Following the death of the world’s longest reigning monarch, England’s Queen Elizabeth II, a wave of grief and condolences poured out from world leaders, public figures, and celebrities across the globe.
Enter Poorly Timed Brand Tweets ™.
In the digital age, companies spend billions of dollars curating branded content for their social media accounts, yet nothing heats media marketing managers’ Twitter fingers like the death of a major public figure, often to extremely cringe results.
Corporate accounts hopping into the aftermath of public tragedy can be perceived as clumsy or pandering at best, at worst downright offensive exploitation. It’s often well intentioned, but I assure you, Brand, letting your social media intern off the hook for the afternoon hurts no one. In fact, I’d wager that no one is watching the BBC right now asking themselves what Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari thinks about the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
To avoid the public ridicule, having to turn off replies, issue a regretful follow up, or (the nightmare scenario) deleting the tweet, it would be smart for brands to make like Her Majesty and practice restraint. Customers will still be there, no one will fault you for abandoning parasocial marketing strategies for a day, and you can stick to being what you are: a brand that sells things.
If you’re still confused, here are some examples of how tweeting-while-brand went wrong today.
Are you the military industrial complex? Do you sell missiles? Does your product obliterate people? I’m begging you: sit this one out. (Actually shut down your entire company and go away forever but that’s another article).
Are you currently staging an anti-monarchist revolutionary musical? You should also probably sit this one out.
Are you thinking your followers are looking to find consolation in the latest gaming console? Or smile fondly over a Queen Elizabeth Funkopop? No, putting it in black and white does not make it better.
The Queen never played Grand Theft Auto I promise you.
Maybe you feel the need to remind them that if they’re looking for a laugh to take your mind off things they can come to you, comedic message board 9GAG. Don’t. They already know.
Are you a commuter rail company serving northern California? Why are you tweeting about this?
It’s giving “Eat your feelings if you need to, just make sure to eat our stuff if you do.”
Need a new mourning fit? Express shipping on a pack of Union Jacks? Any item you need for the low low price of £1. These brands are appropriately sad for you to shop from.
[Sad Plane Noises]
I honestly don’t know what this is supposed to be. Just don’t do it