How to Leverage Social Media During a Crisis and Beyond

What should you do with your social media presence?

Staying connected with your customers is more important than ever. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn have all reported a spike in users over the past month. Even though people are spending more time online, it doesn’t mean that it’s business as usual. These same social media platforms also reported a steady decline in social spending by customers and advertisers alike.

Typically, social media is a great tool to keep your business at the forefront of your customers’ minds, but these aren’t normal times. Your customers are relying on social media to stay in touch with friends and family, catch up on the latest news, and for entertainment during the lockdown. Some of your customers may have experienced the loss of a loved one, and others may have lost their job. Spending money with your business is going to be the last thing on their mind.

There is good news, though! One day, life will get back to normal. Your customers will find work, and the economy will recover. So, in the meantime, what should you do with your social media presence?

Social media is a tool used to develop long-term relationships with your customers, and marketing in a crisis is no different. Right now, your focus should be adapting your social media strategy to position your brand as an empathetic leader in your community. People are looking to businesses and organizations now more than ever to bring us together. Strong messaging is what will set your business apart from your competitors and keep your customers coming back to you long after the crisis is over.

While no one is an expert at marketing your business through a pandemic, here are a few tips to help you leverage your social media presence during a crisis, and beyond.

Update Your Profiles

First, make sure you’re keeping your social media pages and feeds updated. If anything has changed about your business, let your customers know about it, whether that’s a change in operating hours, shipping schedule, or reduced staff. Be honest with your customers, and offer flexibility when you can.

Continue posting on your social media accounts. While your post schedule and content strategy might be different, this is an opportunity to turn your social media into a knowledge hub. Share tips and insights about your industry during these challenging times. Talk about how your business is working on staying open, or if your company has to close, talk about what you’ll be doing to bounce back. Share tips and thoughts from other industry leaders on their struggles and victories.

Communicate with Your Customers

Your social media strategy will need to change. Focus on meeting your customers where they’re at on social media. Use their preferred social media platforms, and address the crisis by building up your community. Give shout outs to frontline workers in your community, or partnerships you’ve entered to make your community a better place. Give your customers hope, and most of all, keep them informed. Explain changes in shipping or any other business practices and how your business is planning to re-open when the crisis is over. Use an empathetic and upbeat tone with your posts, and remember only to use humor if it’s right for your brand.

Limit Promotions

Limit the number of product promotions you’re running during this time. Running too many advertisements can come off as insensitive to job loss and can be perceived as your business trying to profit from pain.

Even on a good day, social media metrics can be hard to measure. Choose to use this time to focus on brand awareness and engaging rather than conversions. Understanding insights such as reach, engagement, and actions taken on your social profiles will help you make informed decisions on what types of content are making the most impact on your customers.

We’re All in This Together

Finally, reconfirm your commitment to your customers. Acknowledge the crisis happening and listen to the needs of your customer. Be honest and flexible, keeping your customers informed. Remind them of your value proposition, your promise, and commitment to your customers. Meet your customers where they are during this time of need, and remind them that we’re in this together.


Mary McEntire

Mary McEntire has four years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in content related to marketing and SEO for small businesses. More of her work can be found at her website, and she can be reached via email.

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