When a pandemic strikes, it’s best to have your next social media strategy prepared. It’s important to focus on your digital marketing efforts since the likelihood of people staying home is very high. In fact, it’s one of the most crucial times to be in the digital space as platforms like Facebook saw a 37 percent increase in user engagement and Facebook Messenger saw over a 50 percent increase. As all marketing strategies work, where the people go, your business should go!
However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean just jump in and start posting content. You need to be strategic with it in order to have the most effective presence and to prevent posting insensitive or irrelevant content. You’ll be competing with a lot of other businesses doing the same if they realize the importance of this, so the market will become a bit saturated. But with the right tools and your own unique twist, you can stand out!
We’ve put together a list of six social media strategies to consider amidst a pandemic that also complements your public relations strategies to make for an all-around successful marketing campaign:
Watch your tone
This is one of the most important strategies to consider because it could hurt or help your brand within seconds. Try to keep your posts informative or lighthearted. The world will be digesting a lot of negative news, so any positivity will be appreciated. Keep in mind people might be losing their jobs and dreams with their small businesses. Coming off as too sales-y or inconsiderate could leave a bad taste. Have multiple people read over your copy to get different perspectives before reaching the final post.
2. Be consistent with messages
In a time where so much is uncertain, what your business is doing shouldn’t be. Ensure that any important messages or information about your business that the public needs to know is consistent across all platforms. A great example of this is what we saw with COVID-19 as many businesses put out a statement on their website homepage that was then shared across social media platforms. This keeps others in-the-know in the most efficient way possible.
Pro Tip: You can change the length of your message and reformat to fit each social media platform due to character limitations, but make sure the key message is still present.
3. Engage, engage, engage
Now is the time to get active with your community. Everyone has more time on their hands and the only place they can gather together is online. It’s the perfect opportunity to create relationships and make existing connections stronger. Engaging includes responding to comments, posting stories daily, liking other profile’s content, hosting a Live, sharing content, and so much more - bottom line, have an active presence.
It’s also great to note that during this time, you should be sure to respond quickly to any negative comments or messages regarding what your business is doing in response to the pandemic. Negative engagement is just as, if not more, important than positive engagement!
4. Collaborate with others
Collaboration is key, pandemic, or no pandemic. Consider different ways you could cross collaborate with other social media accounts. Whether it’s an Instagram Live, Facebook Webinar, LinkedIn blog post, or live Twitter feed chats, the possibilities are endless.
There are a few things you want to make sure you’re strategizing beforehand. Ask yourself questions like - Who would be relevant to collaborate with for my brand? How would my audience respond to it? Is my goal to educate, entertain, or engage? What’s the best platform to execute my idea on?
Once you have those answers, your next steps are to research, reach out to the collaborator, schedule a date and time, and promote across all platforms. As we saw with COVID-19, Instagram Live was a hit with many accounts going live daily. This allows you to engage with your audience and tap into the audiences of others. In other words, it’s a win-win!
5. Show your support
We cannot stress enough the importance of showing support for other small businesses, entrepreneurs, and those affected by the pandemic. No matter what industry you work in, you’re feeling the impact of the environment around you. This is when community means the most because everyone is struggling, but we still have each other to lean on and that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Show your support by offering a service or product for free or at a discounted price, start a fundraiser to help those in need, give a portion of your proceeds to charity...anything giving back to the community works. Don’t be shy about it either! Promote what you’re offering as much as you can.
6. Create engaging content
Since everyone is online, you’ll want to create captivating content to get their attention, right? Right, if it’s relevant to the current climate. You still want to have a balance of pandemic and non-pandemic related content. A good starting point could be researching what other competitors and people in your industry are doing, analyzing how well their audiences are reacting to their content, and start creating your strategy (just don’t wait too long in the process - as the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm).
Imagine this: you’re walking into a room of your target audience who may have just lost their jobs or know someone who has - you wouldn’t just scream “buy my product!” You need to feel out the room first and figure out what information is of value to your audience. Don’t have any expectations of getting anything back in return. If they're interested in your product or services, they’ll reach out to you.
Social media is about giving more than receiving, especially during a pandemic.