While I’m well-known for my long and thorough how-to posts, I want to take a minute for a shorter, more important one on why you should always-always pay attention to your social media scheduled content and ads!
You may be thinking to yourself of course, I should be!
- I’m not just talking about your sales and how product ads are converting.
- I’m not talking about audience numbers and click-through rates.
- I’m talking about devastating events, and how they can negatively affect your brand with amazing quickness.
When Tragedy Strikes “Business-as-Usual” on Social Media Should Stop
Just a few days ago, a lone gunman from out of the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel opened fire on a music festival across the street and below him. At the time of this writing, there are more than 500 people wounded and 58 killed. That number is staggering. It is horrifying.
And while people are trying to wrap their heads around what has happened to their friends and loved ones, and others, like me, are simply trying to understand the why’s, there are plenty of brands out there with advertising on schedule and business-as-usual posts appearing all over social media.
No one can plan for these events. No one knows when they will happen. But when they do, we need to be vigilant as marketers and advertisers and review our social media posts, ads – and consider hitting pause.
Taking a Step Back for the Bigger Picture
When an atrocity happens, we need to be the first ones running to our computers to shut down our ads, turn off scheduled posts, and reevaluate our content in the pipeline.
It’s moments like these that can truly break a company’s image because they are careless, or even callous, with their advertising or social media posts. We’ve seen it again and again. Gap, LiveNation, and American Apparel are just a few examples.
All of these brands either tried to use a tragedy to their advantage, or allowed a pre-scheduled post to ruin the sentiment toward their company. Something like this can mean a multitude of things, from loss of revenue (which may not recover for weeks or even months) and loss of loyalty, to worse things like going under. (If you’re a small local business, enough bad press around town can make you toast.)
Be Better – Do Better
Here’s an example of what I personally saw during my regular work on a client’s LinkedIn profile:
Literally, two posts above this promotion in my feed was this:
And worse? Two posts below it was another post from another media outlet with the same story about people being hurt and killed in Las Vegas. Luckily, that wasn’t a photo of the Mandalay Bay in the ad. As a consumer, it would have ended my interest in attending the event.
Can you imagine scrolling through your feed and seeing these two posts next to each other? Perhaps you might do what I did, and just shake your head. (And then do a screen capture and write this article.)
But even worse, you could never look at that business or brand the same again. Any purchases you were planning to make have just been moved to a competitor.
Turn On the News and Turn Social Media Scheduled Content Off
When tragedy strikes, the best way to approach it is to turn on the news and turn off your posts and advertising, just while everything is calming down and people are learning what’s happening.
Use your platforms to voice the company’s unification with efforts to help those that have been affected, especially if it’s something like a national disaster where volunteers and money are needed.
- No one wants to see your ads when something this momentous and dreadful is happening.
- No one cares about your company when something like this is going on. Wait it out, and when people have had a chance to calm down, turn things back on.
- Be sure you’ve taken a hard look at your copy and images so that nothing can be misconstrued.
Care about people. Protect your brand. Be a good human. We can do better. We can be better.
What steps do you take to review your social media posts when tragedy strikes? Share below.