Managing your social media marketing during a crisis can be really stressful. I have been asked if it’s best to go dark on social altogether, keep on trucking as if it’s business as usual or even, should you use the crisis to try and boost sales?
While there isn’t a one size fits all approach, I have put together my thoughts on managing your social media marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Don’t panic
I can not stress this enough. Panicking doesn’t achieve anything. But that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? If you practice any kind of mindfulness or meditation techniques, now is the time to step up the frequency. Even simply try taking a few deep breaths. Remaining calm can help you approach situations logically and it can also help those around you. If you are a business owner, your staff, your team, even your customers may be looking to you for guidance and reassurance. You remaining calm will help them remain calm.
2. Keep posting, but don’t ignore the elephant in the room
The best approach, when it comes to your social media, is a mix of business as usual while staying sensitive to what is going on around you. Don’t ignore the situation all together however any messaging you do share that directly speaks to the pandemic, needs to be relevant and helpful to your audience. And the very last thing you want is to appear like you are trying to leverage the situation for sales or exposure. You may find it helpful to have someone sense check your content before you post it.
With more and more people isolated at home, we can expect an increase in social media traffic. Seeing businesses carry on can really help people feel a sense of normality. But ignoring the situation altogether can make you appear tone-deaf.
You may wish to share details of what you are doing in your business in response to the pandemic. Have you changed/introduced any new policies? Have you introduced any new initiatives? Are you supporting your local community in other ways?
Review any posts you had scheduled in advance. You may wish to tweak the wording. Words can take on new meaning when our environment shifts.
Also, when scrolling through your personal newsfeeds, don’t take all social media posts you read at face value. Sometimes posts that get the most viral attention can actually contain incorrect information. It’s best to follow official, credible sources for information.
3. If you share information, make sure it’s credible
There is nothing that causes panic quicker than sharing misinformation. If you do choose to share information regarding COVID-19 outside of what you are doing within your business, make sure you are sharing from an official source. There are so many people using fear as click-bait, bending the truth or quoting unreliable sources. And we all know how quickly misinformation can spread on social media. Don’t be part of the problem!
Which leads me to…
4. Don’t use fear as click-bait
It can be tempting to create content around COVID-19 simply because you know people will click but this is not a great tactic. Trying to obviously benefit during a crisis can be really off-putting.
Some people simply want to log in to Facebook or Instagram and see the usual entertaining, inspirational or educational posts they are used to and feel that sense of normality in uncertain times. You will also find some people will simply hide any posts that mention COVID-19 and having your posts hidden suggests to the platform algorithm that your content is not relevant to your audience. Best to simply avoid that tactic.
5. Keep an eye on your paid social media advertising
During times of uncertainty, you may see a drop in conversions on your paid advertising. It is important to keep an eye on your metrics and take action, only if necessary. And by necessary I mean, if you’re not comfortable with the return you are receiving from your advertising spend. If this is the case, simply pause your campaign. I don’t recommend pausing campaigns simply for the sake of pausing them. There are many businesses who will prosper through the pandemic and many who will see little impact. Having someone monitoring your advertising, if you run your own ads, is a good idea and can relieve a little stress.
6. Consider how you can support your community
In times of turmoil, it can sometimes feel good to just do something, to take action. Consider how you can help your local community. Can you deliver meals to those who are isolated at home? Can you use your expertise to offer practical advice and support to those who are worried or anxious? Can you host online, guided meditation sessions? Think outside of the box. I guarantee there will be something positive that you can offer.
7. Take a break from social media
If you find yourself scrolling social media and feeling anxious or afraid, simply log out. Take a break. Step away and focus on your own life, your real-life community. Take a walk, read a book, do something that makes you smile. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn - they will all be there when you’re ready to come back.
For more advice, Facebook have put together this specific resource for businesses. Take a look - there are some great ideas to help you navigate the challenges you may face.
If you have any questions, concerns or thoughts that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. Pop your comments below or reach out to me privately on Messenger. I would love to support you any way I possibly can.