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Great research on how to take a stand on social media as a brand. And the impact of the CEO on this subjects. (last half of the research)
- People want brands to take stands on important issues, and social media is the place for it. Two-thirds of consumers (66%) say it’s important for brands to take public stands on social and political issues, and more than half (58%) are open to this happening on social media – the top channel for consumer receptivity.
- Brands can’t change minds, but they can effect change. Sixty-six percent of respondents say posts from brands rarely or never influence their opinions on social issues. Rather, respondents believe brands are more effective on social media when they announce donations to specific causes (39%) and encourage followers to take specific steps to support causes (37%), such as participating in events or making their own donations.
- Liberals are galvanized by brands that take stands, while conservatives are indifferent. Seventy-eight percent of respondents who self-identify as liberal want brands to take a stand, while just about half (52%) of respondents who self-identify as conservative feel the same. Likewise, 82% of liberals feel brands are credible when taking stands, compared to just 46% of conservatives.
- Relevance is key to reception. Consumers say brands are most credible when an issue directly impacts their customers (47%), employees (40%) and business operations (31%).
- Brands face more reward than risk. Consumers’ most common emotional reactions to brands taking a stand on social were positive, with intrigued, impressed and engaged emerging as the top three consumer reactions. Likewise, when consumers’ personal beliefs align with what brands are saying, 28% will publicly praise a company. When individuals disagree with the brand’s stance, 20% will publicly criticize a company.