley, of PAPA Advertising, calls them guidelines. We call them rules -- for engaging in social media. That's because Smiley's principles outline a relational stance that's crucial to maintain in conducting online dialogues -- honest, responsive, non-defensive and compliant.
Here they are (Smiley states them, of course, in more detail):
1. Be transparent – Be forthright about where you work and who your are.
2. Be honest – Never represent your organization in a false or misleading way.
3. Be a contributor – Use social media to open a dialogue.
4. Be compliant – Observe the corporate rules you're working under.
5. Be the expert – Provide perspectives born of professional experience.
6. Be civil – Keep the discussion polite despite possibly differing opinions.
7. Be diplomatic – Be correct and well-founded in writing about competitors.
8. Be discreet – Don't comment on legal matters, litigation or parties related to them.
9. Be cognizant – Be well-informed about your company and don't comment on what might be a crisis situation.
10. Be cautious – Protect yourself, your privacy and your company's confidential information.
If anyone doubts that social media is a discipline, one requiring training and professionalism to conduct profitably, Smiley's principles are timely correctives.
“These 10 guidelines are just the beginning,” Smiley notes. “They can be used as a starting point for your social media campaign, but remember it’s all about what’s right for you and your company.”
Again, we'd call them rules -- ones for learning and growing in a new media setting.