Story Time with Shaina: What do Kellogg’s cereal and your social media marketing have in common?
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow in the United States, a lot of businesses are worried that the negative impacts could cause long-term economic changes.
As a result, many brands have become proactive to stay at the forefront of the consumers’ minds in the midst of this chaos.
Staying on top of your social media game is a great idea right now. What isn’t cool is being opportunistic during these critical times. It’s important that you’re mindful of your message, and to add value wherever you can.
So, what does the coronavirus pandemic mean for your brand?
You should be helpful and empathetic without capitalizing on this pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean you should just abandon your content and social media marketing altogether during this time.
In fact, one of the most beneficial ways to help both your business and your audience right now is to engage and connect with them through social media.
Take the opportunity to hear their concerns (social listening is a great solution for this, we explain that here), offer support, and determine ways that you can help in this trying time.
Here are 3 steps to stay relevant and helpful in the wake of COVID-19:
1. Adjust existing social media campaigns
One of the first things that you need to do is to reevaluate and adjust any existing and future marketing campaigns.
A social media marketing campaign that would’ve seemed perfect a couple of months ago might be insensitive and irresponsible now.
Take Hershey, for example, which pulled advertisements that showed people giving hugs and handshakes after receiving candy.
While these advertisements might have been a great way to promote ideas of human connection and gratitude a few months ago, continuing this ad would be detrimental to Hershey’s brand now.
Consider your campaigns. Are you encouraging any of the following?
- For people to visit stores and go shopping
- Implying that there’s nothing worse than missing out on one of your products
- Otherwise making suggestions that are not appropriate for this time
If so, adjust.
2. Add value
Coronavirus is already having a major impact on the economy in the United States. With many consumers losing their jobs or worrying about how COVID-19 will affect their finances, there’s been a sharp decline in consumer spending on non-essential goods.
Luxury retail shopping in the United States dropped by 14.7% within a single week this past March. Many consumers are also opting to hold off on buying items that they don’t need.
Consumers need to know that your brand will continue to add value, even if they’re not looking to buy your products or services at this time.
Now is a great time for your brand to offer value beyond your products by using your social media platforms to:
- Help others
- Encourage people to donate
- Shine a spotlight on people who are making a difference during this pandemic
- Encourage people to stay at home and practice social distancing
Take Nike for example, which launched a social media campaign, “Play inside, play for the world,” in order to promote unity and encourage social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to this campaign, which was celebrated and shared by several professional athletes and consumers across the world, Nike also pledged to donate over $15 million for COVID-19 relief efforts.
What Else Can You Do to Help?
We also realize that not every business is able to make as big of a financial impact as Nike. What we did instead at Repurpose House, for isntance, was offer more of our exclusive continued education complimentary.
We made two of our highest, in-demand online courses completely free for everyone to use and learn from for 2 weeks. Feel free to check that out here for reference (this is still going on and being offered!).
So although we didn’t donate in this scenario, we removed a gate that’d prevent marketers from learning and growing during this time.
So as you adjust your social media marketing strategy during the coronavirus pandemic, see how you can use social media as a tool to add value and help others.
3. Put people first
When you’re trying to build a brand through social media, it’s easy to focus on numbers: follows, likes, shares, views.
However, it’s important to remember that behind each unique page view, each individual like, and each new follower, there’s a real human being.
Show your followers that you care by emphasizing connection and practicing social listening.
Figure out what your target audience needs right now. It might be helpful tips, ideas for staying entertained during quarantine, or something else. See how your brand can step in and make a difference.
What we did, for example, was notice that so many people were being forced to work from home who were not used to working remotely.
Our company has been remote since day 1, so we started creating free content that’d help provide relief and solutions for this:
- I personally covered 7 Tips for Your Remote Office in a LinkedIn article (which included a video as well since everyone learns differently)
- We also created other podcast/ blog content specifically on How to Successfully Build And Run A Remote Company.
We knew these topics were essential because of social listening.
Don’t Forget Your Staff During This Time
Allow your content marketing team and your social media marketers to work from home. Make sure that you’re doing what you can to help take care of them.
See how you can utilize platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts to avoid in-person meetings while still emphasizing the importance of getting results and maintaining human connection.
If you need to recruit during this time, whether for a freelancer, VA, or full-time, allow us to offer (free) access to our online course “Our 6-Step Interview Process That Built A Team of 24 Full-Time Employees In 18 Months With Under 7% Turnover”
This is another example of content that’s been created specifically during this time for those in need.
So as the world faces this uncertain situation, adjust your social media marketing. Your brand should always put people first.
From everyone at Repurpose House, we hope you’re staying home and staying safe.
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Shaina Weisinger is the founder and CEO of Repurpose House, which turns your content into unlimited videos and images. Shaina is on a mission to show content creators the untapped potential and repurposing power of the content they already have. Shaina loves to laugh loudly, be obnoxiously competitive on the volleyball court, treat her dogs as her kin, and recover from tripping on or running into almost everything within a five-foot radius.