While COVID-19 virus runs its course, there are more eyes on social media than ever – people want and need information, and most are stuck at home. At the same time, many companies are reeling and still figuring out how they will move forward. You probably feel like you are walking a tightrope if you oversee social media and digital advertising for your business. However, social media experts agree that now is not the time for drastic changes in how you post – in fact, you should stay consistent while adjusting for current circumstances.
Keeping your brand voice consistent helps reassure customers, employees, and vendors that the company is still on a steady course. Here are three things to keep in mind as you fine tune your approach to social media.
What You Say
You don’t want to overhaul your social media content, but depending on what it used to look like, you may have to make some changes. For example, you can’t post live updates of a current project if that work site is indefinitely closed. You may not have all the information you wish, but communicating transparently builds trust and a sense of community with your vendors, customers, and employees.
Many customers may be feeling a financial pinch themselves, so this isn’t the time for promotional messages. An exception is any offer likely to help customers with an immediate need. Relevant information for your audience could include steps you’ve taken to protect employees who are still on the job. If some or all your projects are closed, share how you’re supporting employees and what you’re doing behind the scenes to be ready when mandatory closures are lifted. If you don’t have specifics, that’s fine. For the most part, your audience wants reassurance that you’re still engaged and working on it.
If you were able to support a local food bank or donate personal protective gear to a hospital, share that – and let your audience know how they can help, too.
Creativity is key here. Sharing educational videos, either from your own team or shared by other relevant sources can also keep your name in front of your audience. One word of caution: if you are sharing information, especially about COVID-19, best practice is to link back to a government agency or an established hospital or university. The situation is evolving rapidly, and plenty of sites have shared misinformation – sometimes unknowingly.
How You Say It
Especially during a crisis like this, tone is vital. If your company has a casual or humorous voice, that can continue, but think carefully about each post. You don’t want to cross the line from casual to thoughtless.
As you’re considering each post, imagine it sitting in a customer’s social media feed next to terrible, breaking news about COVID-19. If the juxtaposition makes you cringe, rethink the timing and/or content of the post.
How You Listen
More than ever, this is a good time to take the temperature of your audience and the overall community. What are people worried about? What gives them hope? Their concerns will help you fine tune your own messaging.
As much as possible, this is also a good time engage more on a one-to-one basis. Reply to comments to share additional details or answer questions. It shows your company is engaged, and reassures your audience in ways that will help sustain your business once this crisis is over.