We're facing a global crisis unlike anything we've seen for over 100 years. This is social media's time to shine - but how do you manage your social strategy at a time like this?
#1 - Don't panic!
We all know this isn’t a ‘keep calm and carry on’ kind of situation and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but panicking could lead to acting in haste with less than favourable consequences. Take some time to figure out how your existing business continuity strategies can be adapted and applied accordingly, before taking action.
#2 - Remember, one size doesn’t fit all
Regardless of what anyone else is doing, you know your audience and business best, so when you’re deciding how to tackle the situation, be sure to agree an approach that works best for you. As you put your plans into practice, keep a note of what works best (and what doesn’t) so you can create a template that will work for any future crises too.
#3 - Engage your communities
In a world where social distancing has become the new norm, staying in touch with your audience through digital channels has never been more important. With many people cooped up in quarantine or self-isolation, it’s the perfect time to create content that encourages engagement – not just in the form of likes and shares, but conversations too.
#4 - Don’t spread fake news
News spreads quickly at a time like this, so it’s essential that you don’t contribute to the sharing of misinformation. Inform your audience and maintain brand credibility by only using trusted sources for updates on the COVID-19 outbreak. Organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the NHS would be good places to start.
#5 - Empathy, empathy, empathy
While accuracy is key when communicating with your audiences, being human is non-negotiable. Remember, many of those who interact with you will be feeling the effects of such an unfamiliar and rapidly changing situation, so consider their emotions and ensure the tone of voice you’re using across channels is appropriate.
#6 - Look after your own
Not only is it important to consider the feelings of your customers, but your employees too! Your heroes on the front line may well have had their daily routines disrupted beyond recognition and be struggling to manage the new norm. Arm them with resources that empower them at this time – whether it’s an FAQ doc with pre-prepared answers to tricky customer enquiries or top tips on making remote working more bearable, be sure to take care of each other.
#7 - Signpost on social
If your inbound interactions on digital channels are soaring, use your social accounts as places to signpost your audience. Whether you’re pointing them to training videos, FAQ docs or somewhere to log tickets, ensure that the information they’re looking for is readily available to them to try and reduce the number of enquiries your team needs to handle.
#8 - Plan for success, prepare for the worst
As challenging as things are, it’s important to remain positive and plan for success in the face of this crisis. But don’t turn a blind eye to the potential risks your organisation faces. There is a high chance that you will have limited resources in your teams as people take time off to look after their families or recover from illness, so get ahead by planning and scheduling as much content as you can. It may even be worth training individuals from other teams, so they can take some of the load if you find yourself short staffed.