It is a well known fact nowadays that society’s dependence on real-time messaging through social media and other platforms like WhatsApp or Facebook has increased to a worrying extent over the last decade. Even though these platforms were originally created with the promise of bringing people, groups and communities closer together, it is more common that the opposite actually happens and people are driven to isolation. The odd side of this is that despite the initial promise, brands and platforms will now do everything in their power to make sure they offer you “algorithmically customized” feeds to cater to your personal tastes, preferences and beliefs creating even further isolation.
This is not an issue that occurs in one industry only as politicians, actors, sportsmen (and women) and singers will all admit.
Don’t leave any factual holes in your social copy.
It is very important you “do your research” over the matter or discussion you are having or posting about. By focusing your criticism on something that could easily be challenged or refuted, you are unwittingly making your main argument..open to questioning and hence also open to debate among people who may have already made up their minds.
This same lesson applies more generally to the importance of fact-checking. If you want that social copy to be ironclad, then make sure none of it is questionable or outright untrue.
Stay away from comments about age, appearance or personal identifiers.
This really should be self-explanatory and go without saying but unfortunately it is not the case. Your messaging shouldn’t contain any identifiers or qualifiers about people that you wouldn’t comfortably say to the face of a co-worker in a healthy workplace. So make sure to avoid such simple errors that could lead to enormous issues later on
Don’t crowdsource opinions or ideas through your brand. It’s one thing to ask a general question to your audiences when the answers directly feed into the product or service you’re offering—”what’s your favorite ice cream,” for example. But the minute you offer a personal opinion through your brand or organization’s social channels, you’re tethering that opinion to the organization at large and undermining your communications team’s plan for an integrated, calculated messaging strategy.
Take the high road when faced with backlash. It can occasionally pay back but generally, sharing or responding to backlash is only going to exacerbate the crisis. Your brand should have a clear strategy for when to respond and when not especially if the backlash is on a scale so small that it will eventually fizzle out on its own. In instances when it seems the backlash isn’t going away, taking the high road means providing context and staying measured. The person who can communicate most calmly and reasonably always appears in control, even when that isn’t actually the case.
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