While the coronavirus (COVID- 19) continues to spread across the country, organizations are scrambling to get adjusted to managing their now remote workforce and public messaging. How do organizations continue to communicate and/or sell to customers online while not appearing callous or insensitive during what is an unprecedented health crisis?
Below are some of the tips to help you and your organization navigate social media during the coronavirus.
PLANNING AND MANAGING YOUR CONTENT
Content Should Be Appropriate – If your organization plans content a month in advance, the first action item should be to review all content for the remainder of the month to ensure that none of your content is inappropriate, insensitive or no longer relevant due to the coronavirus.
Adjust Existing Post Copy Where Applicable -Your social media content that can be used may need a slight copy adjustment to reflect how your audience can still participate in or take advantage of the information you’re sharing while being quarantined at home or practicing social distancing.
Your Content’s Voice and Tone Should Be One of Hope and to Educate/Inform – All content should be created with the objective of creating hope for your audience and sharing information that will help to improve quality life during this time. Specifically, create content that answers what your audience can focus on now (as it applies to the brand) so that when the pandemic is they can resume life as normal. Normal = spending time with others, traveling, accomplishing their goals, i.e. all the things your audience did before the pandemic.
Below Are Some Social Media Content Themes to Consider:
- Getting the process started now, do the research/prepare
- Tips on working from home or working virtually with teams
- Things to do with your children at home
- Programs to watch on TV, Netflix and various streaming services
- Classes, Plays, Books, etc. that are now being made available online since people are at home. Suggest content themes to your clients that they could potentially create a video about since they are at home. (We will be sending clients resources to assist them with at-home video creation)
- coronavirus (COVID-19) updates – if it is applicable for your brand.
- Mental Health – sharing ways to de-stress, be more productive, exercise while at home, spring cleaning, listening to music, etc.
All of your social media content does not have to specifically mention the virus or mention that people are staying at home, etc. Sharing the content that speaks to the current situation, will show that we are addressing the issue.
Content Tip: When referring to the coronavirus, it should be lowercase, unless it is being referred to as COVID-19 or in a news headline, and then the C should be uppercase. It can also be written as coronavirus (COVID-19). It is also being referred to as the ‘novel coronavirus’ in various news articles.
Social Listening – As The Situation Changes, So Will Your Content – Follow coronavirus and COVID-19 hashtags on Twitter and Instagram using social listening software or Google Alerts. Following hashtags #COVID19, #StopTheSpread, #SelfQuarantine, will allow you to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news and updates but also to stay up to date on public opinion. This will allow you to gauge the public appetite for specific content themes to decide if you need to switch content or look at copy again due to overall public sentiment.
Social Media Comments Will Vary In Tone – Depending on your brand, the comments on your social media posts at this time may go from sad or sounding hopeless to angry and disgusted (due to the current political climate and the inherently political nature of the handling/managing of the virus).
Your Social Media Responses Should Be Informative and Empathic – Should you have to answer a question or respond to a comment that is politically charged in nature, be sure to be informative and stick to the company’s statement/position on the issue (if applicable). If you have to comment on the coronavirus specifically, pull information from the CDC or The World Health Organization website and direct people there for more information.
Lastly, if you are unsure about what to do, ask others on your team for feedback. Remember, we’re all in this together!