How The Economist builds trust on social media
Adam Smith, the deputy community editor at The Economist, writes about how the publication uses social media to build trust.
Smith writes, “We don’t shy away from saying what we think. If a leader is a crook, we’ll name them. If a company is flailing, we’ll tell you. We describe the world as we see it, and hope readers think our reporting stands up our viewpoint. Take our coverage of Venezuela’s crisis: we’ve said that President Nicolas Maduro is ‘following a script from Mussolini’ and that he ‘rules by decree’.
“It would be easy to make readers angry about such things, and their consequences — the poverty, ill health and starvation that are happening in Venezuela. But we’ve focused on sticking to factual reporting and calm criticism. This helps us to build trust with our followers on social media, because it shows we will not use our writing simply to get more clicks. Our job is to produce mind-stretching journalism for globally curious people, not angry headlines for tap-happy hotheads.
“Ms Boland’s analysis of the publishers rated as the most trusted found that they garner the lowest number of angry reactions per post. She also found that when she looked at the top articles from the least trusted publishers, ’emotionally charged words are common, along with a gratuitous use of caps lock’. SAD! We could easily write a post that would reach more people and elicit more reactions, but that is not what we do.”
Read more here.