In the extremely information-saturated world, passive online communication with your audience is highly important. There is a multitude of trends and causes, but the fact that they are popular doesn’t mean they are suitable to YOUR brand.
For example, the 2023 national election in Nigeria and preliminary economic woes have caused a massive disruption affecting even business partners abroad. The visibly untransparent practices and unpopular results of the general elections captured the public attention for days ahead. It informed local brands to think twice before they commented online, as well as reconsider the posting frequency.
When something disruptive happens in a society, people expect more empathy, and business updates from brands become much less of the information they consume online. Yet, before you jump on any trend to show your solidarity with the people’s moods, do think over — are these people YOUR audience? If you publicly support or stand against any cause, or suddenly reduce your online presence, will YOUR audience give you the kind of reaction you expect embracing this trend?
Our team of #MosronPeople has prepared a three-point checklist of what to check before you tailor your communications strategy to a trend:
Alignment of the trend with your “business residency”
If your brand is entirely Nigerian or the biggest part of your audience is in Nigeria, it will be irrelevant for you to demonstrate any specific reaction towards something that has happened far away. If you have partners & vendors in those regions where a trend originates from and they are affected by it, you can express your sympathy or celebrate them (it depends) when you communicate via private channels or have any closed events. But it will not be a strategy for the mass audience.
Relevance of the trend to your corporate policies and internal communications
If your team consists of more men than women and you are just attempting to elaborate on gender equity policies because female employees have been facing challenges in your organisation, speaking about workplace equity on the #IWD is barely an option. Before you publicly advocate for a cause, make sure you match the standards internally. What if your CEO publishes an inspirational thought leadership piece only for your employees to expose on their social media that it does not match the reality?
Relationships with all stakeholders remain balanced once you embrace the trend
Imagine a situation when you are trying to please your customers and make a public comment that backlashes your investors or board members. What would rather impact the bottom line — negative reactions from several customers or withdrawal of funds by an investor? Apparently, the second one. Choosing a cause, check whether you are not critical taking sides by doing so.
Before you decide to highlight a particular trend in your communications policy, remember that trends are short-term while reputation sticks to you far beyond temporary “hype and buzz”.