How to Navigate Communication on Social Media During COVID-19
There’s no hiding the fact that most businesses are going through hard times right now. Every business is having to adjust the way they do business; and unfortunately, it calls for changes in content as well. So, remember that social media content strategy that you had planned out? Well, it will probably need to be changed up a bit. But how does each company handle it? Start by asking yourselves these questions:
- What are our customers struggling with right now?
- How should we communicate with our customers?
- Does our current social media strategy make sense based on those two answers?
The answers to these questions will help guide your social media strategy through the crisis. In this blog, we share some ideas on how you can reach out to your followers through social media during a time of crisis. We hope these ideas will help you adjust your social media strategy.
Navigating communication on social media during a crisis
I’m sure your usual social media profile consists of updates, lively pictures, industry posts, and much more. But, how do you shift your content to connect with your audience during a time like COVID19? You don’t want to be too in their faces, but you also want them to know you are here for support. It’s all about finding that right balance. With that in mind, we have put together four strategies of how to navigate your communication on social media. Let’s get started!
1. Reach out to followers
It’s time to take the guesswork out of your content strategy. Don’t be afraid to be direct with your audience and ask them exactly what types of content they would like to see you post. By communicating with your audience like this, it will not only show your sensitivity to what's going on but can also help you post content that engages and connects with your customers during this time.
An example of a business that did this well is Reformation. Reformation posted on Instagram (pictured below) about how their site will still be open for purchases and you can still communicate with them through Instagram or email. They continued to add that they aren’t sure what is appropriate to post on Instagram at this time and would like to know what their audience wants to see. Their strategy of asking their audience about what they would like to see on social is smart. It’s hard to know if people want to focus on the crisis at hand or need a distraction. By asking, you can give the audience what they want!
This is an easy strategy to use on your own channels. Plan a few Instagram, Facebook, and other posts like the one above that include your company message during COVID-19. By adding your awareness on the crisis, business availability, and any other relevant information, you will give your audience a feeling of comfort.
2. Keep customers informed
With things changing daily, it's critical to keep in touch with your customers so they know about any changes to your business and how it may affect them. To get the message out, you can send an email, post on your social media pages, and even update your Google listing.
Staying on top of your company updates, as well as communicating them with your audience, is important to build a strong relationship. This example below is an Instagram post from DFTI Boutique. They posted this short announcement before all stores were closed. The post said that they are monitoring COVID-19 announcements, been cleaning and disinfecting the store, supplying hand sanitizer, and more. This is a great way to share with their audience what they are doing to stay clean and healthy, as well as supplying their customers with peace at mind that their store is disinfected and they are taking matters into their hands.
We recommend that every business creates a social post that can encourage and remind their audience what their business is doing to stay clean. It can also share the most relevant updated information with your customers. By doing this, your customers will appreciate the new information and the constant communication.
Keep your customers informed and build stronger relationships with them during these times of crisis.
Get the 5 strategies here.
3. Keep content going
We all have our content calendars filled with content we wanted to share on social media, and then COVID-19 made a little interruption (okay, a big interruption). So, it's time to put your creative thinking caps on.
You may need to get a little more creative than usual and more innovative than your typical marketing strategy. More people are on social media than ever before. Your plan should be to stay in the conversation and keep getting your content out there. Be authentic and relevant in your own way. For example, if you have a blog article that you wanted to post about on social, try to relate it to how it can be helpful in times of crisis.
I recently saw this equation and think it’s a great way to determine if you should post your content. This sandwich method helps if you are unsure about your content strategy. If your content seems out of place in this equation, then it may not be right to post.
4. Get creative
Speaking of keeping your content going and getting more creative….
Right now, we are in an unfamiliar and scary territory, which means it's time to think outside of the box.
Not only is your business being impacted, but your customers are being affected too. Businesses all over are trying to put themselves in their customer’s shoes and think about how they can still appeal to their needs.
The main thing you want to consider is usefulness. Are you providing value?
Right now, marketing is about being helpful, not capitalizing.
Make sure your services are helping others. People may be looking for your businesses' services or products right now, and you want to be the one they turn to. For instance, if you are a clothing store, make it known that you are doing free shipping or delivery. If you are a counseling office, communicate to your patients that you are doing video chat appointments.
Always consider, “What can your brand do to help?” Remember what people are dealing with right now. They are balancing work, life, home, kids, isolation, staying healthy, and so much more. You want to provide clarity in this uncertain time, so in the future, they know you are the brand they can rely on.
Acqua E Farina posted this perfect example on their social media not too long ago. Acqua E Farina is a brick oven pizza restaurant. But, since they are closed, they had to find a new way to sell their product. They decided to create pizza kits that can give local families a great way to cook dinner together and keep the kids active.
Find your quarantine idea and share it with your audience. The more creative and unique it is, the more recognition you will get for it.
To learn more about how to navigate communication during COVID-19, watch the video here.
Don’t Stop Believing (hold on to that feeling 🎶)
Hold on to that feeling that we will all make it out of these uncertain times together. Keep pushing. It’s a perfect time to connect with your customers and show your support for them through COVID-19. It’s not a time to stop posting, even if your business is closed. Stay on top of your social media content and be empathetic. Post pictures, videos, quotes, or games to keep your audience’s spirits high and build their loyalty with your brand. Now, you are ready to start navigating your communication on social media through times of crisis, the right way.