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Keeping within the Platform’s Guidelines.

All major social platforms have their own usage guidelines. The following is some themes that emerge on the major social platforms.  Of course it is always due diligence to read the actual guidelines on each platform’s website.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/terms.php
Twitter: http://t.co/nY4u5Nf

Brand Guidelines:
- Twitter: Offers “Verified Account” badges for accounts and “Promoted” badges for accounts, tweets and trends. These may not be used in profiles or backgrounds unless directly provided by Twitter. For broadcast or print, include a Twitter logo or bird icon close to tweets, account usernames and full tweet text. Avoid editing/revising user identification or tweets unless absolutely necessary for the medium (e.g., including a link on a TV broadcast, where the user cannot interact with it).
– Facebook: has a complete and easy to find list – basically you must use one of thier provided images in any print material. Accompanying it can be your Facebook.com username, or simply say – “Find us on Facebook” in any font you choose as long as you do not try to replicate any Facebook blue/grey branding.

Screenshot Guidelines: Facebook: Cannot be altered. Inclusion of personally identifiable information in screenshots requires written consent from all cited individuals before being published.

Proper Account Call-to-Action Text:
Twitter (Web/Print): “Follow me/us on Twitter” with Twitter spelled out
– Facebook: When inviting users to like, use the phrase “Like our page” or “Become a fan by clicking like”

Association Guideline: Facebook/YouTube/Twitter: Don’t imply sponsorship, endorsement or false association with the network.

Similarity Guideline: YouTube/Facebook: Don’t adopt marks, logos or slogans similar to brand ones.

Logo Use: Twitter: Use the most current version of the logos, available on Twitter.com.

Proper Use:
Twitter: Use the words “Twitter” when talking about the company, and “tweets” when talking about messages/updates
– Google / YouTube: If entire mark is not capitalized, always spell and capitalize the trademark exactly as shown in Google

Trademarks and Suggested Accepted Generic terms
- Facebook: Always capitalize “Facebook”
– Never use Facebook as a verb. Also, avoid pluralization

Twitter: Use current logo(s) as links to Twitter or to show Twitter compatibility
– Facebook: When using the Facebook trademark(s) or logo(s) in a play/movie/book, prior written permission from Facebook is required before using Facebook trademarks in broadcast, distributed or publicized media.

Fan/Follower Acquisition:
– Twitter: Avoid the use of third-party apps that claim to “get more followers fast”. Aggressive following / unfollowing could result in account suspension. Make sure that your following to follower ratio does not exceed 10:1. A better rule is 3:1. Otherwise you are tagged as a spammer (no one follows a spam account but they follow many).
– Facebook: Ensure that you remember that your posts must adhere to guidelines of Facebook, but more important are of a nature that will speak to the brand and the page’s community.

Privacy: (Canada). Regardless of the location of social networks, as a Canadian organization you must adhere to the privacy act known as PIPEDA and respect any collection of personal information. This may be as simple as posting a Note on Facebook with your abbreviated stated privacy policy with a link to your website;s privacy policy.