How To Determine If Your Brand Should Join In


By Rachel Hadley To post, or not to post, that is the question –

Brands are often criticized for participating in current events, especially with the rise of marketing these efforts through social media. With September 11 just a few weeks away, we find ourselves debating what to do on our social channels.

In 2002, Budweiser aired a commercial only once during the Super Bowl:

I can’t help but think if it would have been received with the same positive light if Twitter had been around then. Or if the same type of tribute was posted to its social channels. Would it have received the backlash that AT&T received last year?

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is another recent example. Some would say brands participating in this event have hurt the cause rather than help it. If a brand can be true to itself, then why not? Take Old Spice, for instance:

When deciding whether or not to join the conversation, it’s important to ask yourself the following:

  1. Why are we considering participating?

Are you really posting to spread awareness of an organization or to honor victims of a tragedy? Or are you purely marketing your brand?

  1. Does it make sense for our brand?

If there is an obvious tie-in to your business and a clear purpose of the post, go for it!

  1. Could it be seen as insensitive?

If the answer is yes, it will be important to determine the risk. Not everyone is going to like what you do, no matter how good your intentions are, but asking yourself this question could provide a good litmus test to determine whether or not you should join in the conversation.

How do you feel about brands participating in current events? Share your thoughts in the comments below!