What Do You Do with Social Media Content During a Tragedy?
There Is No One Answer
By Mike Brown
- -Do you act like major networks and news programs and start exclusively sharing updates and (second hand) news about the tragedy?
- -Do you act like a cable network and keep up with whatever social media content was already planned, irrespective of the news?
- -Do you go completely dark out of respect for the tragedy and its victims?
One safe answer seems to be sending out your brand’s thoughts to a tragedy’s victims. Thoughts are nice, although not particularly efficacious. Some brands take advantage of their large audiences to help broadcast emergency and relief updates. Some brands are willing to go out on a limb and offer prayers. Since many times all you can do in these situations is pray or pay (i.e., donate), prayers are at the top of the heap to help victims.
Other brands, keep on with what social media content was already planned (or inappropriately chosen amid the tragedy), as others (typically individuals) spend their time calling these brands out for their social media miscues.
Perhaps the safest answer is to go dark in the face of tragedy. The challenge is there are tragedies and victims daily.
So does that mean a brand should NEVER share any social media?
No, it doesn’t.
But when there’s discussion about the importance of being “human” on social media, it’s not some b.s. social media strategy mumbo jumbo. You do have to be human with your social media content, no matter how big or small your brand is.
And if you’re human with your social media sharing every day, you have a lot better chance of getting it right when a human tragedy is close enough to intersect with your social media content.
Mike Brown is the founder of the Brainzooming Group. He has been at the forefront of leading Fortune 500 culture change, contributing new approaches in research, developing simplified tools for innovation, strategy planning, and aligning sales, marketing, and communications strategies for maximum business results. Additionally, he’s won multiple awards for his strategic brand-building approach to customer experiences in NASCAR and conference event marketing efforts.