Hi all! Welcome back to the #SocialBlog!
When injustices, political views, religions, natural disasters and other topics become prominent in your community you may find yourself as a business owner thinking:
“What can I do to help and show I care while still promoting my brand”?
This can at times turn into a sticky situation based on how your community currently views you, if you have publicly spoken about your political views and if your employees share their views on social media.
I want to be very clear when I say this that there is a FINE LINE between sharing your viewpoint and being disrespectful of another’s viewpoint.
Read my four tips on how to read your room correctly no matter what is going on in the world.
Audit your company’s current marketing and communications strategy. When major events happen, whether it’s only in your community or throughout the world, it’s important to ensure that your strategy(ies) align with current events. As much as we would like business to “continue as normal,” when major events happen sometimes that’s just not possible. Be mindful of what you are posting and if you are questioning, “should I post this,” take the safe route and don’t post it.
Don’t just “post” that you support a cause, show that you do. Just because you post a logo with the rainbow in it during pride month or post a trend to help support a cause, doesn’t mean you are “showing” an inviting environment. Now is the time to get creative within your means and show your community that you support them. Whether it’s donating to local charities, food drives or sharing content to help create awareness, it’s important that if you believe in something as a business that you promote that belief. Don’t be afraid to ask your following for other suggestions on charities, you can never give too much to something you believe in.
Protect yourself as a business. Living in America, you have the privilege to have freedom of thought and speech. I am in no way saying that a business owner should hide their views on current events, however, there is a time and a place for that opinion. It’s important to keep your company confidential when making political donations, speaking your mind (in a respectful manner) when you disagree with someone, “making a joke,” sharing content to a personal social media page and the list goes on. This tip is especially important when there’s a business with multiple owners. You don’t need to all agree on your personal views, but you do need to agree on the position your business will take on specific views.
Keep on top of movements that you might want to take part in. A great example of this was the #BlackOutTuesday movement that started on Instagram and spilled into other social media platforms. Movements like these can be extremely important for your business. You can choose to support, and in this case share a “black square,” or you can stay silent, but knowing that that particular Tuesday was meant to show the support for the Black Lives Matter Movement, it’s extremely important, as a business, to not post “normal content” no matter your feelings about the movement. Be respectful and remember that your brand could be at stake, even if you “didn’t know” about something.
Major current events can derail your communications strategy(ies), but sometimes that’s for the best. Know where your company stands on specific topics, be prepared and read your room before moving forward with posts and tactics that you are unsure about.
If you are having a hard time responding to negative feedback, learn how to better approach the situation here.
Continue to prepare your company with these crisis communications tips.