Most business owners aware of what’s going on in the world news even if you don’t watch the mainstream news channels. It’s disseminated through our newsfeeds directly into our hands on social media so we all know what’s going on locally, nationally and globally most of the time.
Recently, we’ve seen the very fast spread and increase in frequency of people talking about COVID-19. We saw the spread of the news about the Australian Bushfires reach international shores very quickly. We saw the country pull together to mourn the tragic deaths of Hannah Clarke and her three children at the hands of her ex-husband, largely due to social media. People like sharing and engaging in issues that are topical.
That doesn’t mean that you, as a business owner, should always talk about these things. Many of your audience are looking to you for leadership and inspiration, but how do you choose when and if to talk about events such as these on social media? There are five main steps to deciding.
- Do you want to talk about it or do you feel like you have to talk about it?
There will be times as business owner where you’ll feel like you have to talk about something that’s going on in the world or that’s in the news. Other times, it’s more of an “I want to talk about it”.
For example, we have seen schools release statements about potential school closures and how to deal with them. This is not something they want to talk about, it’s something they have had to talk about.
- Why do you want to talk about it or why do you not want to talk about it?
If you don’t want to talk about something that is going on in the media, then don’t. It seems obvious, doesn’t it? This point calls for you to have a good conversation with yourself about why you do (or don’t) want to talk about something.
When something happens on social media and you decide you either want to talk about it or feel like you have to talk about, it’s crucial you determine is ‘why’ you feel this way. Is it to educate your audience? Is it to inspire or motivate them? Is it designed to share the values of your company (or yourself if you’re an entrepreneur) through what you’re discussing?
- Is it going to be helpful to your audience (and the ‘Don’t be a tool’ rule)
It’s important to determine at this point if what you want to share is going to be helpful to your audience. Is it helping them to solve a problem? Is it helping them to trust you more?
When it comes to sharing your opinions on things that are topical, one of the to ensure you ask yourself is this: “Is this helpful for my audience?”. If you are making the decision to discuss a topic because you want to get something off your chest, and it’s actually not helpful for your audience, avoid it.
For example. If your audience are a group of people who have generally high anxiety about something and you have an opinion that will inflame that anxiety, don’t share it. This is when you want to put in place the “Don’t be a tool” rule!
Only share things that will be beneficial to your audience.
- Is it something you stand for or stand against?
Every entrepreneur, business owner and organisation have a set of values as well as things they stand for and against. If there is something happening that talks into what you stand for or stand against, my recommendation is to talk about it.
For example, there were business owners who talked about Domestic Violence in light of the tragic killing of Hannah Clarke and her four children. We’ve recently seen the conviction of Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent 23-year jail sentence handed down, and business owners comment on this. If you are willing for people to be aware of your stance on things, then by all means, do it.
This shows your audience what you and your company is like at the core.
- Are you willing to share your opinion on what’s going on and back it up?
It can feel like you’re opening yourself up for both support and criticism when it comes time to share an opinion on something. For instance, there is a lot happening in the world at the moment with therapists and the push to only Bulk Bill in times where a lot of people still need therapeutic help, yet, may feel like they can’t afford it.
If you have an opinion on this, feel free to share it. Make sure you also have the data and the numbers to support your opinion. Share the numbers on things and the way that you came up with your opinion.
Many people look for the evidence when they’re choosing if they should listen to you or not, so make sure you provide them with that, so they don’t turn a blind eye to what you have to share.
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