Whether you are a band or a business, posting about the passing of an icon can be a nice way to pay homage to a person who inspired you. I think it is classy to honor those who paved the way.
I think social media can also be a good medium for a kind of collective mourning. There is something cathartic about seeing that, yes, others felt the same way about this person that you did. You are not alone in your sorrow or admiration.
People appreciate heartfelt posts about the death of someone.
My guidelines for clients about this:
> If the person was not an influence or inspiration to you personally, don't feel that you have to post about his or her death. Again, I don't think this should be done just to give your stats a boost.
> If you have a personal story involving the person, that's great. Share that. If not, some simple words are nice too - a good example being this recent post by client John Papa Gros about the death of Gregg Allman.
> Maybe don't run a hashtag with this. It's not awful if you do, but sometimes it can be misconstrued that this is all a marketing tactic for you.
> Never piggyback a promotion for your own product or service on top of this. Retailers have already given us enough awkward Martin Luther King Day posts and sale announcements to last a lifetime.