Something has been bothering me all day. The constant Facebook posts and tweets in my news feeds from brands and media outlets unrelated to Hurricane Sandy just doesn't sit right with me. Yes, I know there's a world outside of New York and the east coast area and life goes on, but selling me coffee or telling me how to use a shampoo in 3 different ways just doesn't feel right.
We live in a hyper-connected world, so brands need to be extra sensitive to what's going on in the world and how it affects their audience. This is what geo-targeting capabilities in Facebook are for, so brands can segment their messaging and post only what's most relevant to their audiences.
Gap and American Apparel are guilty of the same.
I am not just talking about social sensitivity during natural disasters but also shootings, riots and large-scale accidents. Social media can be a very powerful tool to connect with your audience but it can also hurt your brand and business tremendously if you don't use common sense. Rule of thumb: if a friend dear to you would punch you in the face about what you are going to post, then don't post it.