‘Slacktivism’, as it has been coined, is the internet sensation of doing your part toward some good in society. Perhaps you have signed an online petition, shared a video or article you thought sparked some sense of justice or injustice within you, perhaps you changed a profile picture to an icon for a time. All such actions, would fall under this new wave of activism.
At times, it seems that gone are the days whereby people rallied on the streets for social change. It still happens. Though, for many these days, “doing your part” takes no more than lifting a finger to click a button.
Sometimes it seems like hype and sensationalism, and you wonder how many people would lift more than a finger for true change. Sometimes you marvel at the opportunities the internet has opened up, for us to be able to share ideas and become more connected. As with the debates that go back and forth online over various issues (read any comments section of any politically minded article, blog post, or social media update, ever), the pros and cons could be argued forever.
So, while the debates continue and will most likely never stop, let’s consider instead how powerful a message social media has the ability to convey. In the public eye, as a marketing business, anything you say is able to be widespread. Meaning now more than ever, you have to be careful with whatever content you choose to release on social media. What is it really saying, how can it possibly be conceived, and is it a true representation of your brand. In other words, are you walking the walk or just talking the talk?
An individual might be able to get away with a poorly thought out post, by backtracking, or waiting for the backlash to die down (i.e. for someone else to make a mistake), but people seem to be more harsh on brands than they are on individuals. Successful online/social marketing, in our opinion, is when an audience can view a brand’s sharing as genuine. When they need not question the brand’s intentions. In the face of slacktivism, it is brands that need to embrace action-ism.
What’s your business story and how are you telling it?