We took a look at some of the most criticized corporations that have spoken out against Trump's administration to find out how their social media presence was impacted by this decision. Will boycotted companies fare well on social media, or will real-life movements transcend to their online space and perhaps even damage their reputation?
Starbucks - Brewing up DebateInternational coffee franchise Starbucks, made headlines this January when CEO Howard Schultz, vowed to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide in response to US President Trump's travel ban. Immediately customers took to social media to voice both their concerns and support. In fact, the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks quickly became a trending topic. But do these online movements really impact the long term health of a company?
Uber vs. Lyft: The Clash of IdeologiesWhen it comes to politics, Uber has been making headlines from sexual harassment charges to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick accepting a position in Trump's administration (only to later step down due to disapproval). In light of these current events the hashtag #DeleteUber keeps making a comeback.
Customers are turning to social media to show support for the brand, even if it is in a more passive form, i.e. following instead of Tweeting. This is evidenced by Lyft's massive increase in Followers. Since Uber is currently dominating the ride sharing service industry, users had no choice but to find an alternative if their boycott was to be successful.
The TakeawayOf course, social media is just part of the story. It would be interesting to see how these moments in the spotlight not only affect a brand's social media presence, but also how boycotts that begin on social media translate into the real-world. We can't forget that people are creatures of habit, it's easier to unfollow a company on social media than it is to change a lifestyle. Which raises the question, is social media giving people a false sense of involvement? Digital channels may make it easier to organize, but when it comes to action are the supporters still as loud?
We can see from the examples above that companies are increasingly taking a stance on political issues. It's still unclear whether or not these statements or actions help or hurt brands - but one thing is certain. If companies are making a big enough splash in the press, their social media performance will surely be affected. So you tell us, is it better to play it safe? Or to take a risk and align your company with personal or political values?
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