After the Pulwama Attack in last week, social media platforms are naturally flooded with very sharp and sentimental views where most of us are talking about martyrs, their sacrifices and as a country, the resolve and decisive action that we must take to avenge their deaths. The nation is angry, outraged and these sentiments will not fade away easily this time.
We marketers (and by extension our brands) often (always?) play safe when it comes to the issues like national policies, politics or real societal urgencies.
On the other hand, brands, these days, strive to humanize themselves. This is especially true for digital platforms where they want to be part of the organic conversation. And no marketer really want to let go a single opportunity of #momentmarketing in social media.
What do you think brands (us) should be doing here? I understand as a corporate entity operating in various geographies, it would be difficult for brands, to express such sharp (and polarizing) views. But the real question is if they should operate in a complete silo and pretend as if nothing has happened and continue with their regular content calendar? Or should they not post any update for that matter? Or should the brands go ahead and condemn the attack they way most of their TG has done (and be one of them – humanize?)?
While there are few brands who have came out and supported government or military with tangible ways – like Paytm making it easier for its users to donate funds, Reliance pulling out from the production of Pakistan Super League, most of the brands have stuck to the first two – which may not be the wrong thing to do as their opinion probably won’t have any effect on policies and actions.
I am not saying it’s possible for every brand to contribute in a tangible way and mere post of social media is enough. But when the users get to see these same brands come up with interesting stuff to capitalize on moments/topicality frequently, it won’t be long when such silence will be considered odd and people will in a way expect some response.
Do brands need to respond to such real issues (on social media)? Or there’s no merit in doing that? What do you think?