It’s easy to publish a blog post, a tweet or a status update. Sometimes too easy. As a business owner (and bloggers are business owners, too) you have a responsibility to publish facts. Readers don’t come for fiction, or to be taken on a breezy diversion of gossip and rumors. They come to your blog and follow your social media profiles to learn something from you.
You can seriously damage your brand by doling out misinformation as if it’s accurate, so take your time to get it right. Be certain you’re publishing facts.
To Kill Your Credibility Fast:
1. Jump on a Non-Scoop Scoop
Ever heard of a Twitter death hoax? This all-too-common viral “scoop” works for a number of social psychological reasons, none of them useful in getting to the truth. A quick Google search reveals insight about them from highly reputable sources, including the TheNewYorkTimes.
Did you hear about the false CNN and Fox News reports that the Supreme Court struck down the individual health insurance mandate? It was such bad reporting about such a big event that the mistake got almost as much attention as the real news! However, you aren’t a news organization. No one will talk about you for making a mistake. They just won’t pay attention to you anymore.
2. Reiterate Common “Knowledge” that isn’t True
Whatever your area of expertise, you probably hear about all sorts of myths that masquerade as facts. Living in the world of internet marketing, I witness countless assumptions about the Google algorithm being spun into “knowledge” all the time. This spring, as the Penguin update rolled out, SEO bloggers made up stories about what the Over Optimization Penalty means.
I don’t think they were trying to deliver false information, but they did. All they needed to do was read Google’sownblogpost on the subject. Often, the actual truth is less interesting than the general consensus about what’s true.