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SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS: Social media marketing ethics council launched

An independent committee has been launched to ensure the responsible use of social media and its resulting data by commercial organisations.

The Social Media Marketing Council (SMMC) has attracted leading figures from the business and marketing worlds to ensure that data collected by businesses through social channels is used ethically and responsibly.

The Council has been created with a mandate to help regulate how businesses harvest and use data from social networks and other online channels, provide guidance on what constitutes responsible use of social media data and to encourage organisations to use best practice when they interact with consumers.

"Nobody joins a social network or uses online public communications tools to become a sales target, however it's inevitable that organisations will recognise the opportunity that emerges when a huge mass of people congregate," said Michael Fisher, senior vice president sales and marketing at integrated marketing platform provider Alterian, which is sponsoring the council.

"By establishing the SMMC, we are championing best practice in how businesses market using social channels, while relying on third party communications experts to lead the way for the best, most responsible use of consumer data generated via such social channels."

The council will be chaired by Bernice Grossman, principal consultant and founder of database marketing firm the DMRS Group and includes representatives from leading marketing services providers such as Merkle and Targetbase.

"The explosion in social media has dangled a huge carrot in front of organisations that see it as nothing more than an opportunity to scrape email addresses and phone numbers for their direct marketing efforts," said Grossman.

"This council is designed to bring together industry leaders to draw the line of what is acceptable for organisations to do when gathering information from, or marketing via, social channels.

"We're hopeful that businesses will pledge their support for the SMMC to demonstrate that they're interested in the rights of the consumer, not just in making a fast buck."