The appeal of social media is obvious. Social media gives brands the chance to reach and directly interact with a forward-thinking, early-adopting customer base. This demographic is a marketers’ dream. However, with any free exchange of thought platform comes brand safety measures for advertisers. Marketers must learn how to respond on social media during sensitive matters without appearing tone deaf. Here are a few rules to keep in mind:
1. Do no harm
Navigating sensitive events can be intimidating, but the good news is consumers want to hear from their favorite brands. Twitter conducted a survey and found that more than two-thirds of people surveyed thought that brand communication was especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than 90% thought that brands should acknowledge hardships in real time. Nonetheless, it can be hard to know when to move forward with a planned marketing campaign in the midst of an ever-changing news environment. Brands should assess all new sensitive situations on a regular basis, understand their level of practical or emotional exposure, listen to their community when considering a response and adjust accordingly.
2. Be true to your brand and your customers
Study after study shows that consumers don’t want avoidance or ambivalence from their brands. Brands should meet their consumers where they are and connect authentically. More than ever, consumers want brands to take a stand on issues that matter to them, and 82% of people on Twitter believe brands should use their platforms for good. The brands who find a way to connect to people and understand the gravity of a moment always rise to the top.
3. Beware of the boomerang effect
There are hardly any sensitive events that occur and then disappear overnight. Most events will still need to be surveilled for changes that may ultimately affect your response. Only once your team has completed your brand’s sensitive event strategy should you return to your regularly scheduled tweeting.
Social media can help start a conversation with people who wouldn’t always be given the chance to contribute. Having regular, reassuring interactions with a favored brand will drive loyalty and trust. So, make the most of these free platforms because in just a couple of posts your brand can become viral and in turn positively impact your business.
Carolina Macedo, the author, is Project Coordinator of Marketing Keys.