9Lie to me:why you can’t fool your social media audience

Spinning stories has never been easier, yet separating fact from fiction has never been harder.

What to believe?

Social media audiences are hungry for outrageous conspiracy theories and magic goblins sprinkling fairy dust over the latest OMG, can you believe it’s true?! Until a multinational or politician tries to fly a not-so-truthful story past them, at which point shrieks of social outrage can be heard ricocheting around the internet.

Exhausting, isn’t it? The truth is (pun intended!) social media audiences are happy to believe that a woman has three breasts but are more sceptical when it comes to the stories around organisational crises.

The crisis communicators waltz on social media is simple: people want to believe in aliens, dragons and the Loch Ness Monster, but they are suspicious of a police force that ‘accidentally’ tweeted porn from their official account.

Truth, it appears, is relative to your audience and the believability factor of a crisis. Unfortunately for crisis communicators, the believability ratio is near impossible to define. Which makes a long waltz with the truth the logical communications choice during an organisational crisis.

IRL (in real life): the human factor

While I’ve written a lot about the benefits of being social media data and analytics savvy, I can’t stress enough how important the human factor is in making robust assessments about your social media communications during a crisis. ...

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