How to Manage Social Media with Covid-19 Around
The speed and ferocity with which the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the world is unprecedented. With people forced to self-quarantine and maintain social distancing, people’s lives and livelihoods have taken a downward spiral. The silver lining, however, is that the crisis will pass once a vaccine is found or herd immunity is developed. Until then, the new normal would be disruption, which everyone is witnessing now. In those moments, how does our interaction with social networks change or evolve? Is it time to harness the power of social media to your advantage and being accused of exploiting a situation or staying with your target audience is the moot question? So, let’s take a look at some things to do on social media during such a crisis. Remember, never before in history have we had the power of the internet and as a corollary, social media, to move forward even during a global pandemic like Covid-19. Let’s make it count, then, instead of throwing our hands out in despair.
# Don’t act in a hurry:
In times of crisis, it is common to panic when thinking about the uncertain future. And in most cases, the first instinct is to make hasty decisions without considering all aspects of your business and the crisis. However, the result can be adverse for your business. For example, if you write a post that sells your products or services, your target audience is likely to be surprised or worse, angry. They might think that you are exploiting a situation for business gain. So the first lesson is not to follow relentless business momentum, but to understand what your audience might be thinking during such a crisis. Don’t keep posting content on your social media profile like there’s no tomorrow. Cure each post taking into account the likely reaction of your audience. Posting on social media should strengthen your brand proposition and show the human side of your business. Rather than being overtly entrepreneurial, try to assuage your clients’ concerns about the crisis by posting positive notes. In case it is difficult for you to get the right idea, get information from the social media posts of reputable companies.
# Ask questions about your brand:
In the early days of the crisis, if you don’t have a compelling case that your audience is looking to you for “guidance,” don’t comment. Ask yourself questions like: will your comment be seen as an attempt to milk the crisis, or will your comment really help your audience deal with the crisis? However, instead of sitting idle, think about how your brand can help in those moments. For example, can you participate in fundraising activities by engaging your audience members to help the homeless affected by this crisis? Therefore, plan your activities in such a way that your profile among the target audience rises. A glance at the World Health Organization Facebook page can guide you at www.facebook.com/WHO/ on the type of message to post.
While it is important to curate a well-thought and well-intentioned message during a crisis, care must be taken in how you convey the message. Remember, your audience may be disproportionately affected by the pandemic or distrust its short-term or long-term implications. Therefore, your message should not appear inconsiderate or out of place, for example with memes, jokes or GIFs. It is advisable to use your social media platform to spread information about the pandemic. Yes, you can share vetted humorous messages to spread joy amid sadness.
# Sensitive messages:
There may be a tendency for companies and brands to share information with their target audience about the pandemic. However, the information must be examined and taken from reliable sources. Your post should not be seen as fueling a panic with false or outdated information. Also, make sure you use hashtags correctly, as misuse can lead to problems. For example, when using the hashtag # Covid19, your brand should not be seen as a promotion. Rather, leave those hashtags to the authorities or interested brands dealing with the crisis. Let’s understand one thing: a crisis situation is not a marketing opportunity.
# As usual:
The audience may at some point become bored with the news about Covid-19. Rather they would seek normality. Your brand can review its approach at that point and recalibrate the strategy, especially with social media. Start with brand promotion by focusing on people rather than focusing on business.
The current pandemic can be classified as unprecedented for this generation and must be managed wisely by businesses. With social media emerging as the go-to platform for people locked inside their homes who maintain social distancing, your brand must take advantage of them appropriately. Be careful not to appear like you are exploiting the situation, but to be a responsible brand when dealing with human emotions.