Coronavirus News – Spread Information not Fear
We are caught in a whole new world these days. With the spread of the Coronavirus the way we’re having to live our lives now and for potentially the foreseeable future is radically changing. And, with all this change comes a great deal of fear. Everyday we are bombarded with information about the virus and its progression across the globe.
Now more than ever we rely on social channels to keep us updated with the latest news. Most of the news about service shutdowns and school closures I picked up on through social channels rather than news outlets. This leaves a responsibility on us, as a collective, to make sure that we are circulating the right information. With that in mind we thought we would write a short piece on how to tackle the Coronavirus from a social standpoint. So here are four things you should think about before posting on social media about the virus.
1. Is my information correct & accurate?
One of the major issues with social media is the amount of incorrect information on there. ‘Fake News’ has become a part of our vernacular these days as much as any other term related to the spread of information. However, even though we are aware that it’s out there, sometimes we can fall victim to a tasty bit of ‘news’ that is wildly inaccurate. So what can you do to stop that?
Check your facts! You can always use Google to check whether what you are reading is true. If there are multiple news sources for the information and more importantly they are reputable news sources then it is more likely that it is accurate. Check that what you are posting has come from a reputable news source such as a major publication and that it has been verified by that publication. You can also use a service like Snopes – https://www.snopes.com/ to check that things are accurate. A whole host of wildly popular memes and factoids have been debunked by this site and it’s worth checking out.
Try to stay away from sensationalism. It can be tempting write something that is going to grab people’s attention. However, more often than not, it can provide a false sense of what is going. Headlines such as ‘Coronavirus set to be with us for the rest of our lives!’ while maybe true are a distortion of the facts. Coronavirus will be with us for the rest of our lives but it’s impact will lessen over time till eventually this strain is no longer a threat.
2. Is what I’m posting current?
With the fast moving pace of the news that is coming out about the virus it’s important to make sure that we are passing on the most up to date news. There are a number of ways to ensure we are doing this.
If you are Googling to verify the article that you want to post is accurate, Google will tend to give you a date stamp on when it was published right in the search engine result page. With the fast moving pace of the news about the virus anything that’s more than a week old is probably out of date and you might want to check how current it is.
Look at the date stamp on the article itself. Most blog post, news articles will have a date stamp on them. If it doesn’t maybe consider doing some more verification around the news that you are posting.
3. What is my reach & impact?
Although this one doesn’t actually affect the content that you might put out, having an understanding of how far that content might reach can give us pause for thought and make you consider more carefully what you are posting.
In 2018 Facebook did a major overhaul on it’s algorithm that drastically cut the amount of organic information we were able to see from businesses and brands and increased the visibility of posts and shares from our friends. Citing the need to create more connections between friends and the corollary need to keep rinsing as much money from businesses as possible (personal viewpoint there!) Facebook changed how we gained information.
What this means is that now more than ever, if you personally, are going to post you should understand how far that is going to go. The likelihood is that most of your Facebook friends will see it and what’s more if they comment on it then their friends stand a good chance of seeing it. So even though you may only have 200 – 300 connections a post that gets a decent number of comments could potentially get thousands of eyeballs on it.
While Facebook doesn’t let you see the reach of your posts, in LinkedIn you can actually see the number of people that see each post. They put the views of your posts under each one of them. FTo give you a picture of how far a post can reach with even a small amount of pick up, a post I made a while ago that got 27 likes & 5 comments gained over 4,000 views. This shows you that you don’t have to have that much pick up from your posts to really amplify their reach.
Understanding this can give you a good indication of how far your information is reaching and an insight into the responsibility you have as a publisher.
4. Is this valuable to my audience
This one is way more subjective than the others. Whether your post is valuable to the people that see it will depend largely on how well you know your audience. However, it is something to consider when putting up a post with information about the current situation. Is this relevant to them?
I have different audiences on different platforms. My LinkedIn connections are mainly business ones, whereas Facebook is mostly friends. So if I’m posting on LinkedIn I might want to make the post have more of a business angle but on Facebook it’s more family and friends. So although this post might be relevant to both audiences, others might not.
Having a good feel for who your audience is and what they might be interested in can help you get traction for what you are posting but it can ensure that you are really telling the people that need to know.
We hope these four tips were helpful and that you continue to let your friends, family & colleagues know what is going on in your world through social media. Stay safe out there and we’ll see you soon!
We hope you found that interesting and informative. We build full funnel digital advertising campaigns that leverage all the data you have in your marketing stack. If you want to find out how we do this or if you just want to chat get in touch with us here.