I’d like to share my tips for a Social Media ‘Crisis’ Content Strategy, because having a background in PR and crisis communications has really stood to me, and has enabled me to be resilient and able to quickly adapt to change when managing a brand’s social media channels.
Social media is not to be underestimated by any company or organisation as it is at the heart of how we communicate today and it vital that is used effectively.
The Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic has put all previously created strategies out the window and it’s time to act fast and connect with audiences in a more human way than ever before.
Turn off your running ads
You can’t hard sell during a crisis, you shouldn’t hard sell on organic social media anyway, or at least don’t constantly do it. Paid social media is different, but still, pounding people to buy stuff, especially when they cannot go outside the door and may have lost their jobs, is not a good use of ad spend and is just going to annoy people and encourage trolling. Unless your ads are 100% relevant to the situation it is best to turn them off.
What could your brand be berated for?
In the case of Covid 19….are your stores still open? are your staff and customers safe? do you need extra customer care staff to deal with cancellations or extra orders? if staff are temporarily laid off what support are they being given? Your online audience will let you know! So knowing your brand’s weaknesses are essential to preparing to overcome any potential longer term brand reputation damage.
What is your brand doing to help?
I highly recommend that brands, large and small, show that they care, and to portray it in the most selfless way possible, and not in the usual ‘this is our CSR programme’ way.
In the case of Covid 19, if you decide to help healthcare workers, which would be great, go handy on the cringy photos and product placements, make it about them, and their stories, and the stories of those that they help.
What content are you going to put on your social media channels?
After a few days have passed I recommend saying something on there. Otherwise it shows your online audiences that you just want to sell stuff to them and that’s it. So here’s what I recommend, based on the 4 key goals of content marketing, with examples for the Covid 19 pandemic crisis:
- Educate: help to educate the public on what to do during the crisis, portray it in interesting ways, infographics
- Entertain: people are stressed and worried and need distraction, share funny videos, activities, games
- Engage: people are fed up at home, create polls and quizzes to engage with them
- Inspire: inspire them to help others, achieve goals and so on, with story telling captioned images and videos
How do you make up for loss of sales via social media before end of year?
You won’t be able to make up for a large chunk of time, where no ads were running and consumer sentiment was extremely low, but you should put serious efforts into your Halloween and Christmas campaigns, all going well. Plan for it now, while you have the time.
Hope these tips for a Social Media Crisis Content Strategy have helped. Stay safe!
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