As social distancing makes us increasingly isolated, the concept of connection takes on a new meaning and the role of social media has certainly changed.
Social media has been driving a lot of conversations regarding our current global crisis. Twitter states that Covid-19 related tweets are being shared every 45 milliseconds, with #coronavirus being the second most used hashtag of 2020. People are continuing to use social media to share their experiences, information and feelings about the unprecedented situation.
That communication is powerful, but what is more powerful is when the conversation turns into real connection among distant individuals. In the last several weeks, people have used social media to reach out, help others and create meaningful relationships.
But what is the role of brands in facilitating this connection? 78% of consumers want brands to use social media to help people connect with each other. Brands should create connection through relevance.
Get a pulse on the conversation
One of the major challenges that brands face during a crisis is knowing how and when to adjust marketing strategies. It can be difficult to cancel strategies and marketing plans you’ve worked on, but be mindful that acting like it’s “business as usual” could come off as tone-deaf.
So what’s the first move to make? Continue to monitor your social audience and media as a whole to understand what main topics, crisis updates and concerns are spurring stress in your community. Things are rapidly changing, so keep an eye on these developments to ensure your content is appropriate and relevant.
Keep a finger on the pulse of the conversation and apply those insights to your approach. This way, your brand can be a considerate, organic and valuable contributor to the conversation.
Is there a place for you?
Once you’ve analysed the current state of conversation, determine the role your brand can play, and whether or not your audience needs anything from you. Whether it’s providing how-tos on working effectively from home, tips for investing during this time, or free yoga classes to calm anxiety, determine if there is an organic way for you to be helpful during this time.
Don’t turn the global emergency into a platform to promote
It might be tempting to find new ways to stimulate your business and the economy, but audiences can smell opportunistic brands from a mile away. If you can’t provide help, it might be best for you to publish a single message to showcase your empathy in this situation. Just make sure it aligns with the brand you’ve built.
It’s also ok to be quiet. Not every brand needs to create a full campaign to address the current pandemic. Additionally, take a good look at promotional content you may have scheduled and consider pausing those campaigns until calm is restored.
Lead with empathy, not fear
We’re all in this together. Use the shared experience to make your content authentic. Brands should be careful not to market to the fear people are experiencing. Global health scares are not a marketing opportunity to capitalise on. Sensitive and calm helpfulness is critical during uncertain times: customers will appreciate you much more if they know they can trust you.
Turn to your community
We may be social distancing right now, but as humans we crave connection. Open yourself up to conversations with your community and help create that connection. A global crisis isn’t an opportunity to boast about your business, but it can be a chance to illustrate the personality and compassion of your brand.
In anxious times, you may face the real challenge of burnout. Take breaks and step away from your screen when necessary.