When Your Brand Should Respond to Internet Trends. And When Not To.

We are hearing communications teams ask some version of this question every day: Should we respond or engage when...

  • Users start a #hashtag around our brand, a cause, or policy we're close to.
  • Our brand or a spokesperson becomes the focus of a meme.
  • A post from 2013 is being twisted to drive a new conversation.
  • Groups online are trading NFTs or other digital content involving our brand.
  • A new viral Tik Tok video takes hold of our customer base.
  • [insert other trend here]

Tune is as Jane Carpenter, Head of Global Communications at Wayfair, discusses how leading brands are evolving how they choose to navigate these kinds of scenarios and make decisions on whether to engage, or not.

The right decision can lead to increased loyalty and new devoted customers, but a misstep can damage brand trust, shareholder value, and possibly lead to an expensive crisis... especially as consumers get more of their “news” from the social web.

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Jane Carpenter leads global communications for Wayfair, a publicly-traded Fortune 500 e-commerce company with revenue of $14B and operations across North America and Europe. Wayfair employs more than 16,000 people globally and serves millions of customers through its portfolio of retail brands including Wayfair, Joss & Main, AllModern, Birch Lane, Perigold and Wayfair Professional.  As the head of communications, Jane manages the company's corporate communications team and leads internal and external communications for the rapidly growing company. Over her nine year tenure at Wayfair, she has played a key role in driving the company's brand-building initiatives including establishing the company's social media presence across all brands, developing a robust influencer relations network and building Wayfair's corporate social responsibility platform and partnerships. She directed the company’s communications strategy leading up to and through its high profile IPO in October 2014.

onathon Morgan is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Yonder. Prior to Yonder, he published research about extremist groups manipulating social media with the Brookings Institution, The Atlantic, and the Washington Post, presented at NATO's Center of Excellence for Defense Against Terrorism, the United States Institute for Peace, and the African Union. Jonathon also served as an adviser to the US State Department, developing strategies for digital counter-terrorism. He regularly provides commentary about online disinformation for publications such as New York Times, NBC, NPR, and Wired.