SOCIAL MEDIA & THE 2016 ELECTION

Guest speaker Kara Alaimo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Hofstra University educated attendees with a discussion on the role of social media and other new technology in the 2016 presidential election and how businesses should respond.

She shared with us her insights about how social media played a role in the election including how it seemed to bypass the “gatekeepers” and how social media has no filters and does not allow for fact checking.

Twitter seems to have cut our national discussion short.  Technology companies, she suggested, should fact check posts by government officials and we need to better protect email accounts from hackers.

Companies should prepare for fake news including communicating the company values in advance, use employees as advocates, write responses in advance, and if needed, consider legal action.

Businesses can plan their advertising, white list (preferred) vs. black list (avoid).  Businesses must not play the victim, be viewed as a trusted resource, and prepare to win against defamation.

Is it a good idea to enter the political fray?  A few things to think about are:

 

  • Is it directly relevant to the company’s core values or not?
  • Are the people who matter (employees, customers, investors) affected or do they feel strongly about the issue and expect the company to speak out?

 

If a company is spoken poorly about on social media (ie. Twitter), Kara suggested its best not to react unless it effects those who matter to the company.

 

We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting!!

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