10 Tips to Adapt your Social Media Communication to Covid-19
It is now more than a month since the Covid-19 emergency drastically changed people’s everyday lives and habits. The only way to connect with the world is through our digital devices and social media. As a consequence, the time people spend on the Internet has risen since the beginning of the lockdown. Media consumption and the types of digital contents that users choose vary according to the generation to which they belong. For example, while Generation Z and Millennials are more likely to prefer online videos and streaming services, Generation X and Baby Boomers still prefer traditional media, such as television.
It is clear that the time people spend online has risen since the start of the lockdown. Indeed, there has been a 70% increase in the amount of time Italians spend on Twitter since the beginning of the emergency. In this context, a brand’s ability to handle the situation and be present becomes paramount.
How to Adapt your Communication Strategy to the Current Crisis
In this period of crisis, the worst mistake a company can make is to stop the ongoing communication activities related to its business Click To Tweet. Instead, the best choice a company can make is to adapt its communication strategy to the current situation. Don’t forget to keep in contact with clients and to take into account the implications that the situation requires. These are two fundamental elements to overcome the Covid-19 crisis and to clear the way for your business in the future once everything will be back to normal.
However, it could be harder than expected to create a digital communication strategy that is consistent with the current situation. In his book Marketing 4.0, Philip Kotler reveals the necessity for a brand to be keen on moving with the times to result more attractive to customers’ and investors. Now, more than ever, it is necessary to take into consideration the current situation and to keep an open communication between the brand and its audience. In such a sensitive moment we are living in, companies should be very cautious in trying to avoid making mistakes. How can they do it? Keep reading our guide and you will find out how easy it is to make mistakes in this context, but also that doing well is not impossible. For this reason, we decided to collect ten pieces of advice to create a correct and effective communication strategy on social media during these challenging Coronavirus times.
What you Should Communicate on Social Media:
1 – Adopt a Coherent Tone of Voice (ToV)
First of all, it is important to consider whether the tone of voice used in your social media communication is consistent or not with the current crisis. For example, those brands that tend to use an ironic tone of voice might want to switch to a more serious type of communication. Indeed, 57% of Italians surveyed request to avoid commercial campaigns that are too cheerful or that have a humoristic tone. Even though brands should not sound too humorous regarding the current situation, it does not mean that their communications via social media should be too serious or dramatic either. Furthermore, keep in mind that the situation is continuously evolving. For this reason, you should always keep up to date and adopt a tone of voice which is consistent to the always changing situations. In this period, an approach that promotes a sense of community and positivity could represent a winning weapon Click To Tweet.
2 – Use Social Media Communication as an Educational Channel
People have been using social media to communicate and, now more than ever, your brand should aim to communicate with the audience by providing updates and information about the current situation. In this way, it will be possible to inform the community with pertinent content which is also coherent to the context in which we are living. Managing your digital communications as an educational channel for the community could be an effective strategy for your brand. Indeed, 80% of Italians hope that brands’ communication strategies will aim to educate people about the current situation. However, what you should avoid is to spread fake news or news that promotes wrong behaviors. Consequently, be careful that the information that you spread comes from established sources. Keep in mind: quality over quantity.
3 – Exploit Real Time Marketing
Real time marketing is the ability to create content exploiting the trends of the moment, and it could be a very successful strategy for your social media communication and marketing strategy. However, remember to keep a coherent and sensitive tone of voice or else you could risk ruining your brand image with an own goal, and the reputation of your business would be really hard to recover.
For example, the famous American brand Nike exploited was able to exploit real time marketing in its communication strategy in a positive manner. After the Coronavirus outbreak, Nike adjusted its motto in: “Play inside, play for the world.” In this way, Nike demonstrated to its community to be informed of the emergency by highlighting the importance of staying home and, at the same time, was able to keep both its identity and tone of voice intact. Nike represents a clear, concise, and effective example on how to positively exploit real time marketing.
4 – Use Creativity
Among different communication strategies, creativity represents one of the most powerful weapons. The Coronavirus outbreak forced millions of Italians to stay home. Consequently, it is not surprising that the time spent on social media during the lockdown has increased. Spending more time online, people are exposed to more brands and commercial campaigns. This is the reason why you should rely on creativity to emerge among the competition.
Some brands, like the ones in the travel industry, have been heavily affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. As a consequence, they found themselves forced to reinvent their communication strategies in order to adjust to the current situation. For example, the tourism industry is dealing with great losses due to the ban on travel.
Lonely Planet Italia, a travel guides publisher, reacted to the Coronavirus outbreak by publishing on its social media the new travel guide “Casa” (“Home”), which invites its followers to mentally travel the world while staying in their own living room. The post’s caption says: “Climb the couch mountains, dive into an impetuous cold shower and try the street-food of eftoversinthefridge. It is the moment to enjoy a magic place in a way that you never did before: it is time to stay home. #Istayhome”. Lonely Planet represents a perfect example on how to use creativity and the right dose of humor to invite people to stay home.
Furthermore, adopting creative marketing strategies for your social media communication could help promote your brand over your competitors. By producing creative and memorable content, your chances of winning the audience’s interest over another competitor in the long term will be higher. In fact, once everything is back to normal, people could choose your brand instead of a competitor’s exactly because they will remember your content and your brand.
However, keep in mind that creativity as much as real time marketing, could represent a double-edged weapon. You should always be creative, but avoiding contexts or situations that might not be pertinent on insensible regarding the current situation is always advisable. As we already said, tactfulness and sensibility are always needed.
5 – Focus your Attention on the Digital World
Now more than ever, with the Coronavirus emergency and the lockdown, digital communication and digital marketing have acquired an essential role Click To Tweet. If your business is closed, you could reinvent yourself and start working online. Since the beginning of the lockdown, e-commerce is experiencing a positive growth. For this reason, if you own an e-commerce, this is the right moment to remind it to your community and push them to use it. If, instead, you still do not offer this service, you could start thinking about implementing it in your business. It is enough to consider that between March 27th and the following four days, there has been an increase of 23% in the use of e-commerce.
What you Should Avoid Communicating on Social Media:
6 – Do not Generate Alarmism
As we have already said, this is the right time to share a positive atmosphere through your social media communication. Therefore, avoid alarmistic or tragic tones as well as contents that could create panic or chaos among your community. Be careful with the words and the artworks that you decide to include in your communication through social media, there should be consistency between the content you publish and the current situation.
7 – Do not Spread Fake News
Now more than ever, you should avoid feeding the spread of fake news. Every time you are willing to communicate a content through social media, be sure that the information is valid and that it comes from a reliable and credible source. Social media helps communication, but just when they are used as a means to spread the truth.
8 – Do not Speculate on the Current Situation
Do not speculate on the current situation trying to get profit out of it. This is not the right moment to explicitly sell to your clients; instead, use social media to directly communicate with your community and to help it to overcome the Covid-19 emergency. For example, you can use communication via social to show your community how your product can be useful during this particular situation or how you are contributing to this emergency. Revise the content that you are willing to publish and that you had programmed before the Coronavirus outbreak, as it might no longer be consistent with the current situation. By doing so, you could avoid misunderstandings that could arise with inappropriate content toward the Covid-19 emergency.
9 – Avoid Contents that Oppose to the Current Health Guidelines
Do not publish contents that refer to people’s aggregation or to go outside. This might seem inappropriate and incompatible with the current situation that forces us to stay home. As a consequence, you could raise negative comments. Indeed, 37% of Italians expect that ads will avoid types of social media communication that encourage people to go outside or to consume products in groups.
10 – Last but not Least…
In conclusion, our general advice is to be ready for every possible situation that may occur and to adapt to it in the best way you can. When you have something interesting and consistent with the current situation to say, you are more than welcomed to express it and share it.. Whenever this is not the case, do not be afraid to take a step back, as sometimes, this is the wisest choice you can possibly make.
- IAB Italia – Reinventare la Comunicazione