The warning to jump on trends – and become a page curating memes rather than cultivating a business – might have come in handy earlier this year when a Perth burger outlet had to quickly edit a post after was called in to invite clients to ‘celebrate’ Johnny Depp’s ‘big win’ in his defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard.
If that message wasn’t on the nose then, it would be even more so now, with freshly unsealed documents painting the Pirates of the Caribbean star in an even darker light, leading dozens of celebrities quietly ‘contrary’ to Depp’s initial Instagram statement following the trial.
Another social media mea culpa was called last month when a Perth wine bar promoted its latest dish – British offal meatballs – with their traditional name (also a homophobic slur) , which didn’t cut the mustard in the online world in 2022.
The bar was pilloried and the post edited to include a lengthy apology, but it was another example of the pitfalls that await companies trying to maintain a social media presence.
As Coffey said, “We don’t live in a neighborhood anymore, we live in a global society.”
“We are much more sensitive to things than we were before,” she said.
“And Johnny Depp and Amber Heard [trial], there were no winners in this, it was a horrible situation. So why are we shining a light on domestic violence?
“At the heart of it all, no matter who wins, it was a case of domestic violence. You shouldn’t make fun of that. »
That doesn’t mean businesses can’t have fun and jokes on social media, Coffey said, but it was crucial to understand the trends they were picking up on.
“Understand the words you use,” she says.
“I always say to people, ‘Would you be okay if your grandma sees this? Could you explain it to your grandma?
“And if you’re going, ‘Oh, gosh, no’, well, then maybe you shouldn’t post it.”
With platforms regularly tweaking their algorithms and new players like TikTok becoming household names seemingly in the blink of an eye, it’s no surprise that State of Social’s five years of existence feel like a lifetime.
It seems even longer when you launch a pandemic and a litany of lockdowns. So what have been the big changes over the ages?
“I think social has become a lot more sophisticated,” Coffey said.
“Certainly, at the beginning, there was this thought that anyone could do this.
“And anyone can, it’s not hard to post on Instagram. But do you understand what you’re trying to achieve with that post? Do you understand what your business goals are?”
And that says nothing about the need for companies to change their social approach depending on the platform.
“Five years ago, Facebook was the end of everything, that was it,” Coffey said.
“Now we are actively driving our customers away from Facebook.
“You used to write a social media strategy and that applied to everything. Now I write channel strategies; “That’s what we do on Facebook. That’s what we do on Instagram. That’s what we do on Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn’.
“Yes, they have the same sons. But the way we approach each platform is completely different.