(50 Shades of) Grey Hat Social Media Interaction

We’ve all talked about the good ways to behave on social media in White Hat best practices but what about when we get into grey areas?


When it comes to social sharing things always get tricky when people start sharing opinions.


London mums in business social media


You are never going to please everyone so don’t even bother trying but it’s also worth thinking about how controversial you intend to be.

Obviously there are big no nos like racist and sexist abuse but it’s also true that just about anything could offend or annoy just about anyone.


The ideal is to target the right content in the right way to the right people. But how are you going to do that?


Know your audience

If your audience is predominately female then mother in law jokes aren’t perhaps the best form of content you should be sharing. Those sort of things are obvious but how well do you actually know your clients? What sort of comments would not exactly make them click unlike but make them frown and reconsider their future business with you?


You might think you know your clients but have you ever tested your options? “My clients don’t like that” is a phrase I hear all the time but often it’s a completely unfounded remark or one based on a minority voice.


Create a customer profile


If you want to target the right people in the right way then you do need to create a profile of that person.


List off all the opinions and values your target customer has.

You can have a few different customer profiles and even different ones for different social networks.

Here’s an example


Jane 1.0

On Facebook and Twitter

Working Mum and Business Owner



Arts and Crafts

Days out in London

Interior Design

Parenting tips

Working Parents Websites


Core values

Believes in creating a balanced family and work life

Supports Female Entrepreneurship

Believes women should try to get back to work after starting a family


If you are targeting Jane 1.0 on Twitter it would make sense to tweet about subjects that fit into her core values and interests.


As you get to know Jane 1.0 you might find that some of those values and interests are different from you first thought so feel free to change them. In fact it’s very likely that your original customer profile will change a lot as you test sharing different content.


Sharing Opinions


So you have your target audience finely tuned and you are creating and sharing content which results in an increase of engagement and hopefully sales…..great.

But what about when you are commenting on a controversial issue or subject?


There are three key things you need to consider



Be transparent and truthful, use your real name and photo in your profiles and if you have an invested interest in something say so.

If you are commenting on an issue you aren’t really an expert on then make that clear.



Don’t share off the record comments, rumours or secrets and you can’t confirm.

Anything you publish must be true and not misleading, this can include rumours about your competition.


Use a bit of common sense

Do your company proud even if you are it’s only employee. Add value, don’t over react and if you make a mistake own up to it. Easier said than done I know!


Create your own social media policies


You might have already created your own company policies and procedures already (it’s a good idea to do so if you haven’t). Have you created policies and procedures for your social media sharing?


You could just copy what I’ve already suggested – Disclose – Protect – Use Common Sense

These policies are in fact the ones that Intel use and expect all their employees to follow.


Whatever guidelines you use try to stick to them and they will be your best source of future advice.


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