Social media sights and blogs are full of companies stating how well they seem to be doing. It’s been like this all the way through the recession years. Now some of these bits of information are probably going to be true, despite no-one being brave enough yet to post any figures to back up what they’re saying. I also fear that the mass majority of reports on how well many are doing are pumped up to save face, to prevent any bad information getting out into the public domain. The problem is, if your company goes bust after you’ve said how well business is, you’re going to have some serious egg on your face.

One perfect example of this is Lakeside Glass who went bust a couple of months ago. They had a member of staff on the now defunct Glasstalk forum website who constantly talked up how well business was. How they were taking on massive contracts and oodles of new customers on a regular basis. In just a couple of years this company is now bust. All this over-positive, sickeningly bullish bullshit talking now looks even more stupid than it did when the company was trading.

Reporting on positive news is all well and good. But there is a fine line between truth and wildly overstating the actual state of affairs. From what I’ve learned observing these statements from people and companies is that it’s better to provide some sorts of numerical proof to back up what you’re saying. People using social media are becoming ever more skeptical about information they see, so proof is becoming ever more necessary. Also, it’s also pretty easy to spot the bullshit from what’s genuine.

You’ve probably all noticed how little I talk about facts and figures from the company I work for. That’s for two reasons. Firstly, we’re not a limited company so we have no need to publish any figures what so ever – hence utter privacy – so I don’t see the need to talk about it online, no matter how positive or negative things are. Secondly, the minute I talk about how ‘well things are right now’, I open myself up to scrutiny of what I’m saying.

So, in the future, if you’re going to talk about how well business is, make sure it can be proved correct. Don’t leave yourself open to ridicule if things go bottoms up!

P.S. the industry has shrunk from £5.4billion to £3.7billion in the last few years. If all the statements online about how well companies seem to be doing were true, our industry wouldn’t be in recession and it wouldn’t have lost £1.7billion in value!