How to manage social networks with Covid-19 around
The speed and ferocity with which the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the world is unprecedented. With people forced to quarantine and maintain social distancing, people’s lives and livelihoods have taken a downward spiral. The silver lining, however, is that the crisis will subside once a vaccine is found or herd immunity develops. Until then, the new normal would be disruption, which everyone is now witnessing. In those moments, how does our interaction with social networks change or evolve? Is it time to harness the power of social media to your advantage and accuse yourself of exploiting a situation, or is staying with your target audience the moot question? So, let’s discuss some things to do on social media during such a crisis. Remember, never before in history, we had the power of the internet and as a corollary, social networks, to get ahead even during a global pandemic like Covid-19. Let’s make it count, then, instead of throwing our hands over our heads in despair.
# Do not act in a hurry:
In times of crisis, it is common to panic thinking about the uncertain future. And in most cases, the first instinct is to make hasty decisions without considering all aspects of your business and the crisis. The result, however, can be adverse for your business. For example, if you write a post selling your products or services, your target audience is likely to be shocked or, worse yet, angry. They might think you are exploiting a situation for business gain. So the first lesson is not to go on a relentless marketing push, but to understand what your audience might be thinking during such a crisis. Don’t keep posting content on your social media profile like there’s no tomorrow. Select each post based on your audience’s likely reaction. The social media post should strengthen your brand proposition and show the human side of your business. Instead of being overtly professional, try to assuage your customers’ concerns about the crisis by posting positive notes. In case you find it difficult to find the right idea, get information from the social media posts of reputable companies.
# Ask questions about your brand:
In the early days of the crisis, if you don’t have any convincing case that your audience is looking to you for “guidance,” don’t comment. Ask yourself questions like: will your comment be seen as trying to take advantage of the crisis, or will your comment actually help your audience deal with the crisis? However, instead of sitting idle, think about how your brand can be of help in those moments. For example, can you participate in fundraising activities involving your audience members to help the homeless most affected by this crisis? Therefore, plan your activities in such a way as to increase your profile among the target audience. A look at the World Health Organization’s Facebook page can guide you at www.facebook.com/WHO/ on the type of messages you should post.
While it is important to curate a well-thought-out and well-intentioned message during the crisis, care must be taken in how the message is delivered. Remember, your audience may be disproportionately affected by the pandemic or be wary of its short- or long-term implications. Therefore, your message should not come across as inconsiderate or out of place, for example with memes, jokes, or GIFs. It is advisable to use your social media platform to spread information about the pandemic. Yes, you can share carefully vetted humorous messages to spread joy in the midst of sadness.
# Confidential messages:
There may be a trend among companies and brands to share information with their target audience about the pandemic. However, the information must be examined and taken from reliable sources. Your post should not be seen as fueling panic with false or outdated information. Also, make sure you use hashtags correctly, as incorrect use can lead to problems. For example, using the hashtag #Covid19 should not be seen as promoting your brand. Rather, leave those hashtags for concerned authorities or brands facing the crisis. Let us understand one thing that a crisis situation is not a marketing opportunity.
# As usual:
It is possible that at some point the audience will get bored with the news about Covid-19. Rather they would look for normality. Your brand can review its approach at that point and recalibrate strategy, especially with social media. Start with branding by focusing on the human instead of focusing on the business.
The current pandemic can be categorized as unprecedented for this generation and companies must handle it with prudence. With social media emerging as the go-to platform for people cooped up at home maintaining social distancing, your brand needs to take advantage of it properly. Be careful not to appear to be taking advantage of the situation, but be a responsible brand when dealing with human emotions.