Accuracy, Validity and Everything In-between!

Accuracy was, is and always will play a huge role in social media. We are living in a day in age where everyone can be a journalist or reporter in his or her own way. No longer are we seeing news solely Accuracycome from big networks, but from individuals. Majority of people have a camera at their fingertips, and with a click, can have the latest breaking story. The troublesome part that is associated with these new phenomena is accuracy.

When you see news online, many people (including myself) still look to validate the news with a reputable news network. The reason being is that they are using their name and putting their reputation on the line with every piece of news they release. If news is released from an individual who is in no way a journalist or working for a media outlet, they stand to lose very little. This poses a major problem, especially on social media where people can “share” these types of stories almost instantaneously.

This has brought about a new rise in “fact-checking,” because as much as we love news, we hate falsehood. Luckily, we are given a few tools that we can use to validate these potentially faux stories.

Twitter brings about a novel way of determining the validity of accounts with their “blue verified badge.” This tells the users that Twitter has put their reputation on the line with giving the account this badge. These accounts are usually the ones who have made a name in their given field and people look to them as a reputable and accurate source of information.

TwitterVerifiedAccount

Reverse image searching can also assist in verifying where, when and why an image was posted. Sites like TinEye allow you to upload an image that will then be searched by the database to find out any other locations and information on the image. This can assist greatly so you can see if the image you are viewings is in fact “real” or “accurate.”

tineye-logo

Accuracy will always remain a part of social media (at least in the near future), because the majority of social platforms don’t “prohibit” or “claim responsibility,” for inaccurate information. I feel it is up to the consumers of these networks to be on the lookout, check and verify certain stories before we spread them on. As with the Internet, you can’t believe everything you see…but we can control what we do as individuals to keep these platforms integral.

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Being “Trustworthy” on Social Media

In order to gain the trust of people on social media, you have to be dedicated. In the ever-increasing tough marketplace that social media has become, building credibility, validity and a reputation is not easy. Successful people and brands on social media have developed the ability to stand out in the crowd with their own voice. Many of times, these voices come with a sense of honesty, which is why they are a popular follow on various social media platforms.

Looking further into how to achieve trust on social media, Steve Rayson offers a “Trust” Formula that looks as follows:

RaysonFormula

Rayson’s formula works, but I feel it’s missing something—Responsiveness! As being helpful, knowledgeable, friendly and selfless are beneficial, there has to be a sense of timeliness. On social media, people want answers—and they want them quick. For instance, when someone on Twitter “tweets” at a brand, they are looking for immediate assistance, they aren’t willing to wait a day or two. If brands can focus on engaging the conversation and resolve any problem close to the moment it happened, they are more likely to receive positive results from the initial post.

This ensures the user has been included as a part of the ongoing efforts brands have to assist their consumers. This was also prominent in an engagement between Northern Rail and a customer. Where it was evident that people respond well to conversation and interaction, they want to know their comments are being taken into consideration. It adds to the credibility of the brand, because it is now trusted. With credibility and trust, brand’s “positive” reputation increases.

Responsiveness ties directly into “Reliability.” Meaning, you are there when you are needed. Justin Kings offers his method of the formula by adding “Reliability’ to the initial formula by Rayson, and I completely agree with it. When adding to Rayson’s formula, we can conclude:

myformula

Listening, Engaging and Creating Relationships are also highly beneficial on social media. You first have to understand what the audience is saying. This comes with monitoring and tracking what your audience is saying and how it’s being said. Then you engage into those comments by creating a conversation. This conversation tells the audience that you are active and behind your brand. That you are able to solve problems, tend to issues and make adjustments. Finally, you come to the stage where you have created a relationship with your audience who trusts in your brand. They know what they are getting and by staying “consistent” you can keep the audience on board!