Navigating social media amidst the rise of COVID-19 has been nothing short of fascinating. Never before have social audiences produced more content, posts, comments, and shares around a single topic. In these trying and uncertain times, one thing is for sure — everyone on social media is talking about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Social Media Landscape
The world has come to a grinding halt as the coronavirus continues to spread. By now, you’ve probably received a pandemic-related email from every organization you’ve ever come in contact with. Your social feed is buzzing, overflowing with stories from the front lines, communities rallying together, memes, and our favorite, the awkward Zoom call fails.
Media outlets are producing more news and information than humanly consumable, and we are desperately trying to evaluate and understand the impact this will have on our respective businesses and economy at-large. Organizations are swiftly adjusting to major market shifts, identifying new opportunities, adapting for today, and trying to anticipate tomorrow.
The rise in remote workforce, online education, and new childcare considerations have caused an abrupt shift in both audience behavior and availability. Attention spans are shortened by social noise and distraction in a time when sending and receiving critical information is of extreme importance. The demand for health and safety information, collaboration, and community resources are at an all-time high. People need access to information. Consumers want to know where brands stand on social media amidst the rise of COVID-19.
The Message You Send Right Now Matters
Does the idea of posting your exciting new promotion feel inappropriate or insensitive? Organizations are attempting to conduct “business as usual” in a world where the business is not usual. Luckily, there’s no reason to shy away from regularly scheduled marketing activities. Addressing coronavirus concerns allows for an elevated level of personalization and humanity in your message, providing an opportunity to connect with audiences in an unprecedented way.
Here’s our advice on how to communicate with social media audiences amidst the rise of COVID-19:
- Find your position and rally. Take a stand and let audiences know that you’re in this with them, how they can contribute, where pertinent information can be found.
- Address the elephant in the room. Talk about your organization, product or offering in a way that honors or addresses what your audience is experiencing.
- Be appropriate. Now is the time to examine your communications and assess for timeliness and appropriateness. Does your language make sense? Is it sensitive to the audience’s experience?
- Trust your gut and they’ll trust you. If your message feels forced or opportunistic, it probably is. Audiences can smell disingenuous marketing from a mile away. Do not lose the trust of your audience by capitalizing on fear.
- Be genuine. Organizations that are considerate, decisive, and who stand behind the message they produce will earn the trust of their audience. This is your moment to walk the walk and showcase your values.
Finding Social Media Audiences Amidst The Rise of COVID-19
Even seasoned marketers are learning new things about their audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Buying and traffic patterns are changing as some industries near extinction and others flourish to meet new demands. Organizations that may not have used social as a primary communication channel in the past are now scrambling to find their foothold.
If you’re a seasoned social user, check out our 2020 Master List: Algorithm Hacks and Tips to Optimize Your Social Media Platforms. For organizations new to the social space, especially B2Bs, the following tips are a great place to start when finding your audience:
- Develop your customer persona, demographic, geographic, and psychographic information. This includes attributes that inform how your audience works and plays. Where are key decision-makers spending their time online?
- Evaluate available social media networking sites for effectiveness. We won’t go into detail here, but a quick Google search will render the user base demographic for every single popular social media site. LinkedIn is a great place for B2B organizations to start. If your sales team is not currently using LinkedIn to make and foster connections, start today.
- Craft a brand message and content that resonates. Start by assessing the relevancy of your product or service offering, position it within the market, and take into consideration new symptoms or opportunities.
Creative Adaptability Amidst the Rise of COVID-19
Social media continues to grow as the dominant channel for marketing amidst the rise of COVID-19. For organizations that are active on social, this is a great time to assess your brand message and adjust accordingly. For others, the abrupt shift from traditional to digital sales and marketing provides the opportunity to begin fostering new relationships online.
Creative adaptability is essential to resiliency in times of uncertainty or change. We design communication strategies that adapt today and turn into valuable investments for tomorrow.
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