Managing Your Social Media Voice in China
With the outpouring of love via same-sex marriage legalization in the United States, brands on a global level have joined in to support the cause, with China being no exception. Of course on Chinese social media, it’s another story.
It’s been interesting to see how major companies have banded together to support the cause across China using the rainbow color coat across their logos. It shows a great sense of unity to see China begin to openly embrace change. However, personal opinion versus public opinion on this topic should be taken into consideration when managing your social voice online. Officially verified accounts should still tread lightly on this topic as unified same-sex marriage isn’t fully and publicly supported by the government. Which in China taboo terms means: feel free to take a stance at your own risk.
Take for instance GoUSA, the official tourism channel for US tourism, which featured several iconic destinations lit up in rainbow colors, producing a vividly inducing experience to anybody who laid their eyes upon any picture, for example the white house. Our first thought was to produce a wildly engaging and fun post using the image. In the Chinese reality, it’s actually far too political to be pushing on our official accounts. Let’s be honest, same-sex marriage is taboo in China and relatively not openly accepted. The risk far outweighed the reward in this case.
If you talk to my local colleagues, #LoveWins was profoundly engaging and there was plenty of talk on Chinese social media. However, whenever it comes to sensitive topics, you should be extra vigilant when speaking through verified accounts. As Google, Facebook, and many other popular western companies have learned, once your lights get switched off online, it may never turn on again. The same can be said for official brand accounts who don’t take controversial topics seriously.