Behaving ethically can enhance the trust your community members place in you. When implementing promotional techniques such as the use of suspense and controversy, you must remain ethical.
In this article, I will tell you why.
The importance of ethics
It is all too easy to forget that behind every username, every visitor statistic and every email is a real, live human being. The same social and ethical rules should apply to online interactions as they do in the offline world.
Unfortunately all too often for the sake of a quick buck or because we forget that online people are real people, these considerations go out of the window.
If you want people to trust you, you must have personal integrity and act ethically. Are you running a community for recovering gamblers? I bet if you ran an advertising campaign for online gambling you would get yourself a great conversion rate! Should you do this though? Ethically speaking, it would be the wrong thing to do.
Just as most of us wouldn’t hand a drunk a bottle of vodka, we shouldn’t expose our site members to things we know may be damaging or otherwise unsuitable for them.
The benefits of acting ethically
By acting ethically, you will not only feel good and sleep well at night, but you will gain respect and trust from your users and your peer group.
Your reputation is the most valuable thing you will ever own. Make one mistake, and it will be ruined forever.
Gaining a reputation as an ethical person will rub off onto how people perceive your website. If people trust you as a person, they will trust your site.
If you are running an online community, this will mean people will be more inclined to register and get involved. If you are running an e-commerce site, your ethical credentials will encourage people to buy.
You’ll feel good, your users will feel good and your website will benefit. There’s more to being ethical than meets the eye, eh?