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How to tailor your social media strategy and messaging during the crisis

Right now everyone is trying to adjust to this ‘new normal’ as they adapt their communication strategies and even their business models. However, it is still just as important to keep in touch with customers via social media to reassure any concerns or queries they may have. Social media is often the first way a potential consumer interacts with the business. With everyone spending more time at home, social media usage has risen dramatically. Facebook and Instagram usage has increased over 40% due to Covid-19, with the usage of the live feature doubling in just one week (Later, March 2020). This means that more than ever it is important to keep your profile updated and keep in touch with your followers. 

Here are five key tips on managing your social media communication:

 

  1. Keep up to date

The best thing that you can do for your business at the moment is to keep your finger on the pulse. Keep in touch with your followers and try to understand how they are feeling right now. Customer service is just as important as ever; your customers now will still be your customers after Covid-19 so it’s important that they feel reassured and valued even when you can’t see them face to face. Make sure you answer all messages that come through and pay close attention to your social media feeds. Identify what feels appropriate and sensitive to the current climate and what doesn’t, and adjust your strategy from there. 

 

  1. Be compassionate 

During times like these, people turn to each other. Your business has built a strong, loyal community and you should aim to spread a compassionate message during this time that provides value. It is important to remember that this is a time when people are extremely sensitive, and although it is imperative that you still market your business, Covid-19 should not be used as a marketing opportunity or something to capitalise on. People respect that businesses are under serious pressure at the moment, so try to approach your social messaging with an honest and thoughtful tone. Put yourself in your followers’ shoes; what would you like to see? If you’re a restaurant and still offering delivery and collection services, advertise this so that you can let people know that you are still open for business. Continuing to tastefully promote your business and the services you have on offer on social media is key to helping your business survive.

 

  1. Over-communicate rather than under-communicate

During such unprecedented times, customers like to know what’s going on. If your shipping times are extended or your product selection is reduced due to COVID-19, let customers know in advance so they can adjust their expectations. Concentrate on what you can do, and communicate that message to your audience. The biggest challenge is ensuring that customer perceptions don’t change negatively. Focus on clear messaging which communicates all relevant updates as well as details of the precautions you are taking to keep consumers and employees safe. Consistent, honest communication will gain the respect and trust of your followers.

 

  1. Evaluate your current campaigns 

Is your business currently running a campaign or about to launch a new product? It is important to evaluate whether any current or upcoming campaigns are still relevant and appropriate. Do you need to change the direction of your social media strategy? For example, if your previous goal was to increase brand awareness, it may be wise to change the direction of the promotion to increase sales if your brick and mortar store is temporarily closed. While it is still imperative to promote your business, taking a step back and evaluating what may and may not work in this climate will do your business the world of good. Your business should maintain its own unique messaging, but it may be necessary to temporarily adjust to the tone to ensure the sensitivity needed to suit this situation.

 

  1. Highlight how your business can provide value

As previously mentioned, although it’s important not to use Covid-19 as a marketing strategy, keeping your audience up to date on your current offering is essential to ensuring your business’ survival. Inform your customers on what products/services you are offering that could give their life during quarantine a little boost. For example, a restaurant offering deliveries and collections or a ‘build your own burger/pizza box’ will bring the restaurant experience right into their customers’ homes. If your business is focused on helping your target market and providing value to them, your consumer base will appreciate this.

Public Relations