The much publicised Facebook boycott, the stop hate for profit campaign, has resulted in Facebook and other social platforms tightening their policies for what users can and can’t post. After boycotting the platform and its subsidiaries in June 2020, Clorox and Unilever have now returned to Facebook, prompting speculation that other major brands will follow suit.
As social platforms step up their response to cultural issues such as US violence, elections and #blacklivesmatter, this article by CMO explores what this means for brands undertaking social media marketing in 2021?
Our Chief Digital Officer Trent McMillan sees Unilever’s step as a signal to other larger brands that it is safe to return to the platform. But he noted locally a lack of advertisers that boycotted Facebook anyway, and pointed to the huge reliance SMBs have on social platforms.
McMillan agreed further control is required within the platform to assist brands to protect themselves when advertising on them. However, he warned this will come at a cost, either in the form of hard transactional costs such as a third-party tech mediator, or from scalability and limitations on audience size, making campaigns less efficient/effective.
“We should expect continued scrutiny in 2021, as the platform struggles to find the balance between legislating against hate speech and maintaining freedom of expression and free speech,” McMillan predicted. “One thing often overlooked is that there needs to be a ‘buyer beware’ sticker when advertising on these platforms. We need to remember the bulk of content found on social platforms is user-generated, so there will always be an element of ‘brand safety’ to be mindful of.”
Read the article here.