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Your Brand’s Social Media and a Celebrity Passing

With the passing of David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, Gene Wilder, and so many others, 2016 has been a tough year for celebrity deaths.Major brands require a near-constant social media presence, and as such, often find themselves chiming in on current events – and celebrity deaths are no exception. This raises the question: what does “brand grief” look like? Thankfully, “Trendology” author Chris Kerns recently laid out guidelines on how brands should treat their social media accounts when they address such a tragedy.

  1. Be true to your brand.There are few things more jarring than sympathy that doesn’t come across as genuine. After a celebrity death, does it make sense to recognize it based on your company’s background and branding?
  2. Celebrate a connectionBusinesses that choose to join the conversation on remembrance need to understand that it’s a delicate subject. Do everything possible to make your message authentic. If your brand has a personal history with a celebrity, highlighting that connection provides real authenticity.
  3. Don’t sell, just shareIf you decide to recognize a celebrity death on social media, remember, this is no time to push a product. Keep messaging short and focused on the individual's life and impact on society.
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