The world’s greatest social media trending topic over the last few weeks has been COVID-19. We all went from a casual night out with friends to social distancing in a matter of days. Amid other closures, restaurants and bars have now been forced to find new ways to operate to avoid the spread of this virus.
As a marketing agency, we have the responsibility of maintaining a multitude of projects for our clients. Times are shifting and we’re constantly getting new updates on protocols and warnings. With all of this change comes uncertainty for clients and even internally at your firm. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty to list a few thoughts when considering your social media strategy during this pandemic.
Now is the time to pick up the phone. Start with simply asking how they’re doing. It’s okay to be human. While your restaurant client is probably considering a completely different menu, another is configuring new plans on how to virtually communicate with customers. Obvious reminder: all clients are different. Nevertheless, hop on a call and see how you can help. Now is the time to switch around content and be flexible to the clients’ needs.
Most social media content is created days, weeks or even months in advance before published. This dynamic is in place to ensure that you’re consistently giving yourself time to be proactive and work ahead for your client. So, when something happens like COVID-19, start reviewing your work. Look at what’s scheduled and see if it’s still accurate or relevant. If it doesn’t make sense, trash it! If it does make sense but you think the timing is wrong, reschedule it! Use this time to keep your channels socially aware of current events and don’t feel that you need to be detached from the community you’re invested in.
We’ve seen it and you probably have too! More people are now reaching out with questions or concerns directly on a social page or even sliding into a brand’s DMs. Ensure that you’re posting content that answers a majority of questions. This could include store hours, how your organization is responding, what products are still available and where they can find updates. You must be constantly communicating with customers and keeping up with their questions. Untimely, your followers want to feel that they can trust you!
With social distancing at its finest, try and find ways to be creative or virtually inclusive. Utilize features on different platforms to provide the opportunity to connect with your audience. If you are a restaurant, post videos about your recipes and how to’s. Are you a company that does a lot of projects and have been wanting to answer questions on the spot but never had the time? Now is your chance! Think about hosting a Q&A or even virtual classes for DIY projects. Allow people the opportunity to connect with you.
COVID-19 is going to impact every sector and industry. People may be stuck inside, but after all the engagement and initial panic, it will eventually slow down. Understand that this doesn’t reflect your brand, but rather the current conditions. While people may have more time to be active on their phones, they are waiting for updates on this situation and what’s to come. This is the time to be proactive and think about your future plans and ideas.
Lastly, show compassion. Show empathy. Allow your audience, at this time, to see your vulnerable side. Encourage growth and how the community and team can come together to support local businesses, big businesses or whatever it may be. During this time, embrace your audience on social media, illustrate your support and show that you care.