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What To Do If Your Brand Gets Trumped

Imagine this scenario: you’re logging in for a regular morning sweep of your brand’s channels, and you notice the comment volume is significantly higher than usual. As you read the comments, you notice a lot of political discussion that’s almost never present in your feed. So, you dig a little deeper. After scrolling through the comment history, you notice that your brand has been mentioned by an influential political personality, and that’s when it hits you… your brand has been trumped.

While there’s no one size fits all solution to help a brand that’s been unwittingly dragged into a political conversation, here are some recommendations for your initial approach before diving in head first.

Who Mentioned You?

It’s important to consider who first mentioned your brand. Was it a political pundit, an activist, or even the president? The level of visibility/notoriety of the source should be considered when making decisions on whether to or how to react. A state senator may have mentioned your brand, but that swell of mentions is much more likely to fade away.

Why Were You Mentioned?

Did one of your employees make a public political statement? Maybe your brand advertises on a show or network that gets political. Or perhaps a media pundit brought up your company for seemingly no reason. Depending on the circumstance, and the nature of the mention, you may need to loop assemble a teams of crisis experts to partner with your social media experts.

What’s the Conversation Volume and Tone?

Here’s potentially the biggest factor in deciding how to react on social. Are a handful of people really vocal about their displeasure for your brand and flooding your timelines or are they simply reposting the original mention ? Are there hundreds to thousands who are joining a negative conversation about your brand? If it’s the latter, you’ll certainly want to measure conversation volume, even hour by hour, to watch out for escalation or, more optimistically, fizzling out.
Because of the rapid pace of trending topics, we’ve seen scenarios where brands receive thousands of mentions in the first 24 hours, and by taking no public action, almost completely fade out of the conversation.
Every crisis, and the reaction it warrants, is different. Before you choose to react on behalf of your brand, keep an eye on the intensity and duration of negativity, and weigh those against the potential risks of a public response. Often the best decision is to let the storm clouds blow right over.
Need help navigating a political crisis on social media? Contact us. We’d love to put our experience to work for you.

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