We had a chat in the office yesterday about the trend in marketing and social media for honesty. With 2018 being the year the word #toxic was voted Word of the Year, there’s desire for transparency in how social media is used, and how marketing campaigns are strategised.
We accept the trade-off for the benefits of an online life, but in the year when it became obvious the data had been used for political ends, to sway debate and to (perhaps) win elections, it’s no surprise that people now want their online interactions to do exactly what they say they’re going to do, with no hidden agendas.
How honest are YOU?
We also tend to accept that there’s going to be a wee bit of (we won’t say fibbing, perhaps curation is a better term) when we post online: we don’t post the picture of us falling out of a taxi after the office party. But the super-cute image of you standing smiling and sober next to your colleagues before dinner is going to make it to your Instagram and your LinkedIn, if you’re looking especially dynamic and efficient.
As businesses, though, there’s a problem with honesty. Because not everyone is going to like your truth. Take the Nike campaign with Colin Kaepernick as a great example. The brand’s ad campaign went viral because it took on Kaepernick as an ambassador after he famously #TooktheKnee at an NFL game to protest police brutality, and the treatment of POC.
The campaign caused huge controversy in the United States. The hashtag #JustBurnIt trended on Twitter, with people videoing themselves burning Nike products in protest at the brand’s apparent stance against the NFL and Donald Trump.
Cynical marketing ploy or not, Nike have subsequently made over $6 billion dollars since the ad went live.
Transparency in your own business
So what happens if your client base happens to be opposed to your truth? If your customers are in opposition to your personal politics, what happens then? Content that humanises your business (think Twitter feeds about your pets/what book you’re reading, not the Snapchat pics of that boozy weekend in Prague) creates a positive connection, but if you start posting your stance on #Brexit that can cause negativity you don’t need on your timeline.
What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you over on our Twitter page (@digidamarketing).