There has been a noticeable influx of people advocating a ‘Social Media Detox’, from books on the high-street on how to achieve a successful digital detox to influencers encouraging their audience to join them in their nightly switch off it. Alongside this ‘Digital Detox’ trend, the darker side of social media has been at the forefront recently with some high profile ‘trolling’ directed at the nation’s favourite tea brand.
Whilst there is undoubtedly a side of social media that can have a negative impact on people’s lives and mental wellbeing, from online bullying and trolling to people seemingly forgetting that there are real people on the other side of a hurtful tweet or Instagram DM, when the online community come together in support of a brand or individual the true positive power of social media is clear!
Let’s start with Yorkshire Tea
I’m sure you’ve all heard how the brand found themselves caught in the middle of a political debate when Chancellor Rishi Sunak tweeted a photo of himself making a brew with Yorkshire Tea, the brand’s Twitter account was inundated with negative comments.
So it’s been a rough weekend.
On Friday, the Chancellor shared a photo of our tea. Politicians do that sometimes (Jeremy Corbyn did it in 2017). We weren’t asked or involved – and we said so the same day. Lots of people got angry with us all the same. pic.twitter.com/7uVmKDf7Jd
— Yorkshire Tea (@YorkshireTea) February 24, 2020
The Yorkshire Tea social team dealt with the situation amazingly, distancing themselves from any political affiliation and responding calmly and with humour. When the negativity continued, they talked about the challenge of managing so many negative comments reminding their audience that there are real people behind a brand’s social media accounts and to ‘try and be kind’.
This direct call for people to be kind when messaging an individual or a brand really humanised the brand and was a move that I’m sure won them a lot of new supporters and tea drinkers. Even rival tea brand PG Tips social media team were on hand to sympathise and offer their support.
Just wanted to let you know that I’m here for you. DM me if you fancy a cuppa 💚❤️ From one social media manager to another #cuppastogether
— PG tips (@PGtips) February 25, 2020
This move towards a more personal and human approach to social media management has seen more and more brands open up about the struggles and pressures of managing public social media accounts.
As someone who has been on the receiving end of negative comments whilst managing brand social media accounts, I know how difficult it can be. Social media isn’t 9-5 and when you’re in the midst of a negative situation online it can feel never-ending. Having a Crisis Management strategy in place for when things do get tricky is something I always recommend. Being aware of any potential issues and trying to predict anything that could be taken the wrong way, means you are always prepared.
Kindness is Trending
The positive power of social media is clear in the recent story of Callum Manning. 13-year-old Callum set up an Instagram account to review books he’d read and share his love of reading. He had just started a new school and fellow pupils found his book account and began mocking him about it on a group chat that he was part of.
His older sister Ellis took to Twitter, and her post soon went viral with support from bookshops and authors across the country offering to send Callum books to review. Twitter came together and Callum was inundated with positive messages from thousands of people sharing their favourite books and encouraging his love of reading.
In less than a week Callum’s Instagram account @cals_book_account has grown to over 345k followers! Just one heart-warming example of the positive power of social media.
Whilst kindness is trending it serves as a reminder that we can all work to be considerate with our social media interactions and remember next time we feel an angry tweet coming on that there are real people behind a brand’s social media account.
Get in touch and we can help you put a social media crisis management strategy in place to deal with any negativity online.