Social media in the time of COVID-19

social media during crisis

These are wild times. Most of us are being required to stay home, except for essential and brief occasions. We spend our time within the same walls and with the same people. It’s been this way for weeks already, and will likely remain for an unknown amount of time. Whether or not you’re taking the time to learn a language or brush up on your guitar skills, or if you are surviving each day, and that is victory enough, admit it: You’re spending more time on social media. We all are. 

In case you’d like some evidence beyond your phone’s own wellbeing timers, a study was done that proved it, citing at least a 22 percent jump in social activity on just one platform (in this case, Instagram).

So what to do? 

As a marketer or entrepreneur, you’ve likely got a social media strategy guiding your content. But these wild and unprecedented times call for a critical look at those strategies, and a likely pivot in order for your brand to survive and even thrive during this time.

Here are three strong strategies that can keep your brand moving forward:

Offer knowledge and curriculum specific to your area of expertise 

Think in terms of lists and tips. Give tips for your audience to care for their houseplants if your business is a florist. Give tips for your audience to maintain spine health while working from home if you are a chiropractor. Your expertise is plentiful, and right now, it should also be free and accessible. It is a time to give and come together (virtually, of course).   

Ideas to get you started: 

  • Adopt the mentality of #givefirst: Be generous with your content and expertise, without expecting anything in return
  • For professional service companies, consider giving membership/product discounts or doing a Facebook Live or IGTV with free virtual assistance 

Who’s doing this well: 

National Geographic. They’re sharing science and photography tips and curriculum; the two things they are best known for. 

social media national geographic    

Be a beacon of hope

Authentically, share positivity. This will, and should look different for us all. Your authentic lense will layer your own perspectives and life experience into how you, yes YOU, not your brand, in this case, is experiencing this collective trauma. Your silver lining will be different than the next entrepreneur in line, and that is the beauty of it. 

This can look any way you can dream up, but some ideas are to share: 

  • Instances of communities you’re coming across online, that genuinely move you (and bonus points if a loose tie-in with your industry is included)
  • A creative sign you’re updating regularly outside of your closed-to-sit down-customers cafe
  • Special discounts you’re able to offer
  • Shoutouts that makes sense for your brand and audiences 

Who’s doing this well: 

Draper James. Launched with a ‘Draper James ❤️Teachers’ campaign, this brand’s feed is kept on-point with beautiful photography and light, emoji-filled captions. They have woven in, however, opportunities to focus on one of their core audiences: Teachers, and most importantly, to give back to them. Additionally, their stories are a bit more casual and sometimes use user generated content (UGC) to showcase another side to the brand.

Engage, engage, engage 

Stick around and foster dialogue. Ok, ok, you got us. This one is a hard and fast rule at all times. But it is especially important now. It is always a good idea to engage once you put content out there over social media. 

Basic ways to do this include:

  • Replying to comments
  • Tagging others
  • Sharing to stories as soon as you post to your feed (for Instagram)

Who’s doing this well: 

Cranbrook Institute of Science. This local gem, a natural history museum open to the public all year round, has temporarily shut down due to precautions against coronavirus. They reply to comments regularly, and create a sense of community by doing so.

cranbrook social media

In closing 

We’re all thirsty for engagement, for community, for a sliver or normalcy. Embracing these strategies will help your audiences feel seen and cared for. Those are the feelings that foster loyalty. And isn’t that a dream for us all? Loyal folks in our circles.