Social Savagery

In a recent post by Social Media Today it was suggested that 2017 is the year of Social Savagery. 

“If 2015 was the year of positivity and 2016 was the year of fake news proliferation, 2017 will be the year of the savages: the grey area between the two.”

Before we begin to break this down and think in depth about what this trend might mean for the small guys – the local businesses that you own – let’s take a look at what ‘social savagery’ and ‘savage af’ actually mean. Urban Dictionary gives a detailed and more rude definition, but in the main this term denotes an act which shows no regard for feelings nor privacy.

What does it mean to be a socially savage brand?

In 2016, Wendy’s – a big fast food chain in America – began to respond to really negative tweets via a social savage strategy. Responding to tweets that were just plain rude about their brand with an equally rude response. In terms of this brand, this isn’t new. But could this be the twitter marketing trend of 2017? 

Risk vs. Reward

For a larger brand, this strategy may work well…although we all should keep in mind our audience. For Wendy’s, are they looking to speak with a younger age group? One that may be used to being Savage AF with their friends. Well, then maybe this strategy of response is best. This audience type miss trust the apologetic customer service that those in an older age bracket prefer. 

What’s the Risk?

The main risk as far as I see it is this: You may ostracize your audience and thus valued customers. 

You have spent time and effort to build your business, and its brand identity on Twitter as well as other social media platforms. The engagement you receive is not massive but on the whole you have found a great and different way to reach your customer base, and find out what they like best. Are you prepared to anger them?

What’s the Reward? 

Taking this strategy on may give you the reward of standing out from the crowd – you will be very different from the majority of you competitors. But will this reward out way the risk? 

I’d love to know if you will you be responding to Savage AF tweets in this way, or will you be maintaining your brand as it stands? What are your thoughts on this predicted trend? Do you think it will affect your small business?