Navigating social media during COVID-19

As COVID-19 spreads rapidly, so too is the pandemic chatter throughout all news, digital and social spheres, bringing with it much uncertainty in the community. The knock-on effects of this have trickled through to every facet of society, with social media being no exception. To help avoid any serious social media faux pas, here are some tips to help brands navigate this challenging time.

Do not go quiet

One of the key considerations for brands on social media is to always add genuine value. You have the best opportunity to do this at a time where all eyes are on newsfeeds and our communities need us the most. Be careful though, as your content has to come from an authentic place, where you’re helping your community, not leveraging their vulnerability.

Focus on what your audience may find useful or entertaining. This could be hacks, information on how your product could add value to them, or thought leadership pieces to give your followers a chance to engage with your brand. Also use the power of humour and good news at a time like this, where sometimes it’s enough just to put a smile on someone’s face for the day.

Check the plan, check it twice

Make sure your content is sensitive and tells a story that is relevant to both these times and your brand’s audience. If you’re a content planner and have posts scheduled in advance, revisit your calendar every day to ensure that what you’re posting is purposeful and remains considerate of the fast-paced social landscape.

Tweak copy and shift content around as needed to suit the nature of the current climate and public conversations at hand. This will ensure you deliver real value, act responsibly and do right by your community.

Stay credible

Your fans don’t need you to implement the Harvard Reference System into your copy, but if you’re seeding out hacks or tips that directly relate to health or wellness, your content should be sourced, credible and 100 per cent accurate. Such content not only build trust between your brand and your fans but solidify your company’s position as a thought leader in the industry.

Leverage social listening

Taking the time out a few times each day to monitor your social community is crucial right now, especially if your brand-to-consumer relationship is being impacted by COVID-19 or other economic factors.

Listen to your online community to gauge how your customers, audience and staff are feeling. You can also sift through comments to find insight on what your community would like to see from you and how to address any needs and concerns they currently have. It is also a critical time to be responding to your audience in a timely manner and ensuring you help them feel secure in any way you can.

Be agile

It’s a content jungle out there! News is shifting quickly and people are consuming social content at the quickest rate we’ve ever seen. News about the Kardashians has been replaced by social isolation memes and ongoing updates about shutdowns.

Be proactive with content and keep your community front of mind, but if the tides turn, be sure to follow and remain in tune with what communication people require from your brand. If people are in your community it means they want to hear from you, and now is the time to be solidifying your relationship with them and showing that you’re there for them through the good and the turbulent. 

Ultimately, remain sensitive and transparent with any internal practices or initiatives that you are implementing to show your community that you are proactive in how you are responding to the current situation.

Gina Lednyak, Founder and Director, L&A Social

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