How does opinion fit into the world of social media for business, communication, journalism….publishing in a digital world where information – facts or opinions – can be made public in a matter of seconds?
It depends on what type of opinion you choose to share and how well you present it.
There have been arguments the world over about how much room there is for peoples’ opinions, especially in fields like journalism or with high-profile execs of a company. General social media best practices encourage people to “apply a human touch, a personality” to your dealings on social media platforms, as it creates “relationships and connections” with your viewers, and indicates that you’re an actual person, with feelings and…… you get the point.
But how far do those human feelings need to go? eConsultancy had a recent post, Social Media: Opinions are like….. (6 April 2011) that highlights some good thinking along these lines:
“Instead of thinking that the act of participating in social media adds a “human touch“, savvy individuals will recognize the importance of thoughtful, meaningful social media engagement. No matter who you are and what line of work you’re in, chances are the people around you know that you have opinions. But there’s a time and a place for voicing them, and depending on what they are, there may not be a time and a place for voicing them.
Discretion, which is basically a form of ‘self-restraint‘, is worth its weight in gold and hasn’t disappeared in the age of Facebook and Twitter. If anything, it is only more valuable today because what you say or don’t say online can make or break your increasingly important online reptuation.”
Again, this is just like being an actual person. If you go into a cocktail party and get up on a soapbox to rant about the latest “annoyance” you have, and then keep doing that at every subsequent cocktail party thereafter, you’re not making a good name for yourself (sorry ranters).
If you’ve got an opinion, you craft it well, and you present it in a compelling fashion… ok, a lot of people will probably want to hear that (Donald Trump, you fail).
In the case of journalism, I’ve said this for a while now, but I do think there’s a place for opinion in reporting, as long as it’s open and honest, as well as responsible and compelling.