Social Media Tributes: Brands Beware

Thinking about what to post on social media as a brand is exhausting… and endless.

So when something big happens globally, many brands want to easily jump on the content creation bandwagon as it passes.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II last week meant that social media was flooded with tributes, comments and outpourings of sentiment.

Among these tributes, there were many brands that did it right, for example Paddington Bear The sweet tribute to Madame was hugely on point as they had partnered with the Queen on several occasions, recently releasing an endearing video which showed Paddington and the Queen having tea together at Buckingham Palace for the Platinum Jubilee.

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Selfridges also led the way with a touching tribute, darkening its windows and closing its main stores for the day. Clearly a move that was not based on sales.

But there were also plenty of brands that were nothing short of commendable and clearly hadn’t given it much thought, exposing themselves to ruthless social media heckling and subsequent brand damage.

There was a slew of condolences mirroring West End productions such as hamilton and Les Miserables, and although I am not a theater expert, I believe that these productions are about uprisings and revolution against the monarchy? Les Miserables has since deleted his inconsiderate post, but the damage was already done.

We’ve also seen downright disrespectful posts from CrossFit UK with the Queen Elizabeth II Tribute Workout and interesting posts from Dominos, the British Kebab Prices and even McDonald’s. I didn’t know Her Majesty personally, but didn’t she strike me as someone who went to Maccas for a Big Mac to cure her hangover? Then we have BooHoo fashion, again I struggle to see the relevance of this one, unless maybe you need an outfit for the King Charles coronation?

While I think it’s right to honor the life of someone who has served the Commonwealth for 70 years and dedicated his life to the throne, I also think it’s right to take a little time to s sit down with the idea and figure out if it’s really relevant to you and your brand.

When considering taking part in a trending global movement such as the death of a much-loved monarch, I think it’s important to review your brand values ​​- is it part of a narrative you once had ? And will continue to have? Or are you just jumping on the bandwagon and looking for trending content?

The first and most important rule of social media is that you don’t have to post just because everyone else is.

If you’re unsure or if this is just a thinly veiled attempt to drive traffic to you, my advice would be to skip this one…or your brand might end up paying for it.

Nicole Jameson, digital strategist and director of Dark Horse Agency

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