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Are your executives, clients or other stakeholders in an uproar because of something they read on social media—that ultimately turned out to be untrue? And do you have to add extra research to your workload to help counteract the frenzy?
If so, you’re not alone.
In a recent Newsweek article, Trolls, Bots and Fake News: The Dark and Mysterious World of Social Media Manipulation,”fake accounts that purport to be real people can produce as many as 1,000 social media posts a day.”
And fake news isn’t limited to any one topic. It can cover candidates, executives, geographies, companies and industries. As a research expert, how do you help determine what’s real and requires attention from what’s not real and ultimately a distraction?
As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. In the case of social media, one of the most effective ways to minimize the impact of false or worrisome stories is to equip your internal and external stakeholders with ongoing, trusted, organized research that grounds them in the reality of their business.
As you do ongoing research, turn it into an opportunity to organize a research plan and communicate with your stakeholders. Get credit for the research you’re doing and give everyone peace of mind that you are on top of the issues, industries and trends that matter most to them. Are you distributing regular research and news reports? Are these reports organized into strategic insights so that they are easy to digest? Are you connecting face-to-face to walk through the insights to ensure confident in your information and the value you bring? If you’re consistent, organized and in front of your stakeholders, you are already one step ahead of social media meltdowns.
One aspect of social media that makes it so appealing is the immediate nature of the information. You are constantly updated and almost wait with anticipation for that next tweet, post or pic. Use this mindset to your advantage by using alerts to notify you of changes or updates impacting your customers. By working with a research partner like LexisNexis, you can set up monthly or daily alerts so that no matter what you customers need to know, you’ll know it first.
Often with social media, you are unsure of the original source. Be sure you’re equipping customers with content that is comprehensive and comes from reputable sources. Investing in a research solution like Nexis (LINK) not only gives you access to more reputable content sources, it also just gives you more content that is relevant, global, local, archived for 5+ years, and easily searchable. The end results? Trusted insights you need to keep everyone aligned to the truth versus the social media hype.
When you bring all three steps together into your ongoing research protocol, you can meet any social media meltdown with true, trusted and actionable insights, helping your customers turn to you for what they need to know, versus a social media source that may not even be human.