How the Fake News Trend Could Hurt Your Business

by Brooke Ness
February 13, 2017

We’ve all seen it in our Facebook feeds – fake news. It doesn’t matter which side or even if it’s political, fake vs. real news is a topic that is popping up everywhere these days.

But that’s a political problem not a business problem right? Not quite.

While we don’t know much officially yet, Facebook has started experimenting with a few potential solutions. Ideas they’ve thrown out include third party reviews, user reporting, and internal journalist standards for content.

These all sound like great ideas (and they may very well be the right answer) but think about that when it comes to your company’s content. We already have minimal organic reach on Facebook but imagine what might happen if disgruntled employees or competitors can now report your content as fake. While Facebook may determine that it was reported incorrectly, you’ve now spent time and resources defending your relevant content.

So without knowing what the new rules will be, what should businesses start to do to future proof their integrity with Facebook?

Build your website’s credibility

One factor that is most likely going to be part of this craziness is how trustworthy your website is. Fake news often comes from sites that are less than above board. That means you need to start working on your site as soon as possible. Update pages, make sure the content is correct, start blogging; in other words get your Search Engine Optimization in order.

Stay active on Social Media

A Facebook page that has been active for years with strong engagement and active followers will have more authority to publish content. The time to start engaging with your fans isn’t when Facebook makes it a mandatory – it is right now. You need to build up a diverse base of followers to engage with your content so when the time comes for an algorithm to start deciding if this is real or not, you have a history of being interesting and credible.

It may be tomorrow it may be next year before new publishing rules come out, but they are coming. Don’t let your company be one of the many that will be caught in the crosshairs while Facebook tries to figure out the delicate balance between fake news and freedom of speech.