February 21st, 2018 by Sam Del Rowe

Consumers increasingly expect businesses to take political and social stands as part of their public presence on social media and other channels, according to a study by Sprout Social.

More specifically, Sprout Social found that two thirds of consumers believe that it is important for brands to take a public stand on leading social and political issues, while more than half indicated that they are most receptive to brands doing so on social media. Furthermore, the study found that consumers’ most common emotional reactions to brands taking a stand on social media were positive: the top three consumer reactions were “intrigued,” “impressed,” and “engaged.”

“Brands that effectively navigate strategic decisions around when to take a stand on social have more opportunity than ever to turn potential risks into business opportunities,” Andrew Caravella, VP of strategy and brand engagement at Sprout Social, said in a statement. “People not only want brands to speak out on social, but they want authenticity and values communicated cohesively by company leadership as well. People want to feel socially and politically connected to the brands they support—and while vocalizing opinions may drive away some customers, it will ultimately engender greater loyalty and enthusiasm from people who agree.”

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