When it comes to a world crisis and a pandemic like COVID-19, social media automatically gets pushed to the forefront of communication. Whether it’s communication from local and government officials or communication between businesses and their customers, it’s been noted that 62% of adults in the United States regularly turn to social media for news. In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, 40% of users are currently using social media to closely follow current events. (Hootsuite/Pew Research Center).
With that said, it’s imperative that businesses keep their social profiles updated and continue engaging with their customers. As agencies, it’s our job to ensure we’re providing our clients the most beneficial guidance possible during these hard times.
To help our clients, here are the most important updates to make to social profiles during COVID-19.
1. Publicly acknowledge COVID-19. Have compassion.
First things first – instruct your clients to acknowledge COVID-19 across social media. This pandemic is rapidly spreading and impacting businesses in different ways each day. In the midst of what feels like chaos and darkness all over social media, businesses need to stand out and use their profiles to communicate with compassion.
People want to see compassion not only for them, but how businesses are treating their employees. They want to know how businesses can help or give back.
How are businesses operating during the pandemic? Are they open? Are they closed? Are there limited hours?
If your clients take the time to communicate their precautions and other important information via social media, their customers can continue to support them during the pandemic, whether that be online or from a safe distance at a physical location.
2. Update business hours.
COVID-19 has forced officials to restrict hours of operation of many businesses. Depending on location, a state or county-wide curfew may be enforced. As a result, businesses of all kinds have cut their hours or closed entirely.
Each type of business has been different and it’s hard to keep track. Updating social profiles with new business hours is crucial to any business. At any given point, anyone can go to social profiles for the most accurate and up to date information. In turn, people can better support a business during the pandemic.
3. Get creative! Update services/menu items based on the nature of the business. Provide value to customers.
Staying connected during this downtime is key. Now is the time to provide your clients with strategic direction on how to change up their offerings with the help of their social profiles. However your clients are impacted by COVID-19, they should communicate whether or not they are currently offering their list of services or menu items in full.
As agencies, we should encourage our clients to use this time to be creative, while showing their support. Businesses can help their customers have fun during this quarantine period at home by offering something unique for them to take home. Test out a new takeout menu or sell at home DIY kits for some family fun: like build your own pizza with all the fixings or cookie decorating with sprinkles and icing.
Not in the food industry? No problem. Hair salons can mix formulas and send it home in a to go kit with instructions! Fitness Centers can post health and tips and share virtual workouts across social media too! With your help and a little creativity, your clients can stay engaged with their existing customers and engage new customers by staying connected via social media.
To all of our clients: think outside the box to offer your customers something unique at this time so you can share it across social media. And of course, make sure you are following local and nationwide directives based on your industry.
4. Keep posting. Stay connected.
Keep posting. Don’t go silent! This provides an opportunity for your clients to not only maintain relationships with their current customers, but potentially reach new customers since so many people are spending their free time exploring social media.
It is especially important to note as you continue to post, during a time of uncertainty, everything posted on social media is subject to change. Stressing to your clients the importance of being clear in all social media communication and continuously posting daily updates helps add trust to any relationship, while avoiding miscommunication and the spread of false information.
In the wake of the pandemic, Facebook reports that Facebook and Instagram Live video views doubled in a single week! Encourage your clients to use their Facebook and Instagram profiles to go live with their communication. Not only does this humanize a business, but your clients can have 1-1 live interaction with their clients and have the opportunity to show their true compassion.
5. Respond to customers!
Whether your agency is handling engagement on behalf of your clients or they have taken efforts in-house at this time, be sure there is a designated team or person to handle all incoming communication across all social media profiles. Facebook reports that there has been a 70% increase in time spent on their family of apps: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, & Whatsapp during COVID-19.
With the extra time people have on their hands during the quarantine, they are not only spending more time on social, but they are actively engaging more to ease the feeling of isolation. Facebook also reports that there has been a 50% increase in messaging across their platforms.
Depending on the type of businesses, inboxes may or may not be flooded with messages, but people are going to have questions. On social profiles, be clear on the best way for people to reach you. At the end of the day, taking the time to engage with your customers, answer questions, and provide reassurance goes a long way.
As you can see, a business’ social media profile plays an integral role in communication as consumers seek out information during Covid-19. As social distancing has relegated people around the world to their homes, the increase in time spent on social platforms means it is more important than ever that customers have the up to date information they need at their fingertips. At Traffic Builders, it is our hope that all agencies can use our social media management tips to help their clients update their social media profiles as we all go through these trying times together.