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3 ways to navigate social media during a crisis

As the Covid-19 crisis ripped through the world it brought with it a change to the way we shop and consume as individuals and businesses. 

As a business owner, it’s often difficult to know how to respond to situations like this on our social media accounts as just ignoring it and carrying on as normal seems callous and unfeeling, but there are a few things you can do. 

Firstly, it’s important to reflect on what the situation means for you, your business, your colleagues and those who work for you.

And of course, social media is a really important part of a business communication strategy and many of our business customers, clients and friends will be looking to social media for information and support when uncertain times hit. 

So, how do we continue to communicate effectively as brands during a crisis? 

Here’s a list of things to keep in mind: 

1. It’s not an opportunity

This should go without saying, but a tragedy such as the pandemic isn’t a marketing opportunity for anyone and we shouldn’t be looking to capitalise on the misery and hardship faced by so many.

However, that doesn’t mean it should be ignored as that’s a very cold view of the world and makes us look a little out-of-touch. 

So, instead, we need to be infusing each post and campaign with an added layer of empathy. Marketing and selling your products as usual is okay, but just make sure you’re not using the crisis a way to self-promote. 

2. Reconsider your social media plans for the rest of the year

Reconsidering your social media might be a wise move at this point. It could be that your existing plan is fine and there’s not a lot you need to change, but it’s wise to pause and reflect to make sure you’re not inadvertently saying something that could be taken the wrong way in difficult economic times –  an example of this is a celebratory post or something that might seem superficial at a time when something disastrous has happened.

It’s also worth considering whether your goals are still feasible, for example if your goal was to get more customers, maybe a new focus on customer retention might be a better idea, but this entirely depends on your business, your customers and what you’re offering.

On the whole though, it’s probably worth looking at a macro level and seeing if your current plans still fit with the world around you.

3. Don’t just cut-back your marketing

Many businesses during the pandemic simply cut-back their marketing efforts due to fear and worry about the future.

And this is understandable to a point. However, it was a huge mistake for many because by cutting back on their marketing they’re effectively making themselves more invisible and therefore less people will find them and buy from them.

This in itself is its own self-fulfilling prophecy and one that many should seriously consider carefully before jumping in and cutting back, because you might find yourself in the very position you’re worried about, simply because you stopped your marketing. 

Ultimately, it’s about being careful and not making any rash decisions without considering them first. Don’t let fear control your business and what you’re doing. 

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