As the Covid-19 virus grips social media, brands need to tread carefully when it comes to messaging, but they can have a useful role to play during the pandemic.
Brands and agencies are scrambling to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic gripping the world and to develop appropriate communication strategies to connect with customers. And in times of national and global emergencies, social media has a more important role than ever.
Providing your audience with genuine content has always been a key factor for engagement, however, now more than ever reaching your audience with the right type of content has become imperative under the circumstances. As things are rapidly changing, so too must we as marketers.
At Four Drunk Parrots, we have a strong network of clients around us that have shown their continued support and we’re forever grateful for it because let’s face it, who could have been prepared for this? As a team, we are doing what we can to adjust to the times and learning to work not just together but with our clients and followers in innovative ways.
Posts that seemed engaging, thoughtful and provoking from a few days ago all of a sudden seem inconsequential to the bigger picture. We now have to learn to communicate in a crisis whilst still getting not just our message but our clients’ message across as well. Let’s have a look at how to manage these messages over the coming weeks (or months).
The first recommendation we can make is to ensure your message contains empathy, at this time you have more eyes than ever before on your platform. Your message should come from the heart and contain authenticity and not leveraging on people’s vulnerabilities. People resonate with human emotion and if your content stays true to that message your brand will be able to connect with your audience. If you are worried about client retention rate or even generating new clients at this time, finding ways to support your clients is going to be more beneficial for your brand than pushing your products on them.
Have a look at your current ad campaign closely. Are there big groups of people? Hands touching? Depicting someone who is ill? If so, NOW is the time to readjust. If it’s not providing value in the current climate then it’s best not to run it. McDonald’s is a prime example of adjusting to the times with its iconic golden arches going their separate ways to promote social distancing.
Social media tycoon Hootsuite is offering free access to their professional plan for small businesses and not-for-profit organisations. Furthermore, they will be launching free online workshops on managing communication issues during the crisis. This is a fantastic example of supporting their customers and is something that will be long remembered after this point in time.
Our second recommendation is consistency. Whilst it may be tempting to stop posting altogether on your business socials it’s not the right move for a number of reasons. People are seeking connection during times of uncertainty and you need to utilise your platforms to provide this. We will reiterate that the right message is still the key point, otherwise just posting for the fun of it can lead to long term issues. According to WP Engine CMO, Ellen Dugan, format, timing, distribution and channel are the crucial factors when posting during these times.
“In times of uncertainty, open and transparent communication is the key to retaining loyalty and trust.”
Posting relevant information about the crisis is also another part of managing your content in unprecedented times. Publicity For Good’s Heather de Santis states
“Consumers are going to be more willing to resonate and respond, or even share your information as well. There’s a significant need for ways that everyday people can help during times like these. Be sure to share your message on all platforms”.
It is important to note that with posting this type of content comes the responsibility of fact-checking and ensuring all your sources are correct as the spreading of misinformation can be more detrimental than not posting at all.
Update Your Profiles
Ensuring updated information on your platforms is correct is another facet of producing content in a crisis. Brands and marketers need to communicate effectively and efficiently to consumers so they are aware of what capacity your business is running at, in these times. Have you ceased operating entirely? Cut back on hours? Changed your delivery policies? How are you ensuring your staff’s health and well being and your customer’s health and well being in these times? All of these questions should be addressed clearly on your platforms. We suggest doing this more than once, creating a few posts with this information, placing it on your stories, on your website anywhere and everywhere that you communicate with your customers. Google My Business is prompting its users to do this with regular update requests ensuring business customers are in the know.
Our last suggestion is to lift each other up in these times and place your customer at the center of your communication, not your product.
- Promote charities that are contributing their time to help the elderly, frail and vulnerable.
- Highlight small or local businesses that are struggling.
- Repost some good news stories
Let’s have a chat about how we can get through these times together. Contact us here.