When it comes to posting on social media during turbulent times, most brands are just trying to do the best they can. Navigating when to post, or even if they should, is a question that doesn’t always have a clear answer but after deciding, may be met with backlash from consumers.
In a time of political, social, and economic upheaval, the culture of social media is changing. Several reactions can come out of the woodwork whether a brand is or isn’t sensitive to any cataclysm occurring nationally or internationally.
If a brand DOES decide to post in solidarity with a just cause, social media users could believe it’s unprofessional and brand’s shouldn’t take a stance.
If a brand DOESN’T post anything in regards to solidarity or lack of solidarity with a just cause, users could assume that the brand doesn’t support the movement or those affected.
It’s quite the thin tightrope to balance on but if call-out culture finds you, here are some ways to navigate it.
Move Quickly, But Listen
We’ve seen it: even the most innocent, meant-to-be-harmless post from a brand on social media can turn into a meme, a hashtag, go viral, and be met with criticism.
If this happens to you/your brand, don't’ turn away; listen to them. What’s their tone? Are they asking for anything? What exactly are their concerns? Pull info about your brand: mentions, hashtags, analytics, and more, to understand the conversation that’s being had around you. Hear what your audience is saying. This should help you more easily develop an appropriate and genuine response.
Authenticity Is Key
We’ve mentioned this before in previous blogs. The more authentic you are, the more personable you are, the more connected consumers will feel to your brand. The same goes for crafting your response to a less-than-desirable social media rumble surrounding your brand.
3 out of 5 consumers say that dishonesty from a brand will cause them to complain.
55% of consumers call brands out on social media in hopes of a resolution.
Only 8% wouldn’t say anything if they recognized inappropriate behavior from a brand.
It’s safe to say that IF you find yourself in a sticky situation, you must try to understand and develop a sincere apology.
The “fauxpology” doesn’t work on social media. Consumers see right through it.
Your apology should not include the word, “but.” As Dr. Phil says, “'But' means forget everything I just said. Now I'm going to tell you what I really mean.”
Address the actual issue. Don’t beat around the bush or stray to another topic.
Humanize your brand by owning up to your mistakes.
It’s understandable that if your brand is a much larger business, the PR team, lawyers, and heads of departments may have to be consulted - also dependi