The Importance of Social Media During a Crisis
During this uncertainty, social media has quickly become the go-to for communication and updates. These statistics below provide context to how social media usage has drastically changed since the start of COVID-19:
Data points like these are shedding light on the fact that now is the most strategic time for businesses to refine their social media strategy. Businesses need to strengthen relationships in areas where consumers are spending the most time during COVID-19. By understanding your audience, creating mindful messaging, and elevating your communication strategy, your brand can reach consumers in an impactful way and develop a larger audience.
Acknowledge the Situation
Right now is the most important time to show consumers that you are listening to them and acknowledging the situation seriously. Consumers will be listening carefully to see how you are reacting and taking action. Ignoring the COVID-19 crisis will result in your brand being perceived as tone-deaf and disconnected. Consumers already were carefully evaluating brands for their company values and actions leading up to COVID-19, and the pandemic only accelerated this trend. Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Coca Cola were among some of the top brands who received a large increase in positive sentiment from consumers due to their progressive actions in providing aid and relief efforts during the crisis. In a time where consumers are spending conservatively and carefully, taking a stance by giving back is one of the most valuable actions brands can take in helping their online reputation.
Overall Best Practices to Keep in Mind
This is a very sensitive time right now and it’s important to take into consideration how your social content can impact others and your brand as a result.
- Consider placing a pause on all sales related messaging and large paid social campaigns in light of everything going on right now.
- Think about the timing of your messaging and whether it could potentially be misconstrued in any way.
- Increase your communication efforts so your consumers are consistently updated with the newest and relevant information.
- Shift messaging in place such as “buy now” and “book now”. Instead, create call-to-actions such as “postpone”, “book for your future trip”, or messaging that is relevant and appropriate for your brand.
- Identify any and all questions, comments, concerns, or opinions your audience may have and preemptively plan out how you will address them. This will give consumers the confidence to go to your social profile as a trustworthy resource.
- Maintain an authentic and empathetic tone of voice that is still in line with your brand.
Shift Your Content Strategy
Consumers are spending more time online, however, they are reacting to social media content quite differently due to COVID-19. If your brand created content collateral prior to COVID-19, consider adjusting it, saving it for future use, or scrapping it altogether. You don’t want to be perceived as insensitive by consumers during this time by using pre-scheduled collateral.
Because this situation surrounding COVID-19 is continuously changing, this means so is your social content strategy. This also means your brand should prioritize providing updates and information revolving around all procedures, policies, and new service offerings related to COVID-19. Consumers are turning to social media as their go-to resource for updates and information, which should be kept in mind when planning out your social media content.