How To Deal With Coronavirus On Social Media…
With COVID-19 continuing to spread and having such a big impact on our lives and businesses, it is important we all know how to communicate considerately on social media. When businesses talk about Coronavirus online, they should do so with the intent to either educate, inform or show solidarity with their audience.
Some brands will see the Coronavirus as an opportunity to promote themselves or sell a particular product or service of the back of it, which can come off as inconsiderate and can have a negative effect on your brand.
Not sure how to address the Coronavirus on social media? Don’t worry! We have you covered…
Why is social media important for the communication of Coronavirus?
Social media is a great place for news outlets, brands and individuals to share information with each other (if done correctly!). Why is social media important for your business during these times…
1. Source of information
Social media is for many brands the best source (and sometimes the first source) for their audience and customers to get verifiable information. Therefore, social media should be a platform used to communicate any business updates regarding Coronavirus to your audience.
2. Social media is your business card to the online world
Whether your business is still operating as normal during the outbreak or you have slowed down business and waiting for things to go back to normal, social media is still your business card to your online audience. It is important to carry on using social to showcase yourself as normal, but also to provide important updates to how your business is dealing with the Coronavirus and how it may affect your operations and customers going forward. Communication is key!
3. Customer service
For some of your clients, social media will be their first go-to place for communication with your business. During these uncertain times, you may find yourself getting more enquiries and questions than normal, so make sure you are accessible on social media and are able to respond to your audience.
How do I talk about Coronavirus on social media?
Our main advice would be you do not have to talk about Coronavirus on social media if you have no real reason to do so… Think carefully before discussing Coronavirus on social media.
If your business and customers have been directly affected by Coronavirus, a business update on social media is a good idea. Be honest, thoughtful and provide clear information that is beneficial.
Company Update or Statement
This will be the most common and typical social media post for businesses when discussing Coronavirus. Use social media as a platform to communicate company updates to your audience and customers. Let them know how your business is being affected and whether you’re still operating as normal or not.
Keep your post short, informative and transparent. If you are ‘self-isolating’ or your team are now working remotely, update your audience on how you can be contacted.
As this is a developing situation and things are changing all the time, you may have to post multiple updates in accordance with the changes. We recommend keeping your audience updated regularly as things change. Your audience will appreciate being kept in the loop!
Here’s our company update as an example:
Educate your audience
If you think your business or organisation can provide helpful information about the Coronavirus, do so. However, make sure the information you are providing is factually correct and comes from a reliable source. This is very, very important! sharing or spreading false information (and there’s a lot of it online right now) can look very bad on your brand and can negativity.
It does not hurt to remind your audience on how to stay safe, for example procedures such as continuous handwashing and keeping your spaces clean.
Aim Commercial Cleaning provided a great example of this with their “COVID-19 – Workplace Cleaning Guide”. As a professional commercial cleaning company, Aim realised they had knowledge and expertise to provide helpful information to their clients, contractors and the general public.
Be supportive and helpful!
Perhaps your organisation is providing help or support in some way to your local community. Let your audience know what you have been doing to help and how they can get involved or spread the message.
No matter how small your effort is, you will be providing hope and sharing a positive message in a negative situation. Be supportive and show the human approach behind your business.
A great example of this comes from HV Wooding Ltd, a UK based precision engineering & manufacturing company. After a call to action from the Prime Minister for UK companies to help produce medical ventilators for the Coronavirus outbreak, HV Wooding realised they had the expertise and facilities to join the national effort.
They are now focusing the majority of their work on the supply of ventilator components to assist the urgent national shortage. This selfless action and support in these troubling times will certainly be appreciated and remembered across their industry, even when things go back to normal.
What NOT to do on social media?
As we discussed at the beginning of this article, Coronavirus is a very delicate subject on social media and there are many ways you can potentially damage your brand. Here’s an overview of what to avoid on social media…
Coronavirus is not a laughing matter
You may have already seen plenty of ‘memes’ and jokes about the coronavirus on social media. But this doesn’t mean your business should do the same. Although some of your audience might not take offence, others may well do and this can look bad for your brand. You may also lose future customers.
Don’t share misinformation of fake news
The internet is full of information and news regarding the Coronavirus right now, with a lot of it being misinformative or fake. Be careful when choosing to share any information. Check where the information has come from and only share official information from trusted sources, such as the government, NHS, BBC etc.
Sharing misinformation will look really bad on your brand and may result in a loss of trust from your audience.
Keep an eye on your scheduled posts
Content calendars and scheduled posts are a blessing for businesses on social media trying to save time and plan out their posts. However, in an ever-changing situation, where things are changing day by day, it is important to make sure any future scheduled posts do not become insensitive or irrelevant.
What may be relevant and sensible today, may become irrelevant and insensitive tomorrow. Keep a close eye on your content calendar and update any posts accordingly.
We all recognise we are in unprecedented times and we all have a duty to get through these times together. Social media will play a big part of doing so, especially for businesses. So with that in mind, we encourage you to carry on utilising your social presence but to take precautions in doing so.
If you follow this guide and avoid the points mentioned that may be harmful to your brand, you will have no problem navigating social media during this outbreak. Good luck and stay safe!