With the recent rise in Twitter users in Thailand, corporations are often reminded about the importance of monitoring trends and issues on social media. But how to respond to these trends? In the USA and Europe, one of the answers would be joining the movement by ‘virtue signalling’. Many corporations and influencers engage in virtue signalling through campaigns and social media activities. Over time, virtue signalling has become a buzzword with negative connotations, but it is still crucial to understand what it is. According to Dictionary.com, virtue signalling is defined as sharing one’s point of view on a social or political issue, often on social media, to garner praise or acknowledgement of one’s righteousness from others who share that point of view or to passively rebuke those who do not. Here are some reasons why competitors in your market may choose to follow the trend:
Capitalise on trending market beliefs
Organisations wishing to increase their market share aim to use whatever opportunities arise to gain more brand awareness and attention. Virtue signalling creates polarising messages that garner a lot of attention and virality due to the discourse that follows after the message becomes available to the public. Utilising trends like virtue signalling may help these brands achieve their desired goals. This pushes many organisations to lean towards adopting virtue signalling campaigns with the hope of becoming more competitive in the market.
Fear of being ostracized by consumers and influential social groups
Social media and the increased interconnectivity of the world has provided more power to NGOs, influencers, and outspoken political groups. Online reviews, tweets, comments, and posts by individuals and groups can bombard a brand’s digital presence and damage a brand’s reputation. For some extreme members of certain political ideologies and beliefs, you are either with them or against them; there is no room for neutrality. Brands that do not want to risk having a target on their back choose to go with the wave by following popular virtue signals.
Executives’ sincere beliefs and virtuous intents
The brand image of a lot of corporations aims to cater to specific segments of the market, and by virtue signalling their beliefs, they raise higher awareness of the brand image’s virtuousness and further attract their target audience. Many organisations have identified their target audience’s belief system and try to align executives and management-level staff to share the same beliefs by utilising corporate culture to shape internal stakeholder interest. These executives and management-level staff then increase initiatives in-line with their beliefs, increasing virtue signal activities for the brand image.
Understanding social trends and social media jargon can be overwhelming for many individuals and organisations that are unfamiliar with the digital environment. At Midas PR, our team of experts and consultants can ensure your organisation’s representatives can familiarise themselves with new and future trends that you may not be familiar with. Visit our website at www.midas-pr.com today for more information or get in touch with us by email.