Is your Social Media Communications Plan up for the COVID-19 challenge?
If your business is like most, a high-profile event like the COVID-19 pandemic is a real game-changer that can impact your bottom line in a hurry. In this technology driven age, getting out the right social media message that reassures your clients or customers is crucial for maintaining their trust and ensuring future success.
Your COVID-19 social media communication strategy needs to be consistent, transparent and accurate without compromising the privacy of your employees or business partners. As an organization, is your current social media communications plan up for the COVDID-19 challenge? Here are several ways to ensure that it is so that those you rely upon won’t lose confidence in your company.
Form a social media communications “Dream Team”
First, form a social media communications team with representatives from all departments. When you include members from all aspects of your organization, it will ensure that your message is consistent, that each department’s role is clearly defined, and that your customers’ needs are being met.
If you don’t already have a social media manager, you’ll need to choose a highly qualified person for the job who also has enough time to commit to the task at hand. If possible, allow your social media manager to work remotely. Be sure to involve HR during the entire process to ensure that your message is compliant with all company policies and procedures.
Once it’s in place, this new social media “dream team” will be responsible for:
- Identifying potential threats to your organization
- Assessing your current social media communication needs
- Brainstorming to create a new social media plan across all platforms
- Providing periodic updates to the SM manager so that he or she can get the information out there promptly and accurately
Stay informed about COVID-19
Next, find several credible COVID-19 news sources and consult them daily. When you come across information about coronavirus that you deem to be beneficial, share it with your team so that you can get their input before forwarding that information on to your social media manager.
These are some highly credible COVID-19 news sources:
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Your local public health department
- WebMD (You can even sign up for their daily email newsletter!)
Create two Social Media Communication Plans
Just in case you and your team experience COVID-19 disruptions in the workplace, come up with two distinct social media plans: one for remote work, and a second plan in the event your social media manager becomes ill. As an added precaution, it might be prudent for your social media manager to put together some training materials that can be distributed to all members of your team, including HR.
These are all important features of a solid social media communication plan:
What are others saying?
If you haven’t already done so, sign up for a social media listening service like Sprout, Sprinklr, Brandwatch or Hootsuite and then set up keyword terms to flag any mention of coronavirus, COVID-19 or SARS CV2 within your industry or local community.
You can also “listen in” by using native search tools on Twitter, Facebook or Reddit. Find out what others are saying and promptly forward that information to your team so that it can be used for identifying potential threats, customer demands and market trends.
Err on the side of caution
If they’re not already on there, post your Community Guidelines as a note on your Facebook profile, and include a link to those policies from your Twitter and Instagram bios. After all, social media channels right now are filled with rumors, speculation and misinformation about COVID-19. Let your stakeholders know in no uncertain terms that type of content is not welcomed on your pages.
Review your posts first
Posts should be reviewed first by all communication team members to ensure that they are accurate and transparent without violating stakeholder privacy. It’s easy for some minor missed detail to get misinterpreted and blown way out of proportion on social media- which could ultimately damage your business’ reputation permanently. Having several coworkers read over the content first will help guarantee that no “stone goes unturned”.
Use marketing restraint
Some companies have already been vilified for taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by promoting their products or services in bad taste through ads or social media. Don’t use any social media marketing tactics that could be deemed offensive by your stakeholders.
Keep your customers constantly informed by livestreaming videos about your new COVID-19 safety practices, along with changes to your business operations that are designed to prevent service disruptions. Doing so will show your stakeholders that they come first, that you value their business, and that you are prioritizing their health and safety- along with that of your employees- as an organization.
Set up a system so that these digital “PSAs” can be easily livestreamed to your YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. And finally, be sure to place a copy on your website’s home page so that visitors will stay updated.
We specialize in social media management solutions
With everything that’s going on right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may not have enough dedicated resources available to commit to developing and managing an effective social media communication plan- one that reassures your stakeholders and ultimately protects your bottom line.
At SafeHouse Web, our social media communication expertise helps clients just like you with our turnkey, creation-to-publication social media solutions. For more information about our digital marketing, web design and social media business management services, contact us to schedule a conversation.