What the Trump vs Clinton debate can teach us about live tweeting

Whether you live in Singapore or the United States, the Twitter play-by-play of the Trump Vs Clinton presidential debate had more jabs than a school-wide vaccination. Between the Trump as a Godzilla and the Clinton victory memes, the public craves news and opinion in real time.

Despite rumours that Twitter (the company) isn’t growing, live-tweeting is still an excellent way to share  news about your brand. If you’re attending or hosting an event, updating quotes, pictures, and funny thoughts gives your fans a chance to hear the brand’s voice. Simply check out the flutter of activity on Trump’s  and Clinton’s Twitter accounts over the past 24-hours.

Live tweeting may seem stressful at first, but gaining traction is much easier than you think. Here are our top tips for live-tweeting:

1. Get the whole team involved

The designated tweeter can’t be everywhere at once. Get the attending team on a #livetweets mobile Slack channel and ask them to post quotes or questions to this channel for the designated tweeter to pick up. For consistency, there should only be one designated Tweeter per team to have oversight on the page.

2. Prepare good visuals

Come prepared with some stock images and if you hear a good quote, overlay it on the go with a meme generator or inspirational quote app. Take photos before tweeting to make sure you have something good to pair a post with.

3. Engage with gifs

 Twitter’s gif features are totally underutilised by corporations that have strict brand guidelines. If you’re a small team, run it by a manager and share a gif or align one with your quote or update.

Here’s a funny interpretation of the live debate:

Then there was this:

4. Use one easy hashtag

It should be something easy like your company and the event, i.e. #Mutantatrise.

5. Tag everyone and everything

There is almost no point to putting up a tweet without mentioning a company handle, someone’s handle, or using a hashtag. Twitter is designed to link up people in a community, so don’t be lazy with tags!

6. Trend trends trends

 This is the main thing journalists look for on Twitter. At an event more often or not you’ll hear that some big investor has invested billions in a technology no one is using right now, that might point to a trend. Keep your ear to the ground and ask lots of questions.

7. Find the official hashtag of the event

This is a no brainer,  but you’d be surprised how many people don’t look for this. It’s the number one way to get discovered by a journalist or someone else at the event.

#debatenight was the official hashtag of the debate:

8. Use vines 

Getting a live feed on Twitter isn’t as easy as it is on Facebook. What’s better than a quote? Getting a quote Vined or Periscoped from a notable speaker and uploaded it on Twitter.

9. Pick a good quote

 Pick a quote that is on brand,  offers simple business advice, or even something funny and post it.

Here’s an example from Camp Clinton:

10. Be cool

Save the corporate riff-raff for when you have word count.

Live-tweeting makes your company look on the ball, and most importantly helps your fans know the latest news and trends in the industry. By using a real voice, you’ll be able to connect with your fans.

Need some social media advice ? Contact us at [email protected]


Header picture credit: www.thedailydot.com

How to create content out of thin air

Brainstorming for blog ideas used to be easy, but now the content marketing universe is constantly updating and addressing every possible pain point out there.

There’s no doubt the industry needs these thought leadership pieces, lists and guides — the on-going dialogue is important, but the straightforward approach has been done to death. This provides a fantastic opportunity for content creators to take existing topics, turn them on their heads and make their peers go, ‘Hmm, I never thought of it that way’.

Here are some ways to get brand new blog topics for your content calendar, without stepping too far from your comfort zone.

1. Listen in on social media. Social media is overflowing with chatter, so put it to use and elaborate on hot topics.

  • Twitter is a nearly ungated community bubbling over with thoughts, opinions and rants that are just waiting to be blogged about. In your settings create a ‘list’ for industry leaders to block out noise and check daily for interesting opinions about ones relevant to your industry.
  • Quora is literally a website full of questions that real industry people need answered. On the left column under ‘Feed’ type in keywords relevant to your industry. Or just click on your keyword and see what comes up, i.e. Search, ‘What are the best marketing strategies that startups could learn and execute?’
  • Facebook is where the internet lives. Do you know of a particularly loud page? Have a look through different forums in relevant communities and see if there are any issues you can put to rest in your blog post.

2. Tune in on pain points. Make the most out of the internal meeting conversations that turn one hour meetings into two hour meetings. While different departments are duking it out on whether training should be mandatory, or whether the biz dev budget should go to schmoozing after hours, take notes. Right in the comfort of your Monday Morning Meeting is a gold mine of pain points that are probably shared with other members of the industry.

3. Search through white papers. Alright, if you’re like me you cheat and look at the summary for highlights. Research reports are a pool of interesting data on your topic. Pluck out a positive statistic that really stands out about your region, industry, or department and share with your audience what you think the causes are or what conclusions can be made from this behaviour.

4. Invite someone unexpected. A guest post always brings a breath of fresh air to any content calendar. Ask people in different positions to write guest blog posts about positions they don’t work with day to day. i.e. ask a CEO to write about the importance of customer service while on cold calls, or interview a CMO about what he looks for in an agency (then, email me the answer :))

5. Go outside. As a last resort, step outside of the office. Creativity needs space. Why do you think the Louvre is so big? All creatives need to declutter their head. Taking a 15 minute walk outside of your office will allow you to further process information from an earlier conversation you had with your boss, a client, or colleague earlier in the day.

A fresh content idea doesn’t have to dip into the realm of the unknown. All it needs is a bit of creativity and thinking outside of the box.

Need help with your content? Drop a message to [email protected] 


What is content? – Part 4: How to be an engaging thought leader in 2016

It’s 2016, and the internet is hungover from the content overload of 2015. Thought leadership is still as relevant ever as a way to build your brand, but there’s too much of it floating around left unread.

As we mentioned earlier, the production of content is going up as engagement goes down. To ensure your thought leadership piece doesn’t get left behind, follow these six tips.

Look for your industry’s pain points. Before just writing what you know, do some research on and offline to find out what’s bothering people in your industry. As industries are becoming increasingly digital and offline activity goes mobile, there are lots of unanswered questions. Not sure what the future holds? Prediction pieces always make for great hits.

Take a stance. Having a strong opinion doesn’t mean pushing your ideas on other people, it means encouraging a dialogue and inspiring others. If there’s a topic dividing your industry, consider taking a side you believe in and go with it. As long as you know what you’re talking about it can be a positive to be a bit controversial, especially with the huge volume of copycat how-to blogs out there.

Give anecdotes. To make it seem like a really organic thought, give short windows of situations that taught you a lesson. You could also share a staff journey that can inspire others in their own careers.

Skip the cliches. Cliches can over simplify certain concepts and ideas. Using your own words and examples will help you establish your own voice that will be easier to remember.

Name drop. People want credibility in thought leaders. If you studied at a prestigious university, worked close with an inspirational leader, or worked at a Fortune 500, mention it.

Don’t have the time to produce your own thought leadership? Let our skilled content writers do it for you. Contact us at [email protected].


What is content? – Part 3: LinkedIn for the entrepreneur

LinkedIn started out as an online resume site, and it’s still one of the biggest resources for recruiters. Over time, it has also evolved into a content marketing platform, serving as a place for businesses to engage with potential clients and partners. So, how can you leverage this?

Tighten that bio:

More than half of LinkedIn’s engagement is on mobile, so tailor your message to be read accordingly. A longer, more flowery summary of yourself might be passable for a resume, but for B2B keep it short and sweet. The recipe for a good bio is:

  1. Some personality
  2. Clear and concise description of your service
  3. A call to action (CTA) for people who aren’t able to send you an InMail.


Whether through written or video content marketing, I help young companies communicate their vision in the most human way possible.

Do you need more effective content? Get in touch with me directly at [email protected]

Spruce up that photo:

Nice pic from da club… but your LinkedIn profile image should be as professional as possible (avoid cheesy real estate pictures!) The photo you choose to represent yourself and your personal brand is a measure of trustworthiness and professionalism.

Tips for a good LinkedIn photo:

  1. Choose a recent photo. We know it’s not Tinder, but if you’re already misleading about what you look like, it’s not a good start for business.
  2. Forget the metaphorical mountain summit pic, make sure your face takes up at least more than half of the photograph.
  3. Over exposed, blurry, poorly cropped photos are all over LinkedIn. Taking the time to take a proper photograph will actually make you stand out from the crowd.

Beef up your profile:

Now that you have the basics, it’s time to turn your details into a resource.

  1. LinkedIn Pulse: You can’t say thought leadership’ without LinkedIn. Generously sharing your expert opinions and insights is a great way to build trust with your consumer before ultimately turning that lead into a sale. But nowadays there are a lot of opinions out there, and it’s not all being read. Make sure you have a really strong opinion on a topic that can add value to your reader’s life.
  1. Slideshares: If you’re not the most eloquent writer but have ideas to share, use Slideshare. It’s a cost-effective way to get better traffic and ranking on Google. Make sure you have a clear idea of how you want to educate the reader.
  1. Videos: In this crowded market, videos are dominating as the preferred way to consume content. LinkedIn lets you upload directly onto your profile, allowing you to showcase your work. If you don’t do video marketing, upload TV spots you’ve been featured in, your startup explainer video, and event coverage.

LinkedIn is growing as a content platform and it’s the first place clients and investors look to see a cohesive body of your work. Let us help you create content that best content for your profile. Get in touch at [email protected].



Finding the right social media influencer for your brand

In this day and age of social media, the rise of influencers can no longer be ignored. Social media influencers are often a powerful channel for driving engagement. Perhaps, a personal touch is just what a potential consumer needs to make a decision. In this blog, we’ll take you through the definition of social media influencer marketing and how to best use this for your business.

What is social media influencer marketing?

According to GroupHigh, social media influencer marketing is the practice of building relationships with the people who can build relationships for you. Influencers are basically your bridge to a whole new pool of end-users. No matter the size of the following, these influencers will be able to help you reach consumers via their social networks and blogs that your brand may not be able to.

As you can see from this little diagram by Affinio, target your audience through various influencers who share the same following.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 10.30.37 am

From finding the right influencer for your brand to having them represent you, you will need to identify them, market to them, market through them, and then market with them. Here’s how:

  1. Identifying influencers – rank them in order of importance and relevance.
  2. Marketing to influencers – increase awareness of the brand amongst influencers.
  3. Marketing through influencers – using influencers to increase market awareness.
  4. Marketing with influencers – turn influencers into brand ambassadors.

Why social media influencer marketing?

Because a whopping 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust advertisements!

In the eyes of the consumer, a social media influencer is that cool kid in high school and whatever he or she is into is the next cool thing. Most importantly, there is an authenticity and trustworthiness that comes with your influencer’s recommendation that advertisements lack.

How to get into social media influencer marketing?

Develop and build your relationships with the social media influencers that you think will best represent your brand and reach your target audience. Simply drop them an email with what you have in mind for your collaboration. Here’s how to find the right influencer for your brand:

  • Find an influencer who is pretty much already an ambassador

That means that the influencer’s content is already aligned with your brand’s message. Look through an influencer’s archived content to find out what kind of consumer they are.

  • Engagement vs. reach

Your choice of influencer should not only be able to reach a great number of your target audience, but should also be able to engage them to respond, comment and share. The relationship between your influencer and his/her readers should be meaningful and not just superficial.

  • Look out for authentic and organic content

The more organic the content, the more likely your target audience is to trust his/her recommendation.

The key is to find a social media influencer that allows for a mutually beneficial relationship. And don’t forget, a great relationship between your brand and your influencer of choice will definitely make activating your marketing goals more seamless and effective!

Need help with your social media? Drop a message to [email protected] 




What is content? – Part 2: 10 Steps to writing blogs that convert customers

With the intense competition for businesses that promote online, the web content you use to talk about your company has to be easily digestible. Here are some key tips for killer site content.

  1. Strong info hierarchy. Before typing your first letter, ask yourself whether the headers on your site are in the right order and easy to find. Depending on the type of company you have, do some research to determine what information people want to know first. If your concept is really complicated, make sure your “About Us” page is within easy reach (i.e. Should what you’re doing come before why you’re doing it?). Today’s app generation is also very impatient; if you’re going to boast about a feature, make sure the reader can act on it immediately by sprinkling calls to action throughout your home page.
  1. Consistency. This is your credibility. There needs to be one style and format to all of your text. If you’re switching from American to British English and the tones of each subject are different, it’s going to look like your content was farmed out to freelancers around the world. If you remember from our article “What is a content strategy”, this doesn’t mean just one blog and that’s it! A content strategy refers to how your content looks as an entire body of work.
  1. Break it up, people. Do you ever just read the first line of a paragraph and wish the rest of it never existed? That normally happens when you have a “wall of words” – an unbroken piece of text that’s normally more than five lines long. This makes people automatically want to skip to the top or bottom of the page.
  1. One sentence paragraphs. The best part about writing for online compared to print, is we’re allowed to have one-sentence paragraphs.

That’s right, you can change the rules.

We went there.

  1. Fragments. Another cool thing about writing for web is you’re occasionally allowed to have sentence fragments because the web content should be conversational. Use these wisely, otherwise your blog is at risk of reading like a tumblr account.
  1. Economy of words. “So, there was this guy who had been going over to the back of the store to get boxes” vs “This guy got boxes”. Feel the difference? Imagine every time you’re writing for the internet, you get fined $1 per word. Use your words wisely, because the more wordy, the sooner your reader will lose interest.
  1. Killer headlines with keywords. We know, balancing between a catchy title and making your content SEO friendly is tricky, but if it comes down to the two, always pick a clicky title. Think about creative ways to phrase your story. Instead of “Speedo cup sales increase in China,” how about, “China’s economy isn’t the only thing getting bigger”?
  2. Connect. Write about issues that are concerning your audience and make sure your content connects with other people. Content isn’t just content anymore – your content can actually come alive. Don’t be shy to imbed posts, share, tweet at someone, and make it easy to connect your media.
  1. Make it easy to scan. Upon first skim, can the reader figure out who’s doing what, when, where and how? With first time bloggers, there is a tendency to yammer on about your internal thought process. That’s alright, just delete it all once you’ve figured out your point and place it at the top of your paragraph.
  1. Don’t miss a Call-To-Action. Now that you’ve proved you can truly help people, it’s your chance to direct people to the next step. Don’t let your reader leave the page without signing up, subscribing, sharing, commenting, clicking, or coming back.

Need help with your content? Drop a message to [email protected] 


What is content? – Part 1: An effective Twitter bio

The “About me” section in your professional Twitter profile is like a little digital business card. It’s one of the first things that comes up when potential customers search for you, so when writing your bio, think about your ideal client and how you can explain how you can help them.

Here are 3 key things to keep in mind with your Twitter bio. We’ve paired our tips with tech companies that nailed theirs.

  1. Have laser focus

What are you a master of and how can you help? An overly descriptive explanation of many things your company does doesn’t sound reliable. State the key skills or services you’re are really good at and say why you’re qualified to gain their business.

Likewise, if you’re an individual, listing off a bunch of professional fields you’re into will make you sound like a jack of all trades and master of nothing. i.e. “Writer, yoga instructor, DJ, singer, tech genius, ad tech expert.”

This bio from travel data analytics company, Sojern sums up what they do succinctly:


  1. Write to attract leads, not followers

Followers you can buy, engagement you can’t. Don’t hard sell on your bio, make it conversational. If you can’t think of one, imagine how you would introduce your company to a stranger at a conference. Hammer in your key messages and keywords. Then, leave enough space for a call to action with your contact.

Check out this bio from Eyeota:


  1. Lay off the superlatives

Likewise, don’t over compensate. Are you really “The world’s leading…” with just 300 followers? Twitter has only been around for a decade, but it’s already riddled with cliches. It’s better to be understated than exaggerate. If you’re an individual doing a professional bio, for cliche sakes don’t be a “guru”, “junkie”, or “ninja” of anything.

Here is a perfectly understated bio by one of the world’s most successful startups:


The square bracket takes the smoothness out of the bio, just pretend it’s not there.

Beyond Twitter, have consistency across social media channels, but change your tone. LinkedIn is business, Twitter is engaging with strangers, and Facebook is about friends – but everyone is a potential client. Don’t have the same tone for each platform; pick a key consistent message you really want to push and repeat its in each bio.

Most of all, have fun with your Twitter bio!  Here is our personal favourite Twitter bio:



Stand out from the crowd and let us help you create an amazing bio. Contact us at [email protected].



What is a content strategy?

Writing one epic post isn’t enough anymore. In order to reap the benefits of a content marketing strategy, you need an entire body of work that serves to tell your brand story to the right audience, while adding real value to their lives. Tricky, isn’t it?

There isn’t enough word count to wax on about how disruptive your company is, so focus your message around what your company can do for its target audience.

Why is content marketing so hot right now?

The offline world has moved online – from booking a taxi or a housekeeper, to fixing a light bulb or searching for holidays – and people are receiving too much information. Ad blockers are making it harder than ever for display advertising, so smart and creative content marketing is the solution to all of this.

A strategy isn’t simply sending out a company-wide shout-out for a blog post. It starts with a goal and an overarching theme over a longer period of time.

For example, content you need to think about might include:

  • Your Twitter Bio
  • Your LinkedIn Summary
  • LinkedIn account and activity
  • LinkedIn Pulse strategy
  • Website copy and tone
  • Thought leadership articles

Over the next few articles, we will go more into depth on individual content pieces. Stay Tuned!

Need help with your content strategy? Drop a message to [email protected] 


Digital Crisis Management: Dealing with haters on social media

It shouldn’t matter, and you shouldn’t care what other people think of you, but we all know how hard negativity is to ignore.

When you get a negative or unfavourable comment on your personal social media page, you can choose to deal with it as you please – delete it, ignore it, report it, or reply with a string of expletives.

But things are different when you are managing a corporate business page. There are certain protocols that need to be adhered to, especially when it comes to dealing with feedback.

It’s a delicate issue. Likes and positivity are easy to deal with, but when the dark, ominous cloud of negativity looms, it becomes a true test of sustenance. Sometimes all it takes is one bad comment to override all the good ones.

The recent social media revolt triggered by model and influencer, Essena O’Neill is proof that more people are bold and unafraid to air opposing views. It’s important to always be prepared.

Handling negativity professionally is an important asset and skill to have, offline and online, as more consumers turning to social media to communicate and share feedback about brands.

Due to perceived efficiency and visibility, consumers often resort to social media to get in touch with a brand. Studies have shown that 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing, while 33% of users prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone.

Knowing how to deal with with criticism, or even just haters trolling comments is necessary – because online, everyone is watching.

DO – Acknowledge

Good or bad, make sure you reply to a comment and acknowledge its presence. ‘Ignorance is bliss’ does not apply in this situation. Expectations are set high these days – and they’re even higher (sometimes bordering on unreasonable) when a customer is upset or has an urgent request. They want an answer right away and won’t hesitate to make you look incompetent for not being able to respond immediately.

DON’T – Give a template answer

Yes, people can see through your lack of authenticity. It takes a bit more effort to type in a response from scratch, but at least you will sound sincere – a genuine response will take you far. If you know you’re going to be held back on what you can respond with due to corporate policy, try and outline a few key messages and potential responses you might need to use before putting your crisis plan into place. You’ll sound like more of a person and less of a robot, and people will appreciate it.

 DO – Be sincere in your apology

It’s everyone’s favourite thing to hear, or in this case, read. And since they took the time off to get in touch, you can do the same. Read what they have to say, and respectfully answer their questions. Don’t hold back on using that magic word – “sorry” – if you have messed up. It goes a long, long way in retaining customer loyalty.

DON’T – Lead them to another “feedback link”

We all know how frustrating this is; it’s like taking two steps back. Don’t pile yet another task on them, especially if chances are that there is going to be even more waiting time with no follow up.

DO  Try your best to solve the problem

Some situations may vary, but do try your best, and provide regular updates on your progress. This is also a good chance to reflect and discover ways of improving to serve customers better, leading to less complaints – online or offline.

It’s a simple solution, but also the hardest. It’s all about being authentic and sincere.

Some other quick helpful tips:

Timeliness: Reply as quick as you can. People generally don’t like waiting, especially if they’re upset.

Offline vs Online: Decide if the situation calls for an open discussion online, or a private message. Each problem varies, and needs to be handled differently. A well-managed crisis can earn you positive word of mouth by other punters online.

Not all feedback is constructive: There are many trolls and keyboard warriors who enjoy making personal attacks – they’re not worth your time. It’s best to ignore these responses, keep your chin up, and focus on the wrongs that you can right.

Haters, be gone!

Get in touch with us at [email protected] if you’d like to find out more about integrating a social media strategy into your PR campaign.

Social media lessons from the rich and famous

The growth and popularity of social media has been incredible. As consumers, we use a multitude of platforms to keep in touch with people across the globe and to access information about products, events or brands, while the end goal for businesses is to make sales and connect to a target audience.

Many brands splash big bucks on social media spend in hope of explosive engagement, but many fail to ever get the traction they desire. They just seem to miss what their audience really wants to see, and too often lack personality and structure to their plans.

Celebrities are some of the best brands out there. They’re everywhere. Yes, they typically have a team of people shaping the way are seen to the public, but the biggest celebs in the world have an innate understanding of their appeal, their target audience, and the key messages then ensure they’re presented in the way they wish to be seen. And they do it damn well.

So, how can companies get their brand to become insta-famous? Gaining a little bit of inspiration from E!, I’ve outlined some of the best tips we can take away from our A-list mates.

Watch your tone

This may seem simple enough. Companies know what their brand stands for, right? Consumers generally respond when they feel the brand is talking directly to them, appealing to their needs.

While it’s nice to boast about your success, this gets old quickly. Instead, write like you would speak and include content that resonates with the audience.

Take actor Ryan Reynolds, whose lovable personality, humility and humour is showcased so well on social media. This recent Twitter post really made me laugh – he’s personable, funny and relatable, making me want to read more from him (luckily his posts just get better by the day).


Be recognisable

Ok, so before you judge me for my next comment, I’d like to make it clear that I do not support the Kardashians, nor do I actually really like them, but there is something about that family that makes me (and the rest of the world!) pay attention. You have to give it to them – their social media following is through the roof! Between Kim, Khloe and Kourtney, the girls have a collective Instagram following in excess of 100 million – yep that’s right!

What makes their profiles work is their content. Take Kim Kardashian – just do me a favour and visit her Instagram profile. It’s filled with selfies, an act she has damn well perfected and more or less claimed as her own. It’s what her fans recognise her for! Kim’s narcissistic personality has worked in her favour (not an easy feat) but she also showcases behind-the-scenes shots and a glimpse into the crazy world that is Kim and her husband, Kanye West.


While companies might not be able to compare themselves to the Kardashians, you can learn a lot about building a recognisable brand, giving the customers what they want, and constantly, constantly engaging with them.

Avoid the sales pitch and bring out your personality

Too often I stumble across a Facebook or Instagram page where a sales pitch is just screaming at me. And yes, these platforms are great for getting directly in front of the customer, but there are more subtle ways of doing this.

Musician Taylor Swift has become a social media master. This savvy artist has an excess of 140 million followers across all her social media platforms. How does she do it? Well, she doesn’t sell her music directly – instead, she ‘sells’ her personality.

This video she uploaded to Facebook is just brilliant (click on the image below to view). Her likeable personality and ‘girl next door’ attitude is what people love her for, and she knows it.


Similarly, let’s consider Lady Gaga, who’s ‘Little Monsters’ follow her every move. She loves her fans, shows genuine appreciation for her success and knows what works where. By showcasing her personality and letting her fans into her life through social media, Lady Gaga is indirectly selling records.

Brands need to understand that providing consumers with quality content is more likely to generate sales than direct marketing alone.

Learn the difference

Each social media platform is different and caters to a different audience. I’m sure many of you are thinking, “well that’s pretty obvious” but it’s important to mention, because too many companies are still posting the exact same content in the same manner across all their social platforms – a big no no!

Since retiring from professional football, David Beckham’s popularity has risen to new heights. Of course, being one half of ‘The Beckhams’ helps, but his social media presence really demonstrates who he is – something many professional sports personalities fail to do.

Go through some of his accounts and you’ll see a trend. We see more of his charitable side on Facebook, his adoration for his kids on Instagram, and constant support for his wife’s career on Twitter. With each social network that David Beckham joins, he finds new and unique ways to engage with his fans. He is strategically growing the Beckham social media empire by allowing fans to, in a way, experience life in the Beckham family.

Looking for some structure and strategy around your social media campaign? Get in touch with us at [email protected]

Lessons from @jonnysun: Why content marketers need a journalism background

Emotions make content viral, not the content itself. Anger, awe, happiness, enlightenment and sadness create the urge to share with others. When content is written with the intention to “give you the feels”, facts can become secondary.

In comparison, journalism in its traditional form is designed to inform, yet the lines between the two fields of communication blur in the convoluted slush pile of tweets and soundbites packed nuts to butts on the internet. It’s our job as content marketers to stay on the latter half of the thinning media tightrope.

Fake information spreads like wildfire – take @Jonnysun’s twitter “scandal” last week.

Jonathan Sun, the biggest internet celebrity you’ve never heard of – also an MIT researcher – posted a fake fact about actors Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, online. To do this, he created a fake Google search image about the origins of their children’s names, Willow and Jaden Smith. The made up fact was nothing ‘amazing’ in itself, but what happened next was an eye-opener.

Nineteen thousand retweets and 25,000 favourites later, tweeters were bragging “they already knew ages ago” about this so-called fact, while others were enraged this ‘old’ news was making headlines.

When the jig was up, the experiment had the Twitterverse facepalming, while Sun was praised for confirming what we always suspected: the majority of people online do not fact check before sharing.

As content marketers, we market through shares – of thoughts, insights, knowledge and information. So if there’s something off about our information, there’s something off about our brand.

People are already skeptical, since it’s getting increasingly difficult to differentiate between paid content and well-researched original facts and quotes.

Here are some tips from a former journalist on how to do proper due diligence:

  1. Be hands on. If you’re talking about a product, instead of looking up a review of what someone else thought of it, download it or get your hands on it to form your own opinion.
  2. Pick up the phone. While it’s easier to copy and paste a quote from an article, a sure fire way not to misquote someone is to just ask them.
  3. Check statistics: When you see a stat in a post, look for the original research document that the article cited from. Most of the time they’ll have the actual link.
  4. Um, Google. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve caught a slip up, typo, or hoax just by Googling it.
  5. Read the news. Instead of just retweeting existing news, take the facts from a real news story and spin your own angle on it. This way you can’t possibly be wrong, since it’s your own opinion crafted from hard facts.

In a time when we’re always trying to hop on to what’s trending for engagement, it’s important to step back and say, “Really?” If authors don’t take the extra few minutes or an hour to check facts, readers will start to view content marketing as the new clickbait.

Knowing something intimate and relatable about a Hollywood couple made everyone go “awww” – and it sold. But while tugging at heartstrings racks up numbers and engagement, it’s authenticity that retains and converts.

Mutant’s content experts are all former journalists. If you’d like to chat with us about your content marketing needs, please get in touch with us at [email protected]