Whenever there is an unexpected world or news event, people tend to show their true colors through social media. Some of it is beautiful, and some of it is ugly. With so much hate and fear that rapidly spreads during these events, you want to make sure you’re not contributing to the viral misuse of information on social media.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflection following the heartbreaking attack in Manchester. I’ve been thinking about how we, as young professionals, can use our social media “power” to cultivate a message of hope, rather than sorrow. So here are a few tips for keeping your brand in good terms when things aren’t going so well in the world around us.
Review your posting timeline.
Turn off certain scheduled posts or promoted ads. I hope this would be common sense, but sometimes we need a reminder. If you have scheduled posts that would not compliment the current news situation, please try to remember to turn them off or reschedule them. Not only would it look bad for you, or your brand, to be tweeting out something uncouth in relation to the current event, but it will also be wasted content because you won’t be getting any clicks or readers at this crucial time.
Read before you share.
Click on a link and read the content before retweeting! Make sure you’re sharing news you think you’re sharing. You don’t want to be linked to accidentally spreading “fake news” because a link didn’t go where it said it would go.
I mean, Abraham Lincoln has a point……
photo from: Pinterest
Look at an image from all angles.
Be cautious of photos you’re retweeting of the incident. Every year, I always make sure to discuss what is appropriate to send out in the remembrance of 9/11 with my interns. One thing I am very adamant about is that we don’t share images or videos of the planes going into the towers, or the towers falling. You don’t know how that devastating image may be a trigger for someone who was gravely affected by that day. And yes, an image of people trying to give aid to an injured person may be a symbol of compassion, but what if the injured person were your family member? Would you want that image to go viral? We want to spread images of hope, not despair, and we want to be cognizant of the mental state of those involved in the incident.
Follow your core values.
Make sure that the content you’re sharing still follows the mission and vision of your brand. You may be moved by an image or quote and want to share it, but will it disrupt the unbiased nature of your brand? It never hurts to run an image by a friend, or coworker, before posting.
And if you’re just not sure what to do always remember: be smart, be civil, be kind. It can go a long way.