The Social Side of Tragedy

I’m pretty sure we all saw the Facebook posts/tweets/Instagram pics/Snapchats over the weekend. They looked something like this…..

peace for paris

Via Banksy on Twitter

Or this…..

prayers for paris

Or even this……

mlk jr quote

If you are a social media manager, you probably quickly cancelled all non-tragedy related posts, and immediately switched over to image quotes like the ones above to show your client’s support for those involved in the attacks. You probably patted yourself on the back for being so sensitive to the current events ………

and then you sat back and watched the likes/shares/RTs pour in.

Let’s be really honest here, friends. When we as social marketers hop on the bandwagon of awareness/support, we’re not really doing it out of any sort of concern or genuine empathy. We’re doing it because everyone is doing it; because not doing it makes us look insensitive; and because it’s a pretty much guaranteed boost to engagement.

I’m not pointing any fingers. I’ll be the first to admit I did it for my clients. But after I did, I sat back an thought; What is my intention here?

No one wants to be the insensitive company that tweets about their weekend sale during a terrorist attack. No one wants to be the company that “didn’t care” about what was happening. And no one wants to miss out on the opportunity for a little extra social media love for being the company with a heart.

But what do we do after?

Here’s where the real question lies. This is the real test of your desire to do right, or just the desire to see a bump in the numbers.

Awareness and support doesn’t end with a profile picture filter, or a copied image quote. What do you do to show that you actually do care? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Share information about actual aid. Let people know where they can donate time/money/resources to actually help the people in need.
  • Do something as a company to acknowledge the event, and put your money where your mouth is. Make a donation, send supplies….. DO SOMETHING.
  • Don’t just go on as if nothing happened. Let your community know it’s still in your mind and on your hearts.

To make a long story short (too late!), don’t just pay lip service to a tragedy. Roll up your sleeves, get out your checkbook and actually DO SOME GOOD.