How should brands use social media during COVID-19?

Published on March 31, 2020

Coronavirus is at the forefront of everybody’s minds and in this ever-evolving, ever-unprecedented time, brands are having to quickly figure out where they sit. As we continue to stay indoors, social media’s role in our lives is inevitably increasing, providing much needed distraction, helping us stay informed, entertainment and connected to others in a time of isolation. More than ever before, it’s being used for a sense of community.

So, is it insensitive for businesses to throw themselves into the social media mix? In short, no, as long as they shift their approach. Whilst hard selling should be paused, going completely radio silent risks a loss of brand equity further down the line. Instead this time should be used to build and maintain meaningful relationships with consumers.

Brands must keep reminding themselves that this isn’t business as usual. Inappropriately timed social content that appears to be self-serving will be received badly, damaging future relationships. Instead be open and creative; deliver content that shows brands locking arms with consumers. Be positive. Be helpful. Be mindful.

Here are some of our top tips to bear in mind when planning social content during this time, with a few great examples:

Be useful.

Staying occupied and healthy are big trends, so whether it’s a restaurant sharing cooking tutorials, activities to keep children busy or tips for the garden, create content that’s genuinely helpful.

Focus on light hearted relief.

Break up stressful newsfeeds with fun content, giving people the pick me up that they need.

Be relatable.

Show your audience that you know them and are supporting them. Aim for the response below: “Reebok, you’ve always been my go-to brand! Thank you for your attention to details beyond shoes”.

Now’s the time for brands to go live.

Think virtual pub quizzes and coffee breaks, Live podcasts or streamed exercise classes.

Stay human.

Continue to show support, whether it be for staff, consumers, health workers or social distancing.