COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus, has become a global pandemic over recent weeks and it’s all anyone seems to be talking about. It’s critical for marketers to adjust their online strategy in this time of need; reassuring employees and their customers needs to be a priority. Not addressing the situation at hand and publishing content, as usual, may come across as careless and, right now, the safety and health of the community around us take precedence over typical content. Here are the best practices to follow during these difficult times:
Address the current situation
Regardless of your business’ approach to the current crisis, your audience has a right to know what’s up. Whether you’re pausing your planned content altogether or continuing your activities as normal, it’s important that you make a statement regarding your company’s efforts to minimize risks and protect your customers and employees. Nowadays, different channels can be utilized in order to get messages out quickly and efficiently such as social media platforms. Within a few minutes of creating a social post, customers and followers are aware of your position regarding the situation. This shows that you’re taking the situation seriously and it reassures the public that you are doing everything you can.
Participate in escapism
In certain industries, maintaining social interactions can be tricky, especially for restaurants and bars that have been forced to shut down temporarily. However, it’s good to note that people are turning to social media for escapism during this crisis, so businesses that operate in industries that are less affected, like lifestyle or fashion, for example, need to maintain their activities in order to keep their followers entertained. As mentioned previously, we don’t recommend ignoring the issue completely, but it also shouldn’t be the focus of all communications. For example, Pinterest is a great platform for people to search for inspiration and discover new trends and products while escaping from breaking news. It’s also a great platform to use for online sales, as it’s mainly used as a search engine, which means that people are looking up things they will want or need in the near future.
Younger generations, like Gen Z, are fortunately less affected by this crisis than others. It’s for this reason that they’ll be turning to TikTok to keep them entertained and escape the bombardment or COVID-19 news found on other platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. Other generations such as millennials are also joining in on the fun! This is the perfect time to take advantage of this platform to experiment and get your creativity going as a brand. Not only will it help your team’s morale to produce something fun, but it’s a great way to use humour to educate people on the virus as well.
- Don’t run ads regarding COVID-19, says Facebook
As an initiative to prevent misinformation, Facebook is giving unlimited, free ads to the World Health Organization and removing any advertisements that seem to capitalize on or make use of the situation. As an additional step to contain the outbreak, as well as to get a better insight on how the virus is spreading, they are also providing different organizations with anonymized data, such as mobile data and population density maps.à
What about influencer marketing in all of this? It is still a good idea to have them promote your brand on their platforms? Again the idea is that you shouldn’t make the virus your main point of focus and let it completely take over your social media accounts. But you also can’t just ignore the problem and continue with the planned content as if nothing had happened. Your audience will think you’re being inconsiderate and your hard work will come off as being fake and unauthentic. So, instead, work with your influencers to modify the content a bit so it fits the current situation. A small change in the caption, an Instagram vs. reality twist on it, anything that will make it more relatable.
For the next few weeks, it’s best to be mindful of your communications and send out positive messages that will keep people distracted, hopeful and reassured during these difficult times. It’s important to put forth solidarity, as to not divide them against a specific nation. Any jokes deemed racist, even for the sake of humour, are to be avoided. We hope these quick tips will help your business cope in these stressful times. Stay safe!