During today’s webinar, Critical Thinking in a Social World, Breanne Harris mentioned that 91% of the Fortune 500 companies use social media. She also said that half of all Internet users read blogs. Blogging isn’t the only type of social media but that’s a pretty impressive way to think about things. Where do customers go to get information about products and companies? Online: through social media, company websites, online news channels, products review websites, even wikis. The most popular? You guessed it – social media. So more than half of all Internet users will potentially be information about your company through social media.
Where some companies embrace social media others don’t. Some companies even prohibit it. Today’s poll revealed that 58% don’t engage because of the perceived lack of control. It’s no surprise that because social media is constantly changing, there is no policy that could possibly encompass every situation across all social media mediums. Instead, Breanne suggested that training employees, guiding them and trusting them is a comprehensive strategy to help minimize this fear.
Train them. Guide them. Trust them.
Why train them on critical thinking? Simply put: critical thinking training is a catalyst for you trusting them. If you have confidence in their ability to assess the situation and come to the right decision on how to act, you may trust their ability to interact with customers, competition, even peers through social media.
Breanne walked us through the RED Model when it comes to social media:
Recognize your assumptions.
- Who is my audience?
- How long is the information valid? What context does it need to be valid?
- Could this be misunderstood?
Evaluate the arguments.
- Remove emotion – instead be objective.
- Be transparent about who you are and what your object is.
- Examine sources carefully.
- Distinguish facts from opinions.
- When in doubt, don’t post.
- Stop and W.A.I.T – ask yourself: “why am I talking?”
- Ask yourself, “How do I know this?”
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Elizabeth Pauker-Silva