As COVID-19 and protests against racial injustice and police brutality engulf America, the pressure on brands to respond quickly is great— but so are the repercussions for empty words.
When it comes to both the impacts of COVID-19 and issues of systemic inequality, brands must back up their words with action or risk swift backlash from employees and consumers.
Brands should consider these guidelines for authentically and effectively using social media right now:
- Communicate internally first. Make sure you have reached out to your employees and other internal stakeholders to solicit feedback and achieve consensus.
- Remember actions speak louder than words. One social media post will likely not be enough. Outline the steps you are taking to improve diversity and inclusion through hiring and charitable giving.
- Offer a unique perspective. Describing donations you’ve made is important, but telling authentic stories and inspiring audiences can be more memorable and impactful in the long run.
- Be an amplifier, not a distractor. Not commenting may feel inadequate, but creating noise is worse. Ensure any public statement or action is constructive. If your organization is not able to contribute resources, highlight and/or express gratitude for the work of others.
- Be transparent. In committing to intentional change, acknowledge past failures and how systemic racism may be impacting how your organization functions.
- Be specific. In your commitments, be clear about the issues you’re addressing, who you’re helping and how you’re being held accountable.