In Sandy’s wake, should brands shut up on social media?

At least one company is being slammed for its ‘Hurricane Sandy Sale.’ For some brands, it might be smart to curb online marketing—at least for this week.

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If you go with your regularly scheduled posting, you might find that people perceive you as being insensitive or uncaring. Post something saying that your brand’s thoughts and prayers are with the victims could be perceived that you’re jockeying for engagement during a crisis.

Then there are those who are trying to turn this into a marketing opportunity—and that’s just idiotic.

American Apparel did so yesterday when it sent an email blast with an offer for 20 percent off everything for the next 36 hours, “In case you’re bored during the storm.” The company called it the Hurricane Sandy Sale, and it has been getting blasted in social media ever since. The company hasn’t apologized, and it doesn’t allow comments on its Facebook page.

Even Sears, which offered deals on generators and cleanup supplies on Twitter (likely with the best intentions), has had some followers questioning its motives.

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