Do you manage your brand’s social media channels? If so, this one’s for you.
As a social media manager and marketer, you already know how unpredictable the internet can be — that comes along with the job! We encounter new surprises daily and are good at keeping our heads on a swivel to stay on top of the most recent news or trends.
Even so, COVID-19 has proven to be unlike any other situation we have encountered before. Given the scale of this health crisis and effect it’s had on people and businesses around the world, it’s normal to feel unsure where to take your brand’s online presence during such a difficult time.
As our world starts to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, it’s important for your brand to do the same. You will have to alter your brand’s social media presence with relevant and appropriate messaging, information and content. This will be beneficial for your audience, brand and even your own employees.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while navigating your brand’s social presence during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Address the Issue
First and foremost, address the issue, because it’s top of mind for many of us. Let your audience know that you understand that this is a difficult time for everyone. COVID-19 is affecting industries and businesses of all types, including your own. The economy is affected, people’s schedules and routines are changing, and resources are scarce. We are all navigating a new way of life. Let your audience know that you’re there for them during this time.
Listen to Your Audience
Social listening is an important step while navigating your approach. Whether you use Sprinklr, Hootsuite or each platform’s built-in tools to monitor your brand’s social media channels, it’s crucial to listen to your audience before taking action of any kind. Hear them out and understand where their heads are. Ask yourself, what are common questions or concerns people have? Are they saying anything at all? You can use this information to frame your messaging and campaigns.
Give Consistent Updates
No one wants to feel left in the dark during this situation, not even your own employees. That’s why it’s important to give constant updates in response to new mandates. Tell your audience what precautions you’re taking, but ONLY if it directly impacts your customer.
We all know that things are changing day to day, and no one knows how long this will go on. Let your audience know you will do your best to update them quickly as things progress.
Consider hosting a livestream to explain this. During a time of social distance, it’s nice to see and hear from someone. It will give them comfort knowing there are humans behind the brand dealing with the same challenges as everyone else.
TIP: Provide talking points or guidelines to your employees so their messaging as representatives of your brand will be consistent.
Explain How COVID-19 Affects Your Industry
COVID-19 is affecting all of us in some shape or form. And it’s no surprise the impact it’s having on industries of all types.
At Brandpoint, we are lucky to be equipped with technology that allows us to operate 100% virtually without missing a beat. We did postpone our hosted events and can no longer attend in-person conferences or trade shows this spring, but for the most part, we can carry on business as usual.
We understand that this is not the case for many companies right now. Some businesses have had to temporarily shut down, while others have had to keep up with the high demand of medical supplies. It’s affecting everyone and every industry differently. Take the time to inform your audience if your business is still open, if any of your normal service offerings have been impacted, or if anything else has temporarily changed.
Evaluate Your Current Campaigns
Are there any campaigns that can be put on pause? Take the time to meet (virtually) as a team to evaluate your current campaigns. There may be one or two that are no longer relevant. As a team, think quick on your feet to decide if you need to change direction from your original plans this quarter. Is there a campaign you could execute in response to COVID-19?
TIP: If you are in an industry where your products or services are currently in high demand, consider a campaign to address the pandemic. You will also want to keep in mind that this will affect your business down the road as well, especially if your brand sells cleaning products, toilet paper, or dog food, for example. What campaign plans do you have for months ahead when people are already stocked up on your products? Think how you can address the now while setting your brand up for success in the future.
Provide Value to Your Audience
Focus on providing value to your audience during this difficult time. Don’t take advantage of the situation just for clicks, as this will add to the noise and won’t be appreciated by your audience. Be true to your brand. Provide useful information to help people get through this tough situation. Share resources if it makes sense, promote your products or offer sales if it’s appropriate, and tailor your crisis messaging to be specific to your brand and industry.
For more tips related to marketing and communications during the COVID-19 crisis, check out “Do’s & Don’ts for Marketing During the Coronavirus Crisis” and “Coronavirus & PR: 6 Things Communications Professionals Should Do During COVID-19.”