Updated: May 7, 2020
In response to COVID-19, many are turning to social media as an open line of communication and connection. As social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are now seeing a 40% increase in user traffic, now is not the time for your brand or business to go dark, but instead shift focus, goals, and priorities to provide support to your digital community. In support of our clients and other marketers, Avenue has determined the top 6 guidelines for social media management amidst COVID-19.
With the new normal we find ourselves in, messages from the past may come off insensitive, “We’re festival season ready!” Make sure to pause all your current ads or scheduled posts and review the content to ensure it is sympathetic to the current times. Establish a new brand message for our current situation. Be genuine and thoughtful, we’ve seen messaging focused on community, togetherness, in-service, and gratitude work well for our clients.
As marketers, we always want to show up in service to our customers/clients/community. That’s why communicating necessary information clearly is a top priority. Users are visiting business social platforms for timely information and it’s essential to ensure that information is readily available. For example, if you’re in the restaurant industry, ensure your take-out information is easily accessible as well
as hours of service, food delivery apps customers can find your business on, any menu updates, etc.
These updates can be repurposed and reshared multiple times to reach your widest audience. Make sure your customers are informed and up-to-date with any business changes. However, you don’t want to overwhelm your community with excess and unnecessary information (we all know how it felt receiving a million emails from businesses you don’t even remember signing up for reaching out about COVID-19). Put yourself in the shoes of your customers, and share only pertinent information.
3) Stay Connected
With social media traffic on the rise, you’re likely to see an increased rate of engagement on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Don’t leave your followers hanging. Remember, now more than ever, we need each other. Take the time to thoughtfully reply to all inquiries: even one public comment left without a response can leave a long-lasting impression on prospective customers or clients.
Content creation is going to look different for a while, so it’s time to adapt. Focus content on engaging with your digital community and providing them with entertainment and value. Now is also the time to come up with creative ways to source user-generated content. Mobilize your community and encourage them to participate in a fun photo challenge from the comfort of their own homes.
We are all in this together, so when we come together in service there is no telling the mountains we can move. If your company is in a position to support your digital community, now is your time to show up for them. Offer discounts, donate to nonprofits, share online resources, update your cancellation policy, suspend monthly subscription costs -- you get the picture, however, you can show up in support, DO! This is an authentic and genuine way to build trust with your followers and provide real support to your community.
Finally, as we mentioned, this is a new, unventured reality we’re living in. So as you navigate this journey of social media amidst COVID-19 make sure you’re monitoring your content to see what sticks with your community. Analyze your follower count, engagement (likes, comments, shares) and engagement rate (total engagement divided by total number of followers) this will tell you exactly what your audience wants from you during this time. Listen to them and show up accordingly!
Avenue is here to help
As rapidly as we've moved into the current landscape, we are continuing to help support our clients in thinking ahead about how to spin up digital and social media strategically and tactfully as we emerge from COVID-19. Although the "new normal" may be far from what we were used to before the COVID-19 pandemic (and we anticipate that the likely next phase will be a recession and post-recession reality), it is our responsibility as marketers to stay in tune with industry trends in insights in order to best serve our communities. Be on the lookout for more as Avenue keeps a close eye on what these changes mean for the industry, namely in SEO, Google Ads, paid media and paid social advertising.