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How Brands Should Address Social Media Trends on Sensitive Topics

How Brands Should Address Social Media Trends on Sensitive Topics

It is safe to say most of you reading this have seen the slap heard across the Internet. If you are not sure what I am referring to,  watch the Oscars’ clip here. This celebrity studded incident has made waves across the Internet and into news feeds across all platforms. 

As a social media marketing manager, you may have thought about sharing one of the many memes floating around on your brand’s socials. However, it also is possible (like us) you refrained from hopping on the Will Smith meme trend.

Social media trends are like candy for us social media marketers and content creators, but there can be serious consequences for your brand and society when you participate.

How Social Media Trends Impact Your brand

Frist: Depending on the celebrity involved, the context of the joke, and what it truly represents to your audience will all reflect on you. 

a. If they love Will Smith that could make them unhappy with your brand. 

b. If they are pro Chris Rock, they could reflect feelings of animosity for supporting a violent attack on their beloved comedian. 

Second: Something done in poor taste such as the Will Smith/Chris Rock incident can make your brand seem tonedeaf. 

a. Think about it. First there is promoting violence, then there is capitalizing on someone else’s mental instability. 

b. What does that say about your brand?

How a Meme and Social Media Trend Can Represent So Much More

Even though something is “trending,” that does not mean it is marketing or brand appropriate. The recent incident at the Oscars represents a few different things to many consumers such as:

To many users on social media, the silly meme you shared represents much more than a social media trend, meme or joke.

When is it okay to hop on a social media trend?

Well, this answer is different for every brand, company, and organization. It is important for everything you share and do on behalf of your brand to be thought through. When it comes to trends, we ask ourselves the following questions to help us decide:

Depending on your answers, it will be clear as to if the trend is worth participating in or if it will possibly hurt your brand or society. For us, joking about violence and potential mental health issues is not something to which we want to contribute. 

Ogilvy Greece helped their Client Ikea jump on the Bernie Sanders trend to capitalize on the social media trend.

Not participating in the Will Smith/Chris rock trend was the right choice, but that is for LHM Strategic and our brand. It is important to always do what is right for you (or your clients).

Social media is a reactive place, but as social media marketers, it is our job to Keep Calm (see what I did there) and represent our brands authentically at all times. Doing so will have a much greater return than one day of organic reach.

If you are a brand or business looking for some extra hands when it comes to creating social media content or managing your brand online, LHM Strategic would love to chat! Contact us today!

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