Social uproar is just part of our “normal” these days. 2020 started off with Australian fires, moved to COVID-19, the brief murder hornets, through Black Lives Matter protests, to mask mandates, and Wayfairgate. Don’t forget major politics sprinkled in because, on top of everything else, this is an election year.
If you’re a kind person you have sympathy for each one of these events. You’ve seen businesses post statements online about their “stance” on each issue. You probably know your business should be saying something, but you don’t know WHAT to say, HOW to say it, WHEN to say it, or HOW OFTEN to repeat yourself.
Your business needs to say something for 3 reasons:
1 – Internet Trolls and Keyboard Warriors will make you look bad through vicious comments if you do not make a statement. Avoid that by…making a timely statement.
2 – Your loyal customers deserve an update about your business (if it was affected by the uproar).
3 – You want your business to be on the right side of history. Support what needs to be supported.
As a digital marketing professional of over 10 years, I’m prepared to help you navigate future social uproars in a timely and compassionate manner.
Let’s dive in.
#1 – Yes, Your Business Has To Say Something
Even if your business has NOTHING to do with the social uproar of the week, your business does need to take a stand. It’s far more embarrassing to be on the wrong side of history simply because you didn’t make a statement.
Your statement can be short, sweet, and to the point. You do not need to change anyone’s mind with your business statement, simply make it clear where your values are.
To keep things light, I’ll use murder hornets as an example.
“The staff and management at Schrute Farms send our thoughts & sympathies to those affected by the murder hornet invasion. In light of the situation, Schrute Farms will be running on limited hours and donating a portion of our proceeds to the Murder Hornet Victim Fund. If you or your family has been affected, please let us know how we can help.”
This statement is 1. Not political, 2. Places no blame, 3. Shares what your business is doing, and 4. Offers help.
You do not need to use social uproar trendy hashtags. This is not a time to reach out to new audiences, but a time to tell your current followers what’s going on. Using hashtags on your statement will fill the hashtag with statements instead of timely & useful information about the uproar.
#2 – Say something, I’m giving up on you
Make your statement in a timely fashion, preferably between 1-2 days of the first you hear of the social uproar.
Do not wait weeks to come up with a game plan. If you need more time to knock out details, issue a short statement with a promise to follow up and a time stamp.
“Schrute Farms recognizes the horror of the murder hornet invasion, and we are working on a solution for our loyal patrons. We will have more information for you by tomorrow – please follow our Facebook page for updates.”
Remember to follow up with an update in the time frame you promised.
#3 – This is why we plan our content
If you’ve listened to every other digital marketing professional out there, you’re already planning your content in advance. We plan our content to make day-to-day life easier, but it can also make responding to an uproar easier too.
You’ve already got the skills & practice in scheduling your content. All you have to do is alter your posts to include uproar details, or push the content back for later while you post day-to-day as the uproar changes the climate of your business.
#4 – Practice what you preach
Don’t post a statement just to be trendy. Social uproar is real, and your loyal customers want to spend their dollars at establishments that support their values.
If murder hornets are ravaging they city, take down the hornet feeder & stop buying supplies from businesses that breed hornets. Offer hornet repellent at a discount and put a protective net around the windows.
You can do it, I believe in you!
If you’ve got more questions about responding to social uproar as a business, send us an email at email@example.com. We’re happy to help!