How do you use social media for marketing your business during the COVID19 pandemic? How can you communicate on social media during a time of global crisis?
Carefully, and with compassion.
With the coronavirus sweeping across the nation, there’s no such thing as business-as-usual. Busines-as-unusual is way more accurate! Still, social media use is up. According to TechCrunch, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram reported a 40% increase in usage across the coveted 18- to 34-year-old age group.
As we practice social distancing, staying connected is more important than ever before. With people turning to social media to stay connected with friends, get informed, and for entertainment, many businesses are trying to find creative and empathetic ways to maintain the strength of their brands during times of crisis.
We won’t pretend to have all the answers, but here are a few ways that you can use social media to market your business during the time of COVID19.
Listening and Acknowledging
Rather than focusing entirely on selling and promotion, use this time to build your social media following by listening and acknowledging.
As tempting as it is to put up your Christmas lights and party like is 2019, ignoring COVID19 as you market your business on social media may come off as inauthentic or, even worse, opportunistic.
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Instead, ask your customers and clients to reach out to you. Ask them what they need and find out what they’re going through. Use this time to really listen to your customers and then use your social media channels to acknowledge how the virus may be affecting their lives or their businesses.
Small Business Trends recently noted that “We’re living in times where consumer spending has limited itself to the very essentials. So, expecting your online marketing to boost sales right now would be unfair. However, now’s a great time to build your online following, and put out content that’s needed.”
And what’s needed right now is kindness, compassion, and empathy. Use your social media accounts to demonstrate an honest “We’re all in this together!” mindset.
Once you have some solid input from the “listening and acknowledging” phase, it’s time to start thinking about your clients’ needs and then brainstorm new ways that your business can help.
Everyone loves a good story. Now, more than ever, your audience could use a good story that connects, inspires, and offers hope. Tell your own #WFH stories, share your best mask tips, or find out what your customers and clients are doing and how they’re coping. Look for bright spots in our uncertain landscape and share them with your stakeholders.
Use your LinkedIn account post uplifting stories and to engage with your connections — don’t forget to give a thumbs-up for a job well done.
Be Relevant and Helpful
“Relevance is key as brand managers navigate this global crisis. While some businesses may naturally find themselves at the center of the conversation, especially those in healthcare and adjacent industries, others won’t be. Brand managers should listen to the conversation on social media and determine if their audience wants or needs anything from them … Audiences can smell opportunistic brands from a mile away, and they won’t be scared to call out those that aren’t being authentic” (PR Daily).
Make your brand relevant and helpful on social media by offering WFH tips or wellness resources. Use your Twitter feed to share information and updates related to how COVID19 is impacting your industry.
We’re here. We’re in this together. And we’re ready to help if you need us.
To learn more about planning and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.