Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media: Inauguration Day Edition

social media tips inauguration dayThis Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States and will be inaugurated amidst the traditions of all presidents that have come before. The events of the day will begin at 9:00 AM EST, which means Facebook-land and the Twitterverse will be in full force starting well before the sun comes up.

Emotions and opinions will be running high as President-Elect Trump makes history as America’s newest political leader, but if you or your brand decides to get in on the social media action, there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

Do get involved. Even if you’re not able to watch Inauguration Day live, you can receive a steady stream of event details and commentary by following linked hashtags such as #inauguration. Join the conversation of the millions who will be weighing in.

Don’t share without reading. There’s an overwhelming amount of content hitting the Interwebs daily. It’s all too easy to skim through articles without relying on facts. Don’t fall for clickbait headlines. Instead, make sure you’ve done informed reading before deciding to share with your own audience.

Do read up on the history of Inauguration Day. You can read through the day’s events, plus facts about the history of this day that has been planned and executed since 1901. For example: Did you know that President George Washington was the first inauguration and his address was a mere 135 words?

Don’t post something you can’t take back. Because you can’t. Once it’s out there, it’s there for good. For brands, it’s especially important to craft neutral messaging when referencing the day. While controversy may be meaningful for some marketing strategies, make sure you’ve completely thought about the “before and after,” if you have a particularly itchy Twitter finger.

Do review your posting schedule. Maybe you’ve planned out your social media strategy well in advance and didn’t take into consideration the inauguration events ahead of time. Make sure the content you have scheduled doesn’t get lost in the social media political chatter that will be dominating the online stratosphere. Also, monitor its relevance to the audience and the significance of the day.

Don’t get sucked in by negativity. When you post opinions online, there is always the possibility of backlash. Big brands have learned this lesson all too well when they’re creative campaigns turn out to be offensive. Make sure you can weather the storm. Reply thoughtfully if your content ends up starting an unintended (or unwanted) conversation. Wendy’s showed its social media moxie earlier this month in response to a Twitter troll.

Social media is a great place to be part of a bigger conversation or ignite an important one. Passionate minds take to their keyboards to have a voice in historical events and Inauguration Day will be no different.

But personal opinions should never sway a brand’s online presence. The social footprint you put forward on January 20 needs to be reflective of the professionalism, voice, and values you want to demonstrate. Because Inauguration Day or not, it’s still politics business as usual.

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