Social Marketers: These Tactics Will Get You Cancelled

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “Social Marketers: These Tactics Will Get You Cancelled”

Having a lot of loyal followers on social media can be a double-​edged sword. Posts get lots of attention, but they could also get a lot of backlash if the wrong thing is posted. Here’s what social marketers need to know to avoid having their client’s brand cancelled.

Social Marketers: These Tactics Will Get You Cancelled

Inauthentic Clickbait

Clickbait is a marketing strategy that “uses sensationalist, misleading, withholding, or deceptive content to entice clicks and drive page views.” Now, having super enticing titles isn’t a problem if you have the content to back them up. But consumers have a huge problem with being misled when the content doesn’t hold up to what’s promised.

According to a report by Hootsuite, 76% of consumers say that they’ve unfollowed or hidden a brand for using clickbait. And SEMrush says that clickbait can negatively impact social marketers by:

  • Hurting their bottom line by increasing their linked page’s bounce rate and having potential customers leave without exploring
  • Eroding trust and engagement because if consumers can’t trust your client’s posts then they can’t trust the brand
  • Negatively impacting rankings because Google can understand when your client’s content isn’t living up to consumer standards

So, make sure your client’s social posts are entertaining and engaging, but don’t ever make them misleading.

Getting Political

Very few brands have target audiences who all agree on political issues. Even members of the same political party have differing views on different issues. So, when brands get involved in political conversations on social media, they’re entering dangerous territory.

Hootsuite data shows that 46% of consumers agree that brands should steer clear of posting about political policies. “64% of consumers will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue.”

If your client is determined to take a stance because the decision-​makers feel strongly about it, do research first. Take a look at your client’s target audience’s profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. This data can show you which kinds of causes they care about.

If your client doesn’t think it will impact their reputation too much, then have a conversation about potential consequences.

And if your client posts a viewpoint that opposes their own just to drive sales… it won’t end well. Now they’re mixing political posts with inauthentic content. Instant cancellation.

Religion and Spirituality Posts

Religion is another deeply dividing factor among U.S. consumers. 37% of consumers agree that social marketers should stay away from the topics of religion and spirituality. And your client can do that so easily.

The most common times brands may be tempted to make religious posts may be around religious holidays. But your client can still make posts without getting religious. Just post their Easter and Christmas sales without getting into the religious side of things.

And if there are tragic news stories unfolding, your client should think twice about commenting on them. We’re all too familiar with the stereotypical “thoughts and prayers” posts that people and brands use. While they’re a nice sentiment in theory, many consumers see them as a scapegoat to seem involved while doing nothing.

Instead, just have your client avoid posting anything. Or if they do post, make sure it’s because they’re doing something to help, like making a donation. But don’t let the post go into the realm of religion or spirituality at all.

Don’t say “thoughts and prayers.” Say something along the lines of, “In light of this tragedy, [brand name] has decided to offer aid by…” 

That way, your client can be involved in the conversation without crossing any lines.

If social marketers avoid these types of posts, they’re that much closer to not being cancelled.

Photo by: Resume Genius