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Do Consumers Want Businesses to Take Political and Social Stands?

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Most US consumers say it is important for companies to take stands on social/political issues, but most also say corporate activism should revolve around only certain causes and on certain channels, according to recent research from Sprout Social.

The report was based on data from a survey of 1,022 adults age 18 and older in the United States.

Some 24% of respondents say it is very important that brands take stands on social/political issues, and 41% say it is somewhat important that brands take stands on social/political issues.

Some 58% of consumers are receptive to brands' taking social/political stands on social media, and 47% are receptive to brands' taking stands on television.


Only 18% of consumers are receptive to brands' taking social/political stands via billboards, and just 6% are receptive to brands' taking stands via SMS/text messages.

Some 43% of consumers say they would purchase more from a brand that takes social/political stands that they agree with.

However, 53% of consumers say they would purchase less from a brand that takes social/political stands that they disagree with.

Consumers are most open to brands' taking stands on issues such as human rights, labor laws, poverty, and gender equality.

Consumers say the most effective ways brands can take stands on issues on social media are to announce donations and encourage followers to take action.

Some 78% of consumers who identify as liberal want brands to take social/political stands, compared with just 52% consumers who identify as conservative.

Moreover, 80% of liberals think it’s important for brands to take stands on social media, compared with only 39% of conservatives who say so.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 1,022 adults age 18 and older in the United States.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Paul Tue Jan 23, 2018 via web

    I'm extremely turned off, and generally boycott companies that publicize their political views. Keep it to yourself, and understand that even w/your survey, which is horribly skewed toward liberals, there's no great demand for political views from businesses.

    How do you think your liberal respondents would react if you had asked them if views that were pro-NRA or pro-life were going to be aired by companies? If they reacted as they typically do, the liberals, or leftists, would demand that those types of political views were silenced.

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