Social media makes it easier than ever for businesses to respond quickly to crises with a message of support. But positive platitudes are not enough. Consumers want to see authenticity—and action.

by Insigniam Read more from the Phoenix issue

Social media makes it easier than ever for businesses to respond quickly to crises with a message of support. But positive platitudes are not enough. Consumers want to see authenticity—and action.  

Nigerian-born CEO Sharon Chuter exemplifies this. After 15 years as a beauty industry exec, she founded the Los Angeles based UOMA Beauty as “the most inclusive Black-owned beauty brand,” with 51 shades of foundation alone. Last summer she launched the “Pull Up or Shut Up” challenge on Instagram. Her request from other brands: Share the number of Black executives in your company. “[This] is an exercise to help people and brands think in a way that they never have,” Ms. Chuter told Forbes. Social media platforms also make it easy to shift messaging—speedily and inexpensively—in response to public opinion. 

Less than a month after accepting a $10 million Paycheck Protection Program loan, Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti shared a letter on LinkedIn announcing the company would return the money.   

Likewise, a month after a deadly shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart in 2019, company president and CEO Doug McMillon filled his social media feeds with a heartfelt letter to associates about the removal of certain gun products and a reversal of its open-carry policy. This associate-focused approach has also allowed Mr. McMillon to provide a reprieve for news-weary scrollers. He regularly shares photos taken with specific employees, along with their personal success stories.

This article appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of Insigniam Quarterly. To begin receiving IQ, go here.


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