So you posted about Saint Patrick’s Day.
It was a scheduled post. Your marketing agency scheduled it a week ago—or was it your underpaid Digital Marketing Specialist? All the same, it was scheduled, and it posted right on time. The post went out, all decked in green, with some puns about good luck for your industry or tips on how to “make some green” and grow your business.
Tone-ignorance is a real issue in the digital marketing world. For efficiency’s sake, you schedule your posts; but scheduled posts aren’t aware of the daily events that happen in society.
Yesterday, I watched as countless social media accounts posted variations of four leaf clovers, green beer, and all the typical copywriting that is used to celebrate the day. In and of itself, that’s all well and good, albeit, not very “purple cow” of you to jump into the noise. While we aren’t talking about how to stand out in a crowd, there is a major problem here.
As a biracial Asian American, those posts signified something far worse that just posting national calendar based marketing noise. They missed an entire community of people who were, and still are, in deep pain and mourning because of the anti-Asian hate crime that occurred in Atlanta. The message, however, was received. The white terrorist killing spree wasn’t a concern to you, and neither are we.
Those marketing efforts were tone-ignorant at best.
At worst, you’ve chosen silence, and we don’t have time to address that here.
Posts about celebrations and drinking Guinness during a loud uprise of anti-Asian racism are just plain missing it. An entire community was mourning yesterday as we watched the news.
In the midst of it all, if you’ve chosen to stay silent, you’ve chosen to speak much louder than your words could ever speak.
And if you carried on business-as-usual, you spoke a message that perhaps you didn’t intend to.
In between the lines, your green posts said it loud and clear: “This doesn’t matter to us.”
Tone-ignorance is hurting your business.
Tone-ignorance is hurting your co-workers.
Tone-ignorance is hurting your followers.
Tone-ignorance is hurting your customers.
Tone-ignorance is missing the mark.