Consumers Want Brands To Take A Stand On Social, Political Issues

For a growing number of consumers, a brand’s position on social and political issues is an important consideration. For its study “Championing Change in the Age of Social Media,” social media management tool provider Sprout Social surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers. It found that 65 percent of them consider it important that brands take a public stand, and according to 58 percent of them, social media is the place to do it.

Most of those (66 percent) surveyed don’t expect these positions to change anyone’s minds, but they do believe that brands can be effective when they announce donations to specific causes (39 percent) and encourage social media followers to take specific steps to support causes (37 percent). Highlighting the importance of relevancy to these announcements, consumers say brands are most credible when an issue directly affects their customers (47 percent), employees (40 percent) and business operations (31 percent).

While conventional wisdom suggests brands should stay silent on contentious issues, Sprout Social’s research found that the upside of supporting a position is larger than the criticisms they may receive. When consumers’ personal beliefs align with what brands are saying, 28 percent will publicly praise a company, and when individuals disagree with the brand’s stance, 20 percent will publicly criticize it. Furthermore, the survey found that 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.

For more on Sprout Social’s findings, click here.

filed under January 2018
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