To post or not to post?


We’ve seen social media make the headlines this week, but for all the wrong reasons.

First up, Mortein – the insect killing pest solution – who were forced to quickly apologise and remove a Facebook post voicing their sympathy for murdered schoolteacher, Stephanie Scott. The post integrated the trending consumer driven hashtag, #putyourdressout where brides around the country placed their dresses outside their front doors in an act of solidarity.


Just 24 hours later and Woolworths faced the same barrage of criticism and followed suit by pulling down a website called ‘Fresh in our Memories’ – a campaign closely aligned with their Anzac Day marketing efforts. The name was a play on the supermarkets tagline ‘The Fresh food people’ and included a meme generator where social media users could upload pictures and have the campaign slogan and company logo overlayed.


As brands increasingly become publishers, we’re seeing a shift in their efforts to real-time content creation that leverages trending events. The idea being that this will help them better connect with their audiences, drive social interactions and maximise organic reach.

In this increasingly competitive industry, where brands are desperate for social media eye balls, we ask, should trending always mean opportunity?

For me, it comes downs to relevancy and always applying that filter. Consumers aren’t stupid and understand that brands are utilising social media to push an agenda or promote a product/service.

Showing praise for a sporting celebration, giving an opinion on the latest antics from last night’s reality TV series or developing topical content around key calendar dates, such as April Fools, is opportunistic and can be highly rewarding if done well and applying the relevancy filter.

Deaths, natural disasters, politics or high profile criminal cases may dominate our news agenda, but what is the relevancy for brands to naturally join these conversations and be seen as genuine?

This week, both Mortein and Woolworths were given a harsh lesson and these examples highlighted that most successful real-time content opportunities, which consumers advocate, will always hero the relevance and role of the brand (remember ‘You can still dunk in the dark’ by Oreo everyone?!)


If in doubt, take a step back, remove your brand glasses and ask yourself, how would I react to this as a consumer? You’ll quickly work out whether your client and real-time content opportunity will be making the headlines for the right, or wrong reasons.

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