Things are anything but normal right now. As we are all adjusting our lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re spending a lot more time on social media than before. In fact, studies show that channels like Facebook and Instagram have seen a 40% increase in use over the past month. With users spending so much time in their homes on social media, businesses have an opportunity to engage and update customers on their current situation and impart more of their brand story and voice upon highly engaged listeners. During times of crisis, it’s important to adapt your strategy to the current climate of things and speak to customers in a manner that is authentic and from the heart.
If you’re unsure of how to navigate these unsure waters, consider these few do’s and don’ts of posting to social media during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do Keep Communication Open
Now is not the time for your brand to go silent on social media. Showing customers you care starts with taking a moment to acknowledge the crisis that’s going on. Be sure to thank your customers for their loyalty and let them know you’ll be there for them during this tough time. In the event that customers want to support your business or need your products, let them know about any alternative delivery or pickup options you’ve set up for their convenience and safety.
Don’t Overwhelm Users
Don’t post “just to post”. Provide users with relevant information that pertains to your brand and their lives. If your business undergoes any changes during this time, like switching from “in-house dining” to “take out only” for you restaurant owners out there, use social media to share this information. You want to show your customers that you’re there for them and you’re “in it together”, without coming across as desperate or pesky. Your brand’s integrity can be irreparably damaged if you misstep in navigating these waters.
Do Share the Good You’ve Spread
Right now, more than ever, we can all use a little more good news in their lives. Many businesses are doing their part and extending a helping hand to others in need during these tough times. If your business is looking to contribute to these efforts and help support healthcare and other frontline workers like grocery store employees, let your customers know what you’re doing to help. You can also reiterate any ways customers can join you by donating funds, products, or buying from your business. People looking for ways to connect with organizations typically respond best with direct action-driven initiatives. Sharing your initiatives can help dramatically strengthen their impact and reach.
Don’t Capitalize on the Wrong Trends
Staying relevant and capitalizing on trending topics is important, but this situation is different than most. Avoid jumping on the bandwagon and posting just to post if you see #COVID19 or other pandemic related topics trending. Remember, now is the time to connect with your customers through a show of genuine care.
Do Post About Products
While it is important to avoid overly promoting yourself, you should still be sprinkling your products and services into your posts. However, your approach may not look the same as before. If your brand sells clothing for example, tailor the imagery to fit today’s new normal, and stick with images of people inside of their homes and practicing social distancing while wearing your products. Avoid imagery that evokes “group” behavior. No crowds, no high fives.
Don’t Overly Promote Yourself
When sharing your brand and promoting products or services, try to avoid coming off as overly promotional or pushy. Perhaps you, like many other businesses, have added different products or services in response to COVID-19. Instead of promoting these services in a way that comes off as salesly or opportunistic, communicate the value it will bring to users and how it will brighten their lives during this time.
Do Use Sensitive Language
COVID-19 has impacted the lives of millions of people, and being sensitive with your messaging is extremely important. Use positive language and affirmations to show your customers that your business is resilient and dedicated to serving its customers and clients. Tell your users to stay connected and to stay tuned for future communications. The goal is to let them know you’re thinking of their wellbeing and that you’ll be there when it’s all over.
Don’t Use Sensationalized Language
People are seeing shocking headlines everywhere they look, and your business should be a beacon of light. Negative language can make users feel isolated and upset, and get the conversation started on your posts for the wrong reasons. Avoid using language that could be overly salesy or considered “fear-mongering”. Stay away from words like “catastrophic”, “devastating”, “terrifying”, and “shocking”.
Use Social Media to Stay Connected
Social media is a channel that allows businesses and consumers to stay in touch in a real and immediate way. Remember to be kind and thoughtful with your posts right now and share valuable information when you’re sending out your message. The goal, now more than ever before, is to stay relevant with customers and to focus on developing your brand story and voice.
At Cape & Bay, we’re here to help you navigate uncharted waters. Our experienced social media team crafts strategies that keep you at the forefront of your customer’s minds through it all. Ready for some guidance navigating social media? Let’s chat.