Get The Facts

Have you ever been told a shocking piece of news, only to find out a few minutes/hours/days later that it was not true?  It is not only maddening to be caught believing misinformation, but can also be extremely embarrassing.

A recent personal incident reminded me how important it is that we, as communicators, get our facts straight.  And that is certainly easier said than done in today’s world of instant media.  Rumours, gossip, and misinformation can travel at breakneck speed around the world and, if we’re not careful, we can foster the problem by reposting, tweeting, or otherwise engaging with fictional material as though it were fact.

I think one of the reasons why this problem upsets me greatly is that it is a major waste of time and emotion.  Think about it… you read an interesting article or tidbit, become emotionally invested (excited, angry, elated, etc.), and pass it on to other friends, colleagues and coworkers that may also find it scintillating.  When you discover the article is false or sensationalized, you not only feel jipped or duped, but you also often feel guilty or naive about circulating the information to others.

Regardless of the issue, story, media forum, audience, we need to be committed to the facts – finding them, learning them, circulating them, and responsibly communicating them.  For many of us, this is our job.  Plain and simple.

The Social Media Bandwagon

Whether you’re tweeting and posting regularly, just barely LinkedIn, or considering the realm of blogging, you can’t deny the ever-growing and evolving presence of social media in the business world.  It has been referred to as a ‘time-suck’ and as ‘relationship-building’; as a ‘time-waster’ and a ‘money-maker’. 

So what does this mean for you?

Does your business NEED a presence on all social media forums to be successful and do well?  I’d actually advocate for ‘not.’  Unless you are a large corporation that has specific staff working on your social media strategy, it’s better to do one or two things really well than five or six things not well.

So what does this mean for a small business or home-based business owner?  You need to do some research on the different social media sites out there (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.), what can these sites offer your business in terms of audience capture and return on investment, and even more importantly, where is the majority of your target audience spending their time online so you can maximize your audience reach.  These are helpful questions that will help you, as a business owner, determine if and where you need to be in the social media realm.

Feel free to post your social media success stories or lessons learned below.  Have a great day!