On the anniversary of September 11th, Senator Mike Crapo sent out a social media blast commemorating the day. Mike Crapo wasn’t the only politician who took the time to remember the people we’d lost and commemorate the day in a way that was heartfelt and sincere.
Sadly, not all social media posts that day were sincere and respectful. Every year, brands get in trouble for trying to use days of remembrance to sell their product, be it the anniversary of 9/11 or Memorial Day. For most people, the distasteful nature of these posts are obvious. However, that doesn’t stop misguided marketers from making the same mistake year after year.
The last thing you want is for your brand to look petty, cheap or disrespectful. To help you ensure that your company maintains a positive reputation and image on social media, here’s a guide on how brands can communicate successfully on days of remembrance.
Never Ever Mention Products, Sales or Promotions
Once in a while, a brand will be able to rationalize why it’s acceptable to promote a product on a day of remembrance. For example, a company that manufactures American flags could easily rationalize why promoting a Memorial Day sale is perfectly reasonable. However, this is something that all companies should steer clear of, no matter how relevant it might feel. People don’t like companies that appear to be trying to make a buck off of a tragedy. No matter how you rationalize it, simply avoid ever mentioning products, sales or promotions on a day of remembrance.
Don’t Reinvent The Wheel
People are sensitive on days of remembrance, especially if they were personally affected by the tragedy that’s being commemorated. When you’re writing your social media posts for these days, you might feel an urge to come up with something unique, clever and wholly original. However, there really isn’t a good reason to reinvent the wheel. Don’t strive to “stand out” on a day of remembrance. Instead, post a simple, concise and sincere message honoring the day and move on. Trying to come up with something unique is a bit risky on a day where everyone is feeling a little extra sensitive.
Don’t Brand Your Memorial Posts
A lot of companies try to get around the “don’t push a product” rule by branding their memorial posts. For example, in a Memorial Day post, a company will publish a picture of an American flag with their logo subtly inserted into the bottom corner. Most people see through this and feel annoyed with the companies who choose to do this. When you’re publishing a social media post on a day of remembrance, don’t mention your brand at all. Instead, keep your message heartfelt and free of any and all marketing.
Remember, a post on a day of remembrance is about reminding your community that your company cares. It’s not about selling a product or pushing your brand. Keep these messages simple, sincere and heartfelt. If you do, you won’t run the risk of alienating your consumer or attracting negative press to your company.