Too often the headline, “Company makes social media blunder, offends large group of people,” goes by on social media. And these headlines aren’t exclusive to social media, but can happen with any advertising, public relations or marketing tactic. There are a few simple ways to avoid this becoming your reality.
Use Common Sense
If your are recognizing a day of remembrance of a tragedy, you can pretty much guarantee slipping a product reference or sale price in to your social media or other content or advertising is probably going to be received poorly. People are passionate about these events, and if they think you are trying to make a profit off of a national tragedy, they will call you on it. If you are going to recognize this day, separate your promotional materials. Have to push a sale or marketing piece, then don’t recognize the day of remembrance, or what ever the tragedy or event might be, at the same time. Make separate posts, and space them out a bit.
I know I’m the biggest poster child for planning ahead, but this is even more important in this type of situation. Think out what you are going to say well before hand. One word slightly out of place could be enough to upset your audience. I find myself double checking the meanings of words that I know the meanings of, just to be sure it can’t be taken in a way I didn’t intend.
We all know that tone is lost in written digital communications, so make sure your tone can not be misconstrued. If you take the time to do this all ahead of the posting time, then you can be confident your post won’t land you in hot social media water.
Wear Other’s Shoes
Take some time to research the event or day that you will be making a post for. Do you consider Memorial Day as the first day of summer? You should probably take some time to read up on what Memorial Day is for others. An easy way to get an overall understanding is reading up on the topic on Wikipedia. I find that Wikipedia typically shows a well-rounded view on big topics like these. This especially applies when talking to an international audience.
Now that you know these easy ways to avoid these marketing blunders, go forth and avoid them!