Navigating through a time of crisis can be challenging for social media marketers. With the COVID-19 pandemic taking our trending topics by storm, brands are left with determining how to best communicate through their social networks.

Whether your brand is primarily consumer-facing or B2B, your audience may heavily rely on social networks to receive updates from your organization. To help your business with appropriate next steps, we’ve compiled a list of social media best practices to consider throughout COVID-19.

Stay Active and Present

Your social networks are core digital channels for connecting and engaging with your audiences. Though COVID-19 can be a time of uncertainties and many brands are opting to hold back, it’s important to not go dark during this time. Keeping your presence known can only maintain a connection with your audience and instill confidence in your brand.

A lack of activity may also leave your audience questioning how your brand has been impacted by the crisis, or in turn, how your impact may also impact them on a personal level. Use your social channels to communicate any key updates to your audience on changes (or lack thereof) within your organization, as well as any industry-related information that may be essential for your customers to know. Staying on top of the discussion and keeping a steady communication with your audience will only validate your brand as a thought leader.

Adjust Your Content Strategy

Already planned for your upcoming paid social advertising strategy or monthly organic content calendar? It’s very likely this seasonal content or many months of your schedule may no longer be relevant. Consider pausing your existing content calendar to re-evaluate what messaging should be shared with your audience during this time.

So what does that mean for adjusting your content strategy? Here’s a few immediate considerations:

Don’t ignore the crisis

Especially if your organization is part of an industry largely impacted by the pandemic, your customers will be expecting a timely, relevant response. Don’t be afraid to address COVID-19 head on and acknowledge its impact on your employees or customers. Speak concisely on how your brand is navigating any challenges and how you will continue to support your customers. In times of crisis, one of the best responses is simply showing your social communities your presence.

Stay away from language that may induce fear

COVID-19 is undeniably producing challenges for many. Be sensitive to your audience right now and think delicately about what content is most appropriate to reach them with. Rather than inducing emotions or action based on fear, a brand showing their support or driving meaningful action during a crisis is more likely to build long-term trust with customers.

Consider pausing seasonal promotions

Unfortunately, some of your typical business behaviors and advertising drivers may need to be reconsidered. This may certainly mean pausing certain promotions or being especially cautious about any messaging geared toward driving in-store activity, events, or products and services that won’t be sustainable for the time-being.

“Surprise and delight” your customers

While COVID-19 is undoubtably an ongoing global topic right now, not all audiences want to be consistently reminded of times of crisis each time they open their social networks. If well-suited to the voice of your brand, providing positive or enjoyable content for your audience in a time desperately needed can help increase the connection with your customers.

Utilize Social Listening

With crisis underway and more of our workforce at home, ongoing conversations are happening at an even faster rate. Throughout COVID-19, consider social media monitoring through social listening tools like Buffer or Sendible, to stay on top of what your audience is saying about your brand or changes in the industry. The more you remain aware of current conversations, the quicker you can jump in.

B2C brands may also experience more users reaching out through social networks than usual for questions or support. Help your social media marketing teams and staff be prepared by discussing how to respond to unique questions and remain consistent with your stance or communication on subjects.

Make Real-Time Strategy Iterations

Though some of us may prefer to plan ahead, we aren’t always in the best position to do so during a crisis. Your social strategy will inevitably need to change throughout the months of uncertainty, and brands need to be prepared to adjust in real-time.

React and respond as new updates among COVID-19 are released and keep your customers informed along the way. Your customers will be looking to you for next steps and what to expect from your brand.

Lean on Social Media Marketing Agencies for COVID-19 Guidance

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused plenty of unexpected challenges for businesses, and determining the best response through social media can be more time-consuming than expected. Whether it’s providing content strategy development and support or overall strategy guidance, social media agencies like Aztek can help your organization navigate through COVID-19. Contact us today to start a conversation with our social media experts or check out our social media marketing services to learn more.

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