In an age that everything goes viral on social media within a few hours, disinformation and black propaganda is the last thing that a business needs. An unhappy customer, competitors, or even foreign government-affiliated attackers can be the director of a wide-scale disinformation campaign.
Big brands are usually the common targets of disinformation campaigns due to clickbait purposes.
In addition to the reputation, the bigger brands need to be concerned about fake news impressions on the stock market. According to the survey by CHEQ, fake news costs the stock market $39 billion annually and $78 billion for the global economy.
You can’t expect regular users to look for the originality of news or video that they watch on social media. They believe what they see. It is a fact that social media users these days are too bored to seek the originality of what they see. Therefore, it is the responsibility of a business to protect its customers from being exposed to disinformation campaigns.
Disinformation campaigns can take different forms. They can be deep fake videos, sharing a tweet with false information at a large scale, or blog posts trying to tarnish a business’s reputation.
In every media these show up in, individuals and companies need to be well prepared and not be confused. Here are some proven and effective ways to confront disinformation campaigns that target businesses.
1. Be prepared for any scenario
When dealing with disinformation campaigns, always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If your business is not exposed to disinformation yet, it doesn’t create any safe zone for you against future endeavors.
Every business needs an “Emergency Response Strategy” when the reputation and identity are in danger, and customers are overwhelmed with a bunch of false information like worst buying experiences and defamation.
Teams in different departments should be involved in the development and implementation of this Emergency Response Strategy strategy.
The roles and responsibilities of each team must be clear to prevent confusion in response. Bafflement helps the attackers to multiply the impression of their disinformation. So just stay calm and try to lead and manage the situation appropriately.
One good way to prevent the situation from getting out of control and limiting the spread of false information is to strengthen social listening. Social listening has been initially a part of marketing programs, but it is also essential to oversee the information shared on social media about your brand in disinformation campaigns.
2. Engage and communicate
When it comes to tackling disinformation campaigns, engagement and communication are key. Attackers are trying to create a toxic atmosphere around the brand by spreading false information to change people’s mindsets. Let’s think of this as a battle between good and evil.
Spread the correct news with your audience.
The evil tactic is focused on sharing false information, and you can thwart this tactic by spreading the right news and engaging with your audience. The infantry of the brand goes through different platforms and starts sharing information that is the opposite of what the attackers insist is true.
Address your audience directly — tell the truth of the situation.
Address your audience directly and tell them what is happening. Engagement helps to reduce the effectiveness of disinformation campaigns. Use the verified accounts in social media to respond to the misinformation to ensure the users that the response is coming directly from the brand.
Starbucks’s response to the news of “Dreamer Day” Campaign on Twitter is a good example of answering directly from the brand.
Shortly after the news broke, Starbucks actively warned its users on Twitter about the campaign, saying it is a hoax. This is how to take care of your customers.
3. Take legal actions
The last thing you can do is to take legal actions against the source of disinformation campaigns and the people circulating those fake news on social media. The company’s legal team can file a complaint on local courts and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Requesting platforms to remove fake news is another option on the table.
Some platforms like Facebook and Twitter have taken positive steps to counter fake news and pursue stricter policies. However, brands can directly ask social media to remove fake and false information.
Image Credit: joshua miranda; pexels
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