Amid KFC backlash, weigh the risks of showing up on social media

With KFC’s recent social media firestorm surrounding an automated promotional message, it’s important for brands and agencies to consider how to avoid communication faux pas.

Across the world of advertising, teams are under pressure to always create content, whether it’s to satisfy ever-changing and often finicky algorithms on platforms or to extract more engagement from their audience in order to prove that their work is valid for the powers that be. .

This endless need for content and to be constantly present has led to an increase in ‘celebration’ days and users’ phones and feeds are flooded with content created for brands to participate in, but that often doesn’t add up. valuable or does not encourage meaningful engagement. (and, therefore, affinity) for the brand.

Instead of just working on autopilot and going through a schedule to create content for every holiday and “national” holiday, agencies should guide their brands to value quality and alignment with purpose, and review if they should participate.

If social or content teams had the space and autonomy to take a step back from the day-to-day, the impact on the work produced would more than likely be positive, with consumers truly engaging with the brand.

This approach could have helped the team behind KFC’s automated message to think more critically about the importance of the highlighted day for the promotion, rather than casually suggesting adding more cheese to the chicken sandwiches. client.

So where do you start being more mindful and intentional about how you present yourself during the holidays?

First, go back to the treasure troves of research and audience data that many brands sit on: what motivates your customers? Having a sense of the things that matter to them and how they expect brands to show up could potentially free teams from the pressure of always showing up. Many consumers, especially younger ones, seek out authentic brands and collectively watch when their feeds, emails, and push notifications are inundated with empty Memorial Day messages.

Connect with your social media team to better understand the trends your audience is talking about and participating in. Next, identify if you have the right to participate or contribute to the trend. You may find that you can create something that resonates more than just “celebrate holiday X with our product” by paying attention to how your audience uses various platforms and choosing to engage with your brand and the ones with the others.

Finally, make sure you understand the importance outside of marketing for any dates you want to align with. Could there be a risk in not recognizing a specific commemorative date or commemoration day on your brand’s chains? Potentially, but I would dare say the number of comments from people challenging your brand will be rare.

Understand and assess the risks associated with saying nothing, and devote time and resources to the times when you can shine for the right reasons.

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