How your brand can combat fake news on social media

Combat fake news

Fake news is shared 4x more on social media platforms than content from reputable, trusted outlets across social media platforms according to Oxford University research. The term “fake news” was named 2017’s word of the year and it is unlikely that we will see an end to it anytime soon. For brands trying to promote their brand story, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to stand out amongst the spam, click bait and misinformation. Brands must understand how to identify fake news so their marketing strategy does not endorse or promote it on social media. It is even more critical to not get caught up in the convenience and ease in which creating fake news can bring. Brands must continue to deliver well thought out, strategic content to retain and build strong customer relationships. Three tips to combat fake news on social media:

1. Always provide clear and transparent information

The competitive digital media market relies heavily on headlines, which means brands need to learn to play the ‘headline game’ without losing authenticity and threatening to damage their reputation. Use key information in your headline to grab the audience’s attention without misleading the viewer about your article’s content. It is not unusual to see brands resorting to spam like and insincere headlines in social media to gain maximum click-throughs and viewership. Though they may increase page views in the short term, long term this can significantly damage the critical customer relationship due to the loss of trust.

2. Show authority and utilise legitimate third party sourcing

Readers often have limited time and are constantly bombarded with online content, which makes it all the more important to convince them that your content is correct and ticks all the boxes. This means you need to have sources to back up and reassure your audience that what you are telling them is true. For example, linking a highly reputable source in a report or article that does not link back to your company, tells the reader that this is genuine, truthful information. Alternatively, testimonials and influencers promoting your brand on social media provide third party opinions on your product or services.

3. Monitor all brand mentions

Whether it’s a mention on social media or in a news article, it is critical to be aware of all brand mentions. Monitoring mentions ensures your brand can respond quickly in the event that misinformation is promoted as truth regarding your brand. For brands, understanding how to identify fake news and misinformation to ensure your marketing strategy does not endorse, promote or legitimise it in any way on your social media channels will ensure a retained reputation and strong customer relationships.


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