How brands should react to times of tragedy on social media

I took notice of brands and how they managed their social media channels in the face of tragedy yesterday.  Some took time to acknowledge the hardship immediately, almost making it look like a race to see who could be sad first.  Others moved forward with business as usual.  Neither choice seemed right.

My advice: silence.  Turn everything off until things feel right.  It doesn’t matter whether you sell lawnmowers or bubble gum, your consumers don’t need to hear your brand’s thoughts on the tragedy until things settle down a bit.  You don’t win any brownie points by being the first brand to show compassion on our Facebook newsfeed.  In fact, it looks downright patronizing.

Just give everyone a few days to focus on what matters and then come back when conducting your normal business feels right.  If you want to share some condolences when things resume, fine.  Do it and move on. Your North Star should be whether it is appropriate to conduct normal business.

And if you really feel compelled to show your respect or compassion, do it like Kevin Durant did last night.

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