Growing up, we learned the consequences of not being accountable and taking responsibility. Whether it was losing our phone for a week or getting detention after school, there was always a lesson learned when we broke the rules. We may not have known at the time, but these consequences taught us the importance of being accountable for our actions.
In recent years, we’ve seen brands having to take responsibility, especially online, when consumers are offended by their actions. We are in a pivotal time with distrust increasing as consumers simply don’t know where to go for reliable information and trust on social media is at an all-time low. As a result, communication and marketing standards are higher than ever. As consumers expect full transparency, brands must deliver. Online users will quickly and loudly call out brands on social media, which is why a positive perception through transparent messaging is vital to protecting a brand and mitigating risk. Healthy relationships and online conversations with consumers will lead to long-term trust.
Social media is where consumers expect the greatest level of authenticity. The fourth wall has been eliminated as consumers push brands toward creative ways to be transparent without underlying intentions. Properly planned and executed, social media marketing creates opportunities for more authentic connections with brands by taking a strategic approach to what is communicated.
Brands need to listen to consumers to understand what they want and need. If there are criticisms, respond quickly and make good on promises. Consumers don’t expect perfection, but they do expect mistakes to be corrected in a way that shows the brand cares. But don’t fall prey to the prevalent cancel culture that grew during the pandemic, where activists boycott brands – sometimes for good reason – and sometimes not. Revolve has worked with many brands – large and small – who were attacked online and were quickly feeling it on the bottom line as online trolls piled on.
Taking a stance is admirable, but it isn’t enough. It’s essential to take responsibility, show howa brand is making good on its promises, and measure performance. This can be done by taking issues a brand has a stance on and incorporating those perspectives throughout the business and the culture.
Social media lessons continue to be learned everyday, but brands who set themselves up to be trusted through transparency, authenticity and responsibility will be rewarded with advocacy and support when they do have a misstep online.
Author: Emily Vincent
Emily Vincent is a Social Media Creator at Revolve Branding and brings engaging digital storytelling to our social services. She helps ensure our clients are authentically creative in their content strategies. Brands like TIMBER MART, Kohltech Windows & Doors, Red Wing Canada, Fish Nova Scotia, and more, benefit from her creative and strategic approach.