The Do's & Don'ts of Marketing During COVID-19
April 19, 2020
COVID-19 has and continues to affect the world in drastic ways. It's even affecting the way businesses market on social media. As COVID-19 continues on, business owners need to understand how imperative it is for them to alter their social media strategy. The pandemic has shifted the way people think, act, and do. And as consumer behavior changes so should businesses' marketing efforts.
A lot of brands are already in the process of changing their marketing to fit the current environment, but many are making common errors that come from marketing during a crisis. While every brand is different and unique in their own way, there is a right and a wrong way to market your business on social media during an epidemic such as this one. That's why we've gathered some insight for you and have created a list of Dos and Don'ts for social media marketing during COVID-19.
DON'T: Pause All Social Media Marketing
This right here is the worst thing you could do! Don't fall victim to this. It's easy for business owners to think that since this pandemic has caused their doors to shut that it only makes sense to close the door on their marketing but that couldn't be further from the truth. This is the prime time to market.
With most people out of work or working from home and kids out of school, it has caused the amount of screen time to skyrocket. People are on their phones now more than ever. Social media is blowing up, so why would it be right for businesses to stop their marketing during COVID-19? Easy answer - it wouldn't. It's the perfect time to get in front of your target audience and show them what you are doing to help with the current situation. And if your business's product or service is unable to directly provide help, then it is still helpful to show your support in other ways.
While it's not a good idea to pause all social media marketing, it is a good idea to pause or audit certain campaigns that wouldn't necessarily be appropriate to post during this time. Make sure your campaigns are not coming off as insensitive to the times we're in. You can push these campaigns off to a later date if it will still be relevant later on for when this pandemic has passed.
DO: Post Consistently
Not only should your business continue posting content to their social media platforms, but you should be posting consistently as well. It's not going to do your business any good if you are only posting here or there. Your competitors will outshine you. Posting consistently will keep you in the eye of your target audience.
When it comes to posting good content during a crisis like this one, empathy is key. People aren't necessarily going to be interested in a business that is all about promoting themselves and not addressing what is going on. This can come off to people as being insensitive and have them quoting Stephanie Tanner off Full House saying, "How rude." Now, if your services can help those struggling during this time then that's great! Offer your services but do it in an empathetic way. People are more interested in seeing the good that businesses are doing whether it be by just showing support or by offering their services to help others.
If you're looking for some ideas on what to post for your business during this time, check out one of our recent blogs on how to create social media posts amidst COVID-19 here.
DON'T: Post Pictures or Videos with Lots of People
Social distancing is being taken very seriously by people all over the nation as it should. If your business is seen posting pictures with a lot of people in one place - whether it is your photos or stock images or videos - people may see you and your business as being careless. And you definitely do not want that. This includes photos of people working in an office together, business meetings in a restaurant, sitting down with a client, etc. Instead, try posting images and/or videos that correlate with the world right now.
DO: Change Your Tone
As much as the visual elements in your posts are important, you can't forget the importance of changing your tone during this crisis. One way to do this is to reframe your call-to-actions in posts. If you're wanting a lead to get in touch with you, instead of using your typical marketing language such as "Let's get together", "Come visit us today," or "Let's schedule a time to meet," switch it up by writing "Let's hop on a call" or "Email us." This shows that your business is respecting the social distancing laws and offering a more appropriate way to get in touch during these times.
If your business is offering promotions or sales on your products or services during this tragic time, it's best to not use any marketing language such as "Big Coronavirus Sale." This can really rub your audience the wrong way. It's in your best interest to stay clear of mentioning anything about the virus in your campaigns.
DON'T: Add to the Fear
This is one of the biggest mistakes most businesses make when marketing during a crisis. Not that any business would add to the fear and chaos on purpose, but some brands do it without realizing it. Many businesses know the importance of keeping their audience informed during a crisis, but they tend to go about it the wrong way that could lead them to negatively impacting their business in the process. Posting news articles related to COVID-19 that are opinionated, use intense language, and could potentially spike fear in people do not make for good content.
If you think it's important for your business to post news-worthy content, there's an appropriate way to do it. When looking for news articles to post, make sure you are getting your news article from an appropriate source. A good thing to keep in mind when posting relevant articles surrounding a crisis is to ask yourself, "How will my audience benefit from this?" This can help you determine whether or not it's a good article for your business to post.
DO: Showcase How Your Brand Can Help
Last but definitely not least, showcase how your brand can help during COVID-19. Like we've mentioned previously, every business should show its support during this pandemic whether its services can help or not.
If your brand can provide services to help individuals or businesses during this time, make that known. Share the value your services have during this tragic time and how people can benefit from them. Your audience is more likely to respond. Advertising your business this way allows for your business to showcase their services in a sincere and empathic way.
For businesses whose services can't necessarily help during the crisis, it's important to still show support. Add hope and inspiration to the social media feed. Post about things people can do to help out. Putting out this type of content will reflect greatly on your business. Showing the personality behind a brand is what people care about. And if you show that your business cares, your audience is going to care about you.
Here at Hyperchat Social, we understand the importance of marketing businesses on social media during the good times as well as the bad. We're aware COVID-19 has caused much stress on small business owners, and we want to help take some of that stress off of you. Schedule a consultation with us to learn how we can help your small business during this troubling time and begin Turning Social Into Sales!
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