We’ve all seen them before, a trending hashtag or current event. Often times, this can provide businesses an opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of potential customers with a well-crafted tweet or press release. However, as enticing as it may be, we recommend not jumping on the bandwagon blindly.
Make sure that your businesses objectives align with the trending topic. We’ve seen complete Twitter disasters in the past ranging from Kmart’s shameless self-promotion after the Newton Shooting to Kenneth Cole promoting their spring collection during the Cairo uprising. If not properly aligned, businesses can be seen as opportunistic, distasteful and untrustworthy.
As a best practice, you (as a business owner) and your business should generally keep your opinions about current events to yourself. This is not to say, do not take a stand for what you believe in – by all means do! Just consider the possible ramifications of proclaiming an unfavorable opinion. You are always a representative of your business, your employees and your community. Consider the CEO of Chick Fil-A’s opinion on marriage equality, while he is certainly entitle to his own opinion he also represents thousands of employees whose own opinions may not reflect his. In addition, given the current social ramifications for proclaiming such an unpopular view, affects many of these employees' well-being as they rely on these paychecks to support themselves and their families.
Furthermore, if you do feel the need to speak your mind via social media, triple-check that you are not using your business’ accounts when you post about potentially personal or controversial topics! We’ve seen agencies and local businesses in the past make inappropriate posts by simply forgetting to switch to their personal accounts. Remember, nothing is truly ever deleted from the internet. If it may be offensive, odds are you shouldn’t post it. For more social media blunders check out Search Engine Journal’s article (https://www.searchenginejournal.com/35-social-media-fails/95613/).
Switching gears, when commenting on current events done tastefully, businesses can create a resounding impact on viewers and further cement loyalty. Nike, for example, released this advertisement during the Grammy Awards commenting on social equality. The ad has been viewed over 4.5 million times on YouTube and has been very well received by the masses. Another similarly well executed ad commenting on current events would be Coke a Cola’s “America the Beautiful” ad.
Other examples, with less social ramifications, are luxury brands posting pictures of celebrities adorning their products at an event. Roberto Coin, Rolex and IWC all posted socially throughout the Oscars coverage knowing that they could tap into a huge audience that was following the event.
So to briefly recap, if you are planning on leveraging a trending topic or current event, make sure that is falls within your business’ objectives, is tasteful and non-opportunistic. If possible, avoid sharing potentially controversial personal opinions as they will not only affect your business but also your employees and their families. However, when implemented correctly your business can reap huge rewards and attract a large targeted audience.
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