In the face of a public health crisis, it’s not only essential to communicate with your audience, but to ensure you’re communicating the right message to them. Social media is one of the best ways to interact with your clients and customers, since most people are frequently on their computers and mobile devices during self-isolation or quarantine.
As a business, it’s your responsibility to create a social media plan that best contributes to public safety and showcases the measures you are taking to help stop the spread of the outbreak. To help you navigate the new expectations of social media, we’ve compiled the best tips on how to effectively use social media during COVID-19.
1. Announce Changes Quickly On All Social Media Platforms
Keep your audience informed every step of the way by making constant updates on the status of your business. Announce any changes to your business and communicate them promptly. This includes changes to your business hours, to the services you are offering, to the policies you previously enforced and more.
With the ever changing landscape of COVID-19, it is of the utmost importance to ensure you use every social channel you have in your arsenal. Consumers need to hear from brands consistently with relevant updates on how to navigate the crisis as it relates to your brand or category.
2. Use Instagram Live and Facebook Live
If possible and relevant to your brand, shift your social strategy to offer your services online, where applicable. Instagram Live and Facebook Live offer you the means to connect with your audience in a human, genuine way and to answer questions your consumers may have in real time.
Live video offers many benefits that pre-recorded videos do not. After all, 82% of audiences prefer live videos to standard social posts. In fact, Facebook Live videos receive 3x higher engagement than pre-recorded videos.
Because of social distancing, social media users will be seeking opportunities to connect with more people and live videos offer human interaction without being face-to-face. If offering services virtually isn’t a viable option for your business, getting online to keep in touch with your consumers on Facebook and Instagram Live and to offer support or relevant updates can still be extremely helpful.
Here are some live video ideas for your business:
- Live workout class or meditation
- Live Q & A
- Live business updates
- Product demonstrations
- Live morning routine during COVID-19
As a reminder, anytime you reach out to your audience live, keep in mind the sensitivity of the current situation. Adopt a mindset of trying to lessen the impacts of the pandemic, rather than making light of it, or avoiding the subject altogether.
3. Maintain Social Listening During COVID-19
Social listening is an important part of any social media strategy, and is more important now than ever before. ‘#Coronavirus’ is currently the second most used hashtag of 2020, with tweets regarding the pandemic being shared every 45 milliseconds.
If you’re using a social listening service (eg. Sprout or Sprinklr), set up keyword tracking for terms related to ‘COVID-19’ or ‘coronavirus’ in relation to your brand, services or products. This will help to identify the questions and concerns of your audience and helps create insightful responses to them.
4. Ensure Sensitivity — Don’t Use Fear as a Tactic!
When posting on your social media platforms, always ensure your posts are sensitive to the current situation. During this delicate time, it’s important to always double-check that your posts are extremely sensitive. Never make light of the health crisis and never try to evoke fear.
Although there is no shortage of memes and comedic content circulating the Internet, it should not be forgotten that there are people who are struggling to fight the virus or who have lost loved ones to it. This fact should always be kept in mind when publishing social content.
5. Create Social Media Content to Support Your Customers
During this time of self-isolation, social media use is only expected to increase. Audiences seek positive messages that promote good mental health during isolation or content that keeps them engaged. Decide if there is a way for you to provide comfort to your customers during these challenging times. This could mean offering free virtual workout classes to boost morale, self-help guides or tips for struggling businesses.
Here are a few ideas for content:
- Recipes or live-stream cook-alongs
- Posts with lists of at-home activities (games, crafts, decor, etc.)
- Free live stream at-home workouts
- Features for best self-isolation stories from consumers
- Self-care guides and tips
- Productivity guides
It’s important for businesses to be aware that the current social media landscape has never before been navigated and is continuously changing. Using social media, as well as other digital marketing strategies effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic, requires using a genuine human voice and showing your customers that you care about their personal health and well-being. By following these steps and keeping updated on the state of the outbreak, you can use your social channels to their full potential, while remaining sensitive to the situation.