The world is truly a global village and that is in no small part to social media. People around the world remember past events and come together to commemorate them as one. Events such as natural disasters, death of world-renowned statesmen and others make for a somber occasion. It’s a pity that in a bid to be the first to capitalize on these events, brand managers often forget about their audience’s sentiments.
It is said that its better to stay silent and appear intelligent than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. But then again, Mark Twain didn’t have social media in his time. If brands really need to get their word out during any news driven event, then here are 5 things that you should consider before you do so:
Does the event in question help your brand or the consumers?
Sure you feel the need to spark some conversation but consider this – an event that doesn’t reflect your brand in any shape, clearly deserves to be passed over. And when event syncs perfectly with your brand, then go for it.
A case at point is Oreo’s Lights out tweet. Following a freak storm, most of America went dark with the ensuing power outage. Brand managers at Oreo, as in the dark as the rest of the country, spun into overdrive with their limited battery capacity laptops and whipped up this image.
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC
— OREO Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
Of course they waited until the lights were back to send the now-legendary tweet. AS you can see, they played off the dark riff into their campaign, literally. It helps that the content didn’t offend the consumers or the brand too.
What you’re thinking of saying, would your competitors say it?
Following a tragic event, would you be better off posting generic condolence messages as every Tom, Dick and Harry? Stuff like #NeverForget and ‘Our prayers are with …..’ come out as desperate and out of place at your brand’s Social media pages. People are smart enough to figure out if it’s just you getting some mileage out of an event or an attempt at genuine concern.
Photo shopping your product into developing news story is a surefire way to earn public backlash. But then again, doing social good with a bit of thoughtfulness for a public cause that you’re promoting is fair game. Raising money for charities and volunteering are good for your brand image. No two words about it.
It’s all about the timing.
An innocuously innocent social media post can potentially turn into Mockery Central if some wise guy posts it at the wrong time. Commemorating 9/11 a day after the fact is a case at point. Social media managers should take due care to schedule and double check the timing of their posts.
Because once it’s out there, it’s out there. Prematurely deleting the offending post won’t deter eagle eyed citizens. That’s how it is.
DO you really need to say it?
Honest Abe was right. Brands have their reputations to guard. Just one simple post can do irreparable damage to your brand on account of thoughtlessness.
And besides, your fans won’t skewer you if you ‘go dark’ for one day.