Navigating Social Media Marketing in a Global Crisis

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The coronavirus has made industry disruption, school closures ,and social distancing the new norm. We’re seeing the tension between our innate need for connection and necessary separation playing out across the world. As social distancing makes us increasingly isolated, the concept of connection takes on new meaning, and the role of social media becomes even more critical. 

We’ve seen social media serve as a hub for conversations around the current global crisis. People continue to turn to social media to talk about their experiences, post important information, and share feel-good stories during this unprecedented time. In fact, according to Twitter data from March, Covid-19 related Tweets were being shared every 45 milliseconds and #coronavirus was the second most-used hashtag of 2020. 

That communication is powerful, but not nearly as powerful as when the conversation turns into durable connections among individuals. We’ve seen a number of ways social media can enable people to come together, to offer support and aid, and to create meaningful relationships during a time of uncertainty. 

What is the role of brands in facilitating this connection? A recent report shows that 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect people, and 78% of consumers want brands to use social media to help people connect with each other. Those numbers send a clear message to companies as they navigate a crisis that is so much bigger than their brands: create connection through relevance

But the question is how brands can achieve relevance right now. How can you create meaningful connections on social media during a global crisis? Here are a few tips: 

  • Get a pulse on what’s being talked about. Continue to monitor your audience on social to understand what main topics, crisis updates, and concerns are spurring stress and anxiety among your community. Leveraging social listening tools can help create an effective response strategy and provide deeper insights into discussions surrounding your brand, industry, and current news.
  • Ask the question: Is there a place for you? Relevance, relevance, relevance— that’s what it’s all about. Assess the current state of the conversation to determine the role your brand can play and if your audience wants or needs anything from you. If your brand doesn’t have a place in the conversation, that’s ok. Forcing a message can easily look like you’re capitalizing on the situation. Instead, use this time to lean into your brand voice and focus on content that is genuine to the social presence your audience knows and loves. The last thing you want is to come across as opportunistic—consumers can spot those brands a mile away, and are not afraid to call them out. 
  • Foster a sense of community. Humans crave connection, making now a better time than ever to open up conversations with your community. Ask for their thoughts, check in on them, and encourage your audience to take the time to learn from one another. While a global crisis isn’t an opportunity to push your bottom line, it can be an opportunity to practice empathy and illustrate the compassion and personality of your company. 
  • Support your organization in finding digital success. It has been increasingly challenging, if not impossible, for teams t0 manage in-person events and activations. As a social marketing professional, you now have the opportunity to share your expertise and help turn physical events into impactful online experiences. You can also consult a tiktok marketing company like hypetik to teach you how to use this new social media that is now blowing up worldwide. Offer to run polls on social media, start up a live chat, or post open-ended questions to your social community to gather feedback and new ideas for a digital event. And if the team does move forward, plan to utilize social media as home base for attendee interaction and participation by starting a Twitter thread for general conversations about the event; having people submit and answer questions on social; or holding giveaways as a way to encourage the community to come together and feel connected to one another, even if they aren’t in the same room. 

In times like these, when smartphones, social media, and search engines greatly influence the modern-day consumer behavior and buying decisions online marketing can help you target more potential roofing clients, convert them, and run a successful roofing business. Learn How to Start a Roofing Company using online marketing that has allowed smaller businesses to expand their visibility. While on the other hand, it has allowed bigger businesses to become more connected and accessible to local customers.

This global crisis has created an unsettling situation for everyone, and it’s difficult to predict what’s next or what’s right. For brands, following these tips can help you avoid some of the most common pitfalls on social media, and most of all, they can help you create meaningful connections with your audience that will last far beyond the current situation.

Rachael Samuels is manager of social media at Sprout Social.