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COVID-19: Social Media Management in Times of Crisis

These are periods of fast-changing news around COVID-1 9. It’s clear that what we are facing — not just as marketers, as friends, and parents and colleagues — is unprecedented. And we’re all in it together.

In hours like these, people look to each other, and to their communities to figure out how to respond. Over the last, 9 years, we’re very grateful to have built up such a strong community of people who use our products, read our blogs and listen to our podcast, and we believe that it’s important that we all try to navigate these challenges together. That’s why we want to share these imagines with you. Sometimes, it’s best to only start a conversation.

Last Thursday( March 12, 2020 ), as a crew, we took a moment to stop and indicate. We paused our Buffer queue, as what seemed like a great and timely posts several days ago , now felt a little irrelevant. We gathered together and we discussed what the COVID-1 9 situation means for Buffer, for our teammates and those closest to us, and our patrons — and we’re still figuring this out.

Social media is such an important communication tool in 2020, and we know as we all try to navigate unexpected and unprecedented challenges, many of your customers and teammates will turn to social media for some form of support. And as many around the globe isolate, social media might become an even more important channel for communication and a sense of community.

So what does social media handling look like over the coming weeks and months? We’re still figuring it out.

We hope that the below anticipates can act as a starting point to work from as we navigate the current and up-coming challenge.

This isn’t good opportunities

The first thing to say is that this isn’t a marketing opportunity. Brand shouldn’t be looking at the COVID-1 9 pandemic as something to capitalize on.

However, even though it’s not quite business as usual — every post, campaign and ad you run will need an added layer of care and empathy over the coming days and weeks — it is okay to continue to market and sell your product or services, we know for some businesses not selling products can impact the livelihoods of some of their teammates. Simply don’t use COVID-1 9 as a platform to self-promote.

Pause and reconsider your social media projects( and goals)

If you haven’t already , now is a time to reflect on any existing plans for the end of Q1 and heading into Q2.

Many campaigns and fragments of content you had planned might be better saved for another time. We recommend rethinking your content and social media plans to tailor them to the changing needs of consumers right now.

On Monday( March 16 th ), we were due to launch a new, updated version of our podcast, The Science of Social Media. We had a brand-new occurrence lined up, new artwork, creative and more. But we felt it wasn’t the time “celebrate” something new so we reach interval on that temporarily concentrated on the more immediate needs of our the consumers and our audience.( We still plan to launch the brand-new mode podcast in the next week-or-so, but the launch might gaze a bit different .)

It’s likewise a good time to reflect on any aims you had for the coming months as priorities may need to change. For example, new client acquisition aims might change towards a focus on customer retention and subsistence.

Now is a good time to take a look at the bigger picture and what social media means to your business in a time of global crisis.

If you decide to keep some campaigns or content interrupted and find yourself with a few spare hours that would have been spent on content creation, advertisement or analytics , now could be a good time to focus on some of the social media tasks that aren’t immediately patron facing like a social media examination.

Is your corporation going to help

You never want to shoehorn your brand into a conversation in which it doesn’t belong. And most brands don’t belong directly in the COVID-1 9 dialogue.

But that said, almost every business globally will be impacted in some manner by COVID-1 9, and there might be some small things your business can do help in these moments.

At Buffer, we’ve been a remote-first company since the beginning, and with many businesses and workers being forced to go remote for the foreseeable future, this felt like the best place for us to help.

So after a brief pause last week, we decided to focus this week on how we might be able to help people adjusting to remote work πŸ˜› TAGEND

Hailley also jumped into our remote work guide to freshen it up and ensure it includes all of our most useful remote work resources.

Outside of Buffer, Common Thread Collective doubled down on sharing data and revelations into how it the pandemic is affecting its brands and how it’s responding πŸ˜› TAGEND

At a time when eCommerce business might be cutting back ad funds, Privy hosted a webinar focused on stimulating the most from your existing traffic:

Loom made an amendment of its platform to help students and teachers:

And Basecamp’s co-founders hosted a Q& A about remote project:

Over the coming days and week, ask yourself: What persona does your brand play in this situation?

( And it’s wholly penalty if feels like there’s nothing. Don’t force it .)

Think clearly about the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives. If you’re an recreation brand, maybe your audience could do with a merriment distraction, like Disney releasing Frozen 2 early.

If you’re a travelling company, dealing with support might be more of national priorities, so you could try to proactive about questions from your audience and give clear directions on what’s happening.

And as a neighbourhood business, it could be helpful to simply share your opening hours or how you’re being affected by what’s going on. Saucy Brew Works, a brewery and eatery in Cleveland has been continuing its followers informed on a regular basis with open hours and updates πŸ˜› TAGEND

Communicate clearly with customers

It’s almost always better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Especially in times of crisis.

If you’re closing your office and the team is working from home and it isn’t impacting your patrons, that might not be something you’d want to communicate. If your squad shifting to remote operate will impact customer service response times, or bringing occasions, that is something worth sharing.

With so many companies impacted buyers are getting much more communication than usual from the labels and companies that they engage with, make sure that the information you are giving them is empathetic to that and focused on conveying only key contents.

When it comes to figuring out what to say when you put out a message over the coming days and week, the details matter. Strive to make all communication clear and relevant, and scaped making assumptions and share decisions early to give you clients as much day as possible to react.

Delta airlines has been great at communicating with its patrons on social media over the past week-or-so. Its CEO, Ed Bastian, turned to LinkedIn to keep clients informed:

And Delta has also been sharing some additional information and context across its social channels, such as how air filtration systems operate on its planes. This is a great example of over-communication that is relevant to customers who may be traveling during the crisis.

Patagonia built the decision to close its retail stores on Friday, March 13, 2020 πŸ˜› TAGEND

In its bulletin, Patagonia induced sure to over-communicate and provide patrons with abundance of data concerning how it is dealing with COVID-1 9. In the Twitter thread sharing the bulletin about its retail stores closing Patagonia told its clients:

We will temporarily close our stores, bureaux and other procedures at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020. Employees who can work from residence will do so. All Patagonia employees are able to obtain their regular salary during the closure.We apologize that over the next two weeks, there will be delays on orders and customer-service requests.We encourage my best friend everywhere to take the extra precautions necessary to safeguard their health and that of others.

The message could have simple been “We’ll be closing our retail store at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020 — but taking the time to over-communicate, and share more than it needed to, helped Patagonia to assure it’s patrons that is was doing all it could for them, and to support the company’s employees.

( This Twitter thread started by Matthew Kobach has more examples of brands communicating clearly during this on-going crisis .)

Support and keep your team informed

Work will search a bit different for all of us for a little while, and it’s great to embracing the concept of over-communication with your team as well as your customers.

In times of crisis, it’s important to keep in close contact with each member of your team and set some beliefs around what work might look like over the next few weeks or months.

As people adapt to new running practices productivity might not be at its usual degrees, and it’s important to let your team know how your corporation plans to deal with the effects of COVID-1 9 and the new working conditions.

Here at Buffer, our Director of People, Courtney Seiter, and CEO, Joel Gascoigne, shared updates with us last week on COVID-1 9, Buffer and how the next little while might look for the team. We also have a temporary, and very optional, Slack channel where teammates can chit-chat, share news, resources and support each other at this time. As a remote squad, we’ve also been stimulating extra effort to connect with each other for impromptu chit-chats and come together, too.

There’s still a lot going on to figure out but it feels extraordinarily important for company presidents, and teammates alike, to be pro-active supporting their squads and each other.

Further resources on crisis communication and social media handling

Here are a few assets we’ve discovered helpful for to be considered social media and communication strategy at this time:

Facebook: Small Business Resource HubTwitter: Brand Communications in Time of CrisisHarvard Business Review: Communicating Through the Coronavirus CrisisOgilvy: How to Communicate in Turbulent TimesKlaviyo: How to Communicate With Empathy During the Coronavirus Crisis

Read more: feedproxy.google.com

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