Don't Just "Post Something"

Sep 15, 2021

Editor’s Note: This feature first appeared in our companion service, The Archery Wire. 

As a social media manager, there is a bit of a struggle of what to post, when to post, what image goes with it, etc. Do you tell a story? Or just post a strong image with few words? Do you not post at all?

This past weekend was a momentous occasion – commemorating 20 years of 9/11. Those of you reading this know how important 9/11 is to our community. And personally, to my family, too.

I saw some misses this past weekend regarding posts that were meant to honor the memories of that fateful day, but instead fell way short. They were tone deaf.

I even had a conversation with one client about “we should post something.” No, we don’t need to “post something.” We need to share our hearts from that day. And as a social media manager for individuals and companies, I can’t share what’s in their hearts. Only they can do that. I can’t just make an image of the twin towers in a shadow and post the words #NeverForget and think that my job as a social media manager is done. Check that off the list.

Nope. Not going to happen.

The best stories and images I saw over the weekend were stories in first-person and therefore, were from the heart. Some had actual pictures they took from that weekend. Some shared where they were, what they were doing, and how they felt. Some shared tributes of those fallen – as well as real stories from real survivors. Some donated to a cause to help those survivors from 9/11. Honestly, if it’s from the heart, there is no wrong answer here.

Some stayed silent.

Silence is okay. A customer isn’t looking at your Instagram feed and saying to themselves, “oh snap, XYZ manufacturer didn’t post a commemorative image today.” I mean, I think of the hundreds of brands I follow on Facebook and Instagram, and do I know if all of them posted something? No. But if I saw one of them posted something I deemed tone deaf or just plain short-sighted, I will notice that and may even call them out on it.

I saw that happen a few times. I cringed.

Out of curiosity, I performed a random poll of two manufacturers, one influencer and one non-profit in our (archery) space on Instagram. One didn’t post anything, two posted an image with the words #NeverForget and one posted from the heart. The one from the heart got the most likes and engagement, in case you were wondering. But hey, that’s social media, after all. It should “social.”

I said above there is no wrong answer here – if it’s authentic and true to who you are. But don’t “just post something.” Get creative. If you didn’t live during 9/11, read up on it. Read about the “The Falling Man.” Watch documentaries on the subject. Ask your employees or co-workers about their stories. You never know what you’ll learn.

I know that you know, we all know, we will #NeverForget.

-- Michelle Scheuermann, editor, Archery Wire