Donald Trump’s launch of his new social media platform Truth Social is a major shakeup in the social platform space. It presents new opportunities and the chance to reach untapped demographics; however, Australian small businesses must consider the ethical standards, brand identity, and reputation of the platforms they choose to align themselves with.
According to the controversial former-US President, Truth Social’s purpose is to create a space where businesses and individuals can share “truths” without discrimination against political ideologies. However, despite the reported interest around the platform, initial hype was short-lived with many referencing its close similarities to Twitter’s interface.
Many small businesses are curious to know whether this opens the door for them to expand their business profile and marketing capabilities online. While it’s normally good for businesses to branch out into relevant new platforms, there are risks involved when stepping into a controversial space, like Truth Social.
The most important thing to remember about Trump’s social media platform is it will have to abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as every other social media app. This includes privacy laws, Apple’s transparency rule about asking users to allow data tracking and potentially government pressure to remove harmful content, as experienced by Facebook in recent times.
Given the app is not yet currently not accessible in Australia, small businesses have time to consider whether adopting the controversial social media platform is right for them. Australia will also be able to learn from America’s interactions on the platform and what true opportunities or threats exist.
Australian small businesses, in time, will be presented with the new platform to consider and explore. However, business owners need to be considerate of aligning with a potentially controversial platform like this. The reputation of small businesses rides on their values, and if it seems as if they’re aligning themselves on a platform that has been known for informational inaccuracies, then the stakeholders of these businesses may assume the same of these companies.
Many small businesses are relying more on social media platforms to connect and sell to customers daily, so understanding why there have been continuous changes to privacy limits and iOS updates from an ethical perspective is crucial. Much of Trump’s previous misinformation to the media has been the catalyst for these privacy and data changes, so SMEs must analyse the reliability and motives of Truth Social.
Consumers are more conscious than ever of where they spend their money and will not hesitate to move to a competitor if a business’s ethics and values don’t align with their own. At Localsearch, we usually recommend not putting all your eggs in one basket in terms of marketing your business, so diversifying your activity across different platforms is encouraged. However, you must still do your due diligence on where you’re doing that promotional activity and ensure it aligns with your brand.
Jumping on the bandwagon may seem like a good idea, but we need to remember, Facebook wouldn’t be where it was unless we all took the leap and joined. Truth Social may be suitable for more niche small businesses who want to focus on international expansion and political opinions, but how long will this really last? Down to 126th spot on the Apple chart in less than two weeks gives a bit of an indication of the longevity of business success within the app.