How to positively communicate though social media during crisis?

Coronavirus: How to positively communicate though social media during crisis?

Uncertainty still prevails as we move towards an “assumed post-COVID era.” As brands are busy navigating their business amid these unprecedented times, the pursuit of figuring out how to reach out to the customers following the spread of COVID19 remains the top priority.

Obliged to stay inside, businesses are still trying to figure out different ways to tone their callings, adjust their social calendars, and digging further to come up with the creative ideas and insights to deliver their services.

Now, let’s take a breath – where did you find this blog? Social media, right? Well, there are high chances that you came across this one from a social networking site because there’s an 87% jump in social media usage amid the ongoing lockdown. There’s no doubt that our cell phone screen time has increased as we spend so much time scrolling down the Instagram, Facebook or Twitter feed, or even WhatsApp, which has become the main source of communication to manage work or simply chat with our friends and collogues. 

The usage of social media is simply very high that businesses find an opportunity to grow their social media channels. Social networking giant Facebook’s Instagram and WhatsApp have reported a 40% increase in usage due to the COVID19 – with Indian’s spending more than 4 hours every day.

 

Now the big question is how we make use of this opportunity so that we grow our business with the right message.

The Ultimate Goal!

Well, the goal to reach out to your prospects or clientele during the current crisis should not be selling! I repeat, it should not be selling, unless necessary. Your goal should be to reach out to the people with creative messages and insights, help them remember your brand. Some marketers believe that the goal of any brand during an unprecedented crisis like this must be just ‘retention.’

“When you create a positive impact, provide value, and support your customers rather than selling your products or services at times like this, they tend to connect with your brand emotionally. They remember your brand through your messages, creativity, and support that you provide,” says Deepti Prasad, Spyne’s Co-founder.

When all of this is over, “your brand remains pinned into your customer’s minds and when they try to explore their buying options, your brand will be the first one the customer will turn to,” Ms. Prasad adds.

So, it is all about strengthening and deepening your relationship with your audiences and increase their affinity towards your brand.

Now how do you do it? 

Three core principles you must follow for your social marketing amid COVID19

Respond to the current crisis with Empathy

Since everyone is sailing in the same boat, it’s necessary that you as a brand have the courage to acknowledge the crisis we all are going through – don’t be afraid to admit it. Sound natural – like a human. Use proper message and tone to reach out to your audience. As everyone across the world is worried about the situation, make sure your message is sensitive and do not prompt any criticism.

Self-portrait artist Rose Hardy also creates stunning artwork – drawing a fine line between the current crisis and her imagination.

Be consistent 

At least now is not the time to be “not posting.” People are spending more time on the social media site than ever before. Make use of this time and leverage the crisis by being consistent on your social channels. Don’t think that your business has come to standstill and you can’t do anything. Tell your audience that you’re consistently working in making your services more affordable and friendly.

Also, now is the time to pause your pre-scheduling. It’s the time when things are ugly and unpredictable, you will have to change your social calendar as per the current crisis. Don’t post something callous or inconsiderate. Make sure your posts are empathetic – connecting them with what you post can be highly beneficial for your brand.

Provide value

People all around the world, including your audience, are turning to social media for the latest updates, important information, entertainment, and much more. This is the time for you to shine by providing your audience with valuable information that matters to them.

The best possible way to communicate with your audience is by asking yourself how it will resonate with them. Nobody has all the answers as to how brands and businesses should be talking or reaching out through social channels during times like this. So, it is better to be careful with what you’re posting.

Whether they are considered an essential business or not, they are keeping their customers and audience in the loop about the measure of sanitization, cleanliness, and precaution that must be taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, you must critically think about how much of such information needs to be shared.

 

Like I said! 

When the situation around the world is critical – as is today – brands should consider taking a more human approach. Businesses can consider addressing the issues of their staff and supporting staff when stores across cities remain closed. Addressing the status of employment or health insurance for your workers or simply what are you doing for your own community or the community you serve.  

For example, an apparel brand Aritzia, in response to COVID19, created a community where 100% of proceeds amid the pandemic will go to staff affected by the current crisis. The brand also donated relief packages to 80,000 frontline coronavirus healthcare heroes.

Again, keep in mind what you post! Social media is about networking and creating a lasting impact on your customers so take a moment before you post anything on any channel. You can even leverage AR and VR filters on Instagram and Facebook to create compelling messages on coronavirus.

Be human while communicating with your audience through posts, it will prompt your viewers to react positively to your brand, eventually, creating trustworthiness.  

Written By - Younus Sideeq on 31 May, 2020