Defending Your Business Against Facebook Hoaxes

This blog often tries to educate people so that they  can spot Facebook hoaxes and prevent them from spreading. Obviously, this approach isn’t working for a lot of people. In fact, Facebook hoaxes seem more prevalent now than ever before. Christopher Barger, a blogger at Forbes.com, has decided to take a different approach. In a recent article, he tries to prepare companies for the inevitability of Facebook hoaxes rather than trying to stop hoaxes from spreading.

Barger suggests the follow strategies.

Establish an online identity so that you will have the upper hand when a hoax comes knocking. If people know and trust your brand, then they are more likely to believe your side of the story.

Don’t ignore the hoax. Social networking sites have a big effect on the way that consumers behave in today’s economy. You’re not fueling the fire when you respond to ridiculous rumors. You’re crushing hoaxes that will hurt your business.

Use a broad approach to stop hoaxes on every site possible. Hoaxes will jump from Twitter to Facebook and other networks. You can’t just focus on one.

Customize your company’s responses. You will likely respond hundreds of times to a popular rumor, but you still have to customize each one to have the most effect on readers. Create a core message that is about 110-120 characters long and customize each post by adding a couple dozen new characters.

Stay vigilant at all times. Rumors can sprout on Friday night and ruin your reputation by Saturday morning. You need a team that can respond to hoaxes immediately, regardless of when they happen.

Create an emergency chain. Creating a response chain now allows you to respond quicker when a hoax begins. Know who is in charge of writing messages to counter the rumors. The longer it takes, the more damage the hoax will cause.

You can read Barger’s entire article here.

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~ by facebookhoaxes on June 30, 2011.

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