Social Media Management Strategies to Practice In the Midst of COVID-19
We are currently living in unprecedented times. For the past 8 weeks or so, the world has come to a grinding halt in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Numerous industries, as well as millions of employees globally, have been badly affected by closures and downsizings.
While retail and small businesses reel from the deep-seated financial effects of the coronavirus, social media stands as an essential tool to keep one’s business afloat and still deliver quality services to their clients. Now more than ever, the use of online platforms continuously helps businesses operate with reduced hours and reach as many customers as they can.
But this is only temporary. The trend of social media usage in times of quarantine and lockdowns might change. We’re still not sure how long this will last.
That being said, let’s take a look at proper social media management etiquette during times of crisis. After all, just because a business can still operate online doesn’t mean that it’s business as usual—at least, not for the time being.
Good Social Media Practices During COVID-19
Don’t Be an Opportunist
Businesses should know by now that in times of crisis, it’s never a good thing to take advantage of the whole COVID-19 situation for profit. Not only is this unethical, but also insensitive and careless.
It’s okay to earn money and deliver goods and services in these times. Heck, lots of people are probably in need of it anyway. But piggybacking on the pandemic for clout and self-promotion are things that should be avoided at all costs.
Think about the greater use of social media for your business and how it can help you reach significant business goals in the midst of a lockdown.
If a social media plan for the next quarter of the year is absent from the list of things you should be doing, now is the time to come up with a strategy.
Maybe you have a couple of campaigns in mind that you wanted to launch earlier in Q1, but coronavirus threats deem it unnecessary or a bit out of touch.
This is a good time to soft sell and appeal to one’s emotions than directly plastering your product on their faces. It’s an opportunity for your business to contribute to society in any way you can.
Sure, we all need to earn a profit, but in the end, it’s in how you put your customer’s needs first ahead of your own.
Find Ways to Contribute
It all boils down to what your business can do to help. We’re not talking about hosting donation drives or relief/medical efforts (but if you can, then, by all means, please do so) as there are numerous ways a business can help out during the pandemic.
A good example is Buffer, a social media management platform. They have always operated in a remote setting, so working from home is not new. But now, since many employees are mandated to work from home, a lot of them would definitely need some help in getting their bearings right.
That need is an area where Buffer comes to the rescue.
Loom, a video and screen recording software, concentrated their efforts on reducing prices and making their software free for those in the education sector.
Other local businesses, on the other hand, have been keen on informing their customers of their revised hours and delivery numbers. It could also be good to share stories on how your business is coping with the pandemic and ways that you continually emerge victoriously.
It’s important to ask yourself: what can your brand do during this situation? Where do you fit in all of this?
Communication is Vital
Communicating with your customers and employees is paramount to any social media campaign. And now that things are not the way we’re used to, it’s doubly important to practice good communication on social media.
With so many brands and businesses affected by COVID-19 lockdown orders, customers might be overwhelmed with the drastic change. It’s your responsibility to inform them that things might be shaky, but you will be here to serve them.
Again, it all comes with one vital detail—empathy has to be a resounding element in all your messages. Ash Read, Buffer’s Editorial Director, suggests striving “to make all communication clear and relevant, and avoid making assumptions and share decisions early to give customers as much time as possible to react.”
By being clear and precise with your plans for the business, customers can rest assured that you are in control of the commodity. After all, people are desperate for any semblance of order and balance in these chaotic times.
Support Your Home Court
Apart from attending to the needs and concerns of your customers, businesses should never fail in maintaining constant communication with its employees.
In times of crisis, make it a habit to check on your team constantly as well as communicate various expectations and measures about how the workflow might look like in the coming weeks.
Letting employees know that you are standing behind them can be of big help in terms of morale and motivation.
You don’t have to be overly positive and life coach-y about it. Simply communicating your sincere concern over their safety and health will go a long way.
No one knows how long this pandemic will last. Until a vaccine is available, the best thing that we can all do as a business is to stand with each other and look after one’s emotional well-being.
Support can go a long way.
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