How to Adapt Your Social Media Strategy During COVID-19
The Importance of Social Media During a Crisis
During this uncertainty, social media has quickly become the go-to for communication and updates. These statistics below provide context to how social media usage has drastically changed since the start of COVID-19:
- Facebook saw a 70% increase in usage of all its apps in March.
- 43% of social media users stated they’d use Instagram more if they were confined to their homes during COVID-19.
- News consumption through social media rose by 9% between January and April.
- Tik Tok has become the most downloaded app ever in any three month period during quarantine.
Data points like these are shedding light on the fact that now is the most strategic time for businesses to refine their social media strategy. Businesses need to strengthen relationships in areas where consumers are spending the most time during COVID-19. By understanding your audience, creating mindful messaging, and elevating your communication strategy, your brand can reach consumers in an impactful way and develop a larger audience.
Acknowledge the Situation
Right now is the most important time to show consumers that you are listening to them and acknowledging the situation seriously. Consumers will be listening carefully to see how you are reacting and taking action. Ignoring the COVID-19 crisis will result in your brand being perceived as tone-deaf and disconnected. Consumers already were carefully evaluating brands for their company values and actions leading up to COVID-19, and the pandemic only accelerated this trend. Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Coca Cola were among some of the top brands who received a large increase in positive sentiment from consumers due to their progressive actions in providing aid and relief efforts during the crisis. In a time where consumers are spending conservatively and carefully, taking a stance by giving back is one of the most valuable actions brands can take in helping their online reputation.
Overall Best Practices to Keep in Mind
This is a very sensitive time right now and it’s important to take into consideration how your social content can impact others and your brand as a result.
- Consider placing a pause on all sales related messaging and large paid social campaigns in light of everything going on right now.
- Think about the timing of your messaging and whether it could potentially be misconstrued in any way.
- Increase your communication efforts so your consumers are consistently updated with the newest and relevant information.
- Shift messaging in place such as “buy now” and “book now”. Instead, create call-to-actions such as “postpone”, “book for your future trip”, or messaging that is relevant and appropriate for your brand.
- Identify any and all questions, comments, concerns, or opinions your audience may have and preemptively plan out how you will address them. This will give consumers the confidence to go to your social profile as a trustworthy resource.
- Maintain an authentic and empathetic tone of voice that is still in line with your brand.
Shift Your Content Strategy
Consumers are spending more time online, however, they are reacting to social media content quite differently due to COVID-19. If your brand created content collateral prior to COVID-19, consider adjusting it, saving it for future use, or scrapping it altogether. You don’t want to be perceived as insensitive by consumers during this time by using pre-scheduled collateral.
Because this situation surrounding COVID-19 is continuously changing, this means so is your social content strategy. This also means your brand should prioritize providing updates and information revolving around all procedures, policies, and new service offerings related to COVID-19. Consumers are turning to social media as their go-to resource for updates and information, which should be kept in mind when planning out your social media content.
Successful content in today’s day and age should reflect the current times we’re living in. You can appeal to consumers by creating engaging content that informs, educates, entertains, and inspires your audience. Given the fact that people are spending the majority of their time at home now, try to think of ways you can bring your brand’s products, services, or offerings to your consumer’s home. Virtual events, challenges, and demos are just a few examples of ways you can connect to your audience. You can take advantage of the increased time spent online by leveraging Instagram Live and Facebook Live to do virtual tours, host Q&A sessions, and more. This is a fantastic opportunity for your brand to showcase everything special about your business and engage with your fans.
Contests, giveaways, and quizzes like the above example are a great way to connect with your audience and get to know them on a deeper level while providing lighthearted entertainment during this time. If you’re in the fitness industry, encourage your audience to stay fit with ideas like “Quarantine Challenges” or create that same fitness experience by uploading workout videos online. These have become highly popular and have shown great success in strengthening the relationship between brands and their customers.
Other industries such as the food services industry have been giving the same brand experience virtually with live cooking shows, tutorials and recipes. Wherever you are in the reopening stages, you can also find creative ways to show how your business is following COVID-19 safety protocol and procedures. It may seem difficult for brands to provide that same experience prior to COVID-19, but with the right ideas and content, it can be achieved.
No matter what industry you’re in, increasing communication and frequency of your social content will reinforce your brand’s message that you are here to support your customers during this time. Communication is an integral aspect of connecting and building relationships with consumers while increasing brand exposure. When increasing your volume of social content, try to keep a balance between the themes of your social media posts. There should be a good mix between content that’s meant to provide updates, information, entertainment, and any other topic. This will keep your audience interested and coming back for more.
Leverage Social Media Management
The situation around COVID-19 is continuously changing, which means brands need to constantly be on the alert, monitor social media content, and adapt as needed. Leveraging a social media management tool can help your brand easily streamline your social media process and stay on top of all these changes.
Bulk publishing, social media listening, and social analytics are all key features of Chatmeter’s Social Suite that can help brands create a proactive social media strategy. Additionally, Chatmeter’s Social Suite can help you filter through social media activity by sentiment and keywords to help you address any COVID-19 related concerns quickly. This is a crucial time to hear and respond to customer feedback, and consumers will be looking to see how you are responding.
There’s no template for how to manage your social content during a pandemic. However, a COVID-19 social strategy and a social media management tool can help you adapt to change quickly to give consumers what they need at this time. Want to know what consumers are saying about your brand? Schedule a free demo with our location experts and find out how your brand can connect with customers at this time.