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COVID-19 Social Media Strategy For Continuity & Growth

 In Coronavirus, Social Media Marketing

While COVID-19 sweeps the globe, social media stands steady on the front line for business continuity. Though the long-term health and economic implications are uncertain, we know every brand, every business, and every individual will feel the lasting effects.

How can marketers, managers, and business owners stay sensitive and relevant as we navigate this fast-changing health crisis? We need to remain calm, wash our hands often and avoid touching our faces. And use the following to pivot our social media strategy towards transparency, reposition for continuity, and prepare for new opportunities of unexpected growth.

PIVOT TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY

With millions confined to their homes and the use of social media at an all-time high, meaningful communication is vital for human connection and socialization. As professionals, it’s our responsibility to take a step back and evaluate how our work best contributes to the moral, mental health, and well-being of all around us.

“Transparency is all about letting your fans, customers and leads into your world so they know you and feel your brand’s human” Luis Congdon, Entrepreneur.com

Put the brakes on scheduled posts and planned promotions. Re-assess messaging and creative for relevancy in light of our new reality. Avoid adding noise, newsjacking, self-promotion, or tone-deaf messaging. Put people first and look to leverage social media to build trust through purposeful listening, meaningful communication and exceptional customer service. To pivot towards transparency:

  • Pause all scheduled posts
  • Build trust through purposeful listening
  • Provide exceptional customer service
  • Shift gears “crisis-sensitive” strategy

REPOSITION FOR CONTINUITY

Flexibility and strategic planning is key to continuity. No matter how quickly this health crisis comes and goes, there will be lasting effects on the economy and consumer behavior. To protect long-term brand health we must reposition for continuity by shifting gears into “crisis-sensitive” marketing. This means using social media to:

  • Understand the changing needs and challenges of our customers
  • Maintain communication and customer relations
  • Look for new opportunities to engage and grow

Brands that successfully apply this to their strategy will be rewarded in increased brand loyalty, advocacy and customer retention.

PEOPLE POWER YOUR PROFILES

With face-to-face meetings and events on hold, budget allocation to social media is already doubling. The reason is simple, if your customers and competitors are spending more time on social media, SO SHOULD YOU!

Brands already active on social media should expand efforts on channels where engagement is highest. Those with inactive profiles or no recent activity will need to restart to maintain an edge on their competitors.

  • Wake up inactive social channels
  • Expand efforts on channels with high engagement
  • People power your profiles

People power your profiles for active listening. Monitor every inbox, message, mention, share and relevant hashtag, on every channel, all day (and night), everyday- look for opportunities to listen and learn. Divide the day into shifts for social managers to ensure your brand is always available and responsive.

LISTEN, LEARN & APPLY

Activate your channels and leverage the unique opportunity social offers to engage one-on-one with your community. Listen on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for insight into the changing needs and emotions of your customers. Use LinkedIn to understand the impact on their careers and businesses. Some questions to ask while you’re listening:

  • How have my customers’ lives changed in this crisis?
  • What new challenges is my target market facing?
  • How has my brand’s unique role in their lives changed?
  • What can our brand do to help solve or support these changes?

Ultimately, your findings will be translated into meaningful content, that speaks directly to the changing needs and challenges of your target audience.

AMP UP SOCIAL CUSTOMER CARE

When the public panics, the demand for customer service increases. Given its 3.80 billion users, 24/7 nature and ease of use, it’s no wonder so many consumers turn to social media when seeking answers and support from brands. Thereby making social customer service essential for business continuity amid the Coronavirus.

Leverage customer service across all social channels to build trust, increase communication and nurture touch points with potential and existing customers. To get started with your company’s social customer care plan:

  • Create protocol and response plan
  • Build inventory of approved messaging
  • Assign roles and outline responsibilities
  • Setup 24/7 monitoring across all channels
  • Track and measure activity and sentiment

DOUBLE DOWN ON COMMENTS

Vigilance in comment monitoring on ads and posts is paramount. Misinformation is everywhere and those who spread it are always on the hunt for new places to share their negative, fear-based comments. Paid ads are an easy target for trolls and bad actors because so many brands fail to monitor. Even in the best of times, ignoring ad comments is a costly mistake. In times of crisis, the effects can be devastating:

  • Negative ad comments put brand reputation at risk
  • Negative ad comments detract potential customers
  • Negative ad comments significantly reduce CTR & performance
  • Managing ad comments results in better ROAS and higher sales

Likewise, positive ad comments and questions are golden opportunities for engagement and lead-generation. Ignoring these is leaving money on the table. Double down on comment moderation. Arm your social managers with the necessary tools and resources for round the clock crisis coverage of your channels.

TRACK, MEASURE & ADJUST

This pandemic is a moving target. For continuity and growth, brands must remain agile, informed and ready for change as the situation evolves.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” – Peter Drucker

Knowledge is power. And social media has a wealth of knowledge by way of performance metrics, to offer. Key metrics to track across ALL channels include:

  • Inbound activity – messages, mentions, comments
  • Awareness – followers, reach, impressions
  • Engagement – likes, clicks, leads, conversions
  • Website traffic via social media
  • Brand sentiment
  • Follower demographics and trends
  • Industry trends and changes

Gather, track and measure as much in-platform data as possible, from all your channels, as well as Google Analytics. Compare with past social media performance reports. Look for trends or patterns that offer insight into what’s working and areas of improvement, and adjust accordingly.

ARM YOUR DIGITAL ARMY

Standing strong on the front lines of global crisis, social media is the proven champion of human connection and a vital piece of an overall digital marketing strategy.

For more Coronovirus digital marketing tips:

HERE FOR YOU!

We know the pandemic is presenting many challenges for your business and your team and we want to assure you that we’re here to help and support you in any way we can. Thank you for continuing to trust OpenMoves with your digital marketing.