We may be unaware of our personal bias, perhaps we are attempting simply to express our opinion, but this can greatly affect our business relationships and our online reputation.
When using social networking sites such as Facebook, it may seem appropriate to express our political, religious, or personal opinions; and while this is our right as Americans and as humans, it is important to remember that what we may be expressing is actually a personal bias and not an opinion based on fact. Whatever it is we post to Facebook will certainly not be an opinion shared by all who view our Facebook profiles, comments, status updates, and so forth.
It is impossible to appease every person who views you or your business online. In most cases, it is also impossible to remain neutral on every matter. Bias may be applied to procedures, products, people, and many other circumstances. For instance, bias may entail the endorsement of a certain product with little concern or consideration of the product’s competition. The bias may be rooted in personal relationships or emotional reaction instead of factual evidence or logical aspects of the product.
As an example, a sales representative of cleaning supplies, while making a pitch, may disregard all comments or complaints that his product does not clean as quickly or effectively as the leading competitor. Instead of confronting the evidence, he simply disregards it and allows his personal bias, the bias of being employed by the company, to determine his actions and behavior.
In this scenario, and in almost every scenario of bias, the salesman is undermining his own credibility, and the credibility and reputation of his company. By not acknowledging the evidence against his product he becomes untrustworthy to those witnessing his blatant bias.
While all scenarios may not be this cut and dry, avoiding bias is an easy matter of developing an objective eye towards the content on your social networking sites.
When communicating on social networking sites, it is most important to simply take into consideration why you hold a certain viewpoint, before posting a seemingly controversial comment, or endorsing a particular product or service; double check, question if bias has any footing. Because, almost every case of bias will result negatively, it will negatively influence the reputation of you or your business, and should be avoided.