The COVID-19, the pandemic that affects the entire world. It does not matter whether you are a large corporation or an SME; what is currently happening has led marketing departments to change planning without a solution to continuity. We have already talked about why social media is important for your brand. Now it is time to dig deep into the present day crisis.
For practical purposes, events have led to a widespread social media crisis: now it is not just one company that is in trouble at the network level, there are practically all of them.
What Is A True Social Media Crisis, And How Does It Affect Companies?
A Social Media Crisis is a situation in which the vision of the company, for the users of its networks and society, is questioned. Traditionally it comes together with a barrage of criticism on the different platforms that are unmanageable in the short term and requires quick actions on the part of the brand to solve them.
Let’s take an example of a social media crisis: the one experienced by American Airlines in 2018, when a video on social networks of how they managed overbooking on one of their flights went viral: a traveller was taken from the plane with violence, dragged on the ground and beaten.
The company did not know how to manage the situation, and it took months to alleviate the vision from the users. Even today, more than almost two years later, it is a recurring theme in their networks, and the Tweeter who ends up reminding them of it in an open thread is not rearranged.
And Why Is COVID-19 A Social Media Crisis?
From this definition, the coronavirus would not suppose a social media crisis as such, since there is no generalized criticism of management or an act. But it does imply a modification of the ways of communicating and coming into contact with the users.
These days require a drastic rethinking of the messages that are released to the community. The products do not matter, but the values and the content that helps to overcome the moment. But what to do if we have spent our lives launching commercial messages (in many cases without great success)?
The companies that want to get out of this situation have to apply all their anti-crisis procedures to achieve it. You cannot continue communicating as you did 10 days ago. If the attitude is the same, the criticisms from the users will end up arriving, and then we will find ourselves in a situation of a traditional social media crisis.
Why Is It Necessary To Change The Way Of Communicating?
Until just two weeks ago, social networks were one more distribution channel, which helped us to:
– Build customer loyalty.
– Convert customers into brand lovers.
– Get new leads.
– It was a communication channel for our products.
The social media department had to combine and balance the need to sell the virtues of the products and services of its brand, with the generation of value for the user.
Now the situation is different: users are confined to the home and the list of tasks that can be done throughout the day is negligible. Besides, the marketing of countless products has been prohibited, so we may not even be able to distribute it. Does this imply that we have to remain silent? Not at all.
Against this background, very few companies can continue to send sales messages without their reputation being compromised.
Most brands and there is the work of the social media team, have to pivot their message, and forget about direct sales actions. Now is the time to work on the branding and help the brand stay at the top of the mind of users at this time of the break.
What To Do On Social Media During The Period Of COVID-19?
– The fundamental task of the company is, as we said in the previous paragraph, to work on branding and corporate social responsibility.
– This is the time to put yourself more than ever on the side of the user and society. Show that corporate networks are a platform that supports and with which, viewing their stories, their tweets, or their publications on Facebook one is comfortable.
– The main job of the social media department is to show how the company empathizes with society and does its part to help.
In short, and as a summary, COVID-19 is time to work on our branding and corporate image. This is not the time to use social networks as a sales portal only. We could say, that these weeks can be an opportunity to come out stronger as a brand, but we will only achieve it if we work on that image that we reflect and we do it by putting ourselves, more than ever, on the user’s side. You have to empathize and be very close.