Should businesses take a political or social stand? Would you support a brand that shared strong opinions on different real issues? Or should brands stick to what they know – their products and services? These are essential questions in the age of social media marketing. This article outlines when brands should opt for sharing their opinions and what precautions they should take.
Pros of Being An Opinionated Brand
A brand stands to improve its relatability and transparency with the audience if it takes a social or political stand. Here are the advantages of taking a stand:
Make A Difference:
Brands can make a difference in popular opinion and highlight community responsibility and social issues through their content. With a broad reach, businesses can make a tangible difference on a scale. Socially responsible companies also attract potential employees.
Customers believe that brands have the power to unite diverse audiences and connect with a large customer base. This is why customers are likely to develop respect and support for a brand that uses its comprehensive platform to address issues and start conversations.
Content is served to audiences on silver platters in this day and age. Customers have access to endless amounts of information. What matters is how current the content is. Brands can use current events and issues to bring relevant content to the customers.
When Should Companies Share Their Opinions
According to a survey by SproutSocial, the topics on which brands express their opinions are significant. This chart covers the themes that audiences feel brands should engage with.
Image source: sproutsocial.com/brandsgetreal
This is always a win with customers and is critical to today’s world. A company should show commitment to maintaining the three pillars of sustainability, i.e., economic, environmental, and social. The Deloitte 2021 Millennials and Gen Z survey reveals alarming insights about people’s decreasing trust in companies and their need for accountability. Being a brand with socially responsible action is crucial in this climate.
IKEA is the perfect example of a company committed to sustainability in its practices and its dialogue with the audience. It is part of their product design which is reusable, recyclable and repurposed to their stories which utilise sustainable lighting and infrastructure. Not to mention, IKEA gets out its message of environmentalism to its audience through the website, videos, and social media channels.
While sending the right message is the priority, a company should focus on content that goes hand in hand with the product or services offered. The Dove Real Beauty Campaign by Unilever is one such example. Dove is a beauty product, and this messaging aligns with its main USP and is, therefore, a great addition to its content strategy.
Precautions To Take When Taking a Stand
Expressing strong opinions, especially socially divisive opinions, is always a risk. A business should take a stand only when it truly believes in the cause that it commits to. Companies ought to look for a cause to support that aligns with their philosophy. At the same time, it is essential not to engage in conversations superficially. A company should be willing to support its message with action. As the old proverb goes, practice what you preach.