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The “New Normal” – Social Media

By June 26, 2020 August 4th, 2020 No Comments
2020 has rocked our economy. Unemployment has skyrocketed, travel and tourism has been decimated, and people are more conscious about where their money goes. It is clearly not business as usual. As local and state governments reinstate Stay at Home orders put in place to slow down and hopefully prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are steps that can be taken to transition your business into our “new normal.”
Now is the time to maintain and strengthen your reputation by tailoring your public relations and public affairs strategies to the current climate. Cerrell is committed to sharing our best practices when it comes to handling our clients’ needs.

PART 1: SOCIAL MEDIA

COVID-19 has highlighted a lot of things about our world: one in particular that is important for businesses to recognize is how important social media has become in our day-today lives. Our audience is engaging with businesses in this digital space, making it more crucial than ever to maintain your company’s social media presence.

However, one of the biggest mistakes we’ve seen clients making during the pandemic is a lack of change to their social media strategy. No one is purposely tone deaf to the situation at hand, but it can happen when businesses don’t review their posts through this new lens. Two simple things you can do to change your social media game in this “new normal” is address content and tone.

  • Efforts – COVID-19 related philanthropy, community engagement, etc.
  • Employee/Project Highlights – the faces behind the brand, workplace culture, recently finished projects or current projects that haven’t been impacted too much by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Thought Leadership – how company leadership are steering their team through this pandemic; industry updates and positive messaging to position your brand as the subject expert in your industry.

We want to make sure that the topics we choose vary day to day and week to week; audiences can experience fatigue around COVID-19 and while we always want to be mindful of the current situation, we also want to make sure we aren’t overwhelming anyone with coronavirus-related content, especially if your company is not as impacted by the pandemic.

Tone

Maybe your social media minefield isn’t the content you’re posting but how you’re posting it. After updating your content to make sure it is up-to-date, it is important to take a look at the tone of your posts. Here are a few pitfalls we’ve seen with social media tone and how we recommend you change them:

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INTENTION
PROBLEMS
OUR SOLUTION

Promoting events with no regard for COVID-19

  • Optimism
  • Reassurance that operations will resume as normal
  • Event may be cancelled, leading to vocal disappointment
  • Comes across as encouraging your audiences to ignore current government orders regarding COVID-19
  • Outline the safety measures your event will be following in accordance to your city guidelines
  • Explain how you are monitoring any changes in the current COVID-19 situation,
  • How your event is going digital (if possible)

Promoting services with no regard for COVID-19

  • Trying to maintain business
  • Showing stakeholders that your company is business as usual
  • Lacks information on adjusted business practices
  • Portrays non-compliance with city/state orders
  • Highlight how your operations are complying with current orders
  • Inform how people can continue to support your business through updated methods

Outdated/misinformed updates about COVID-19

  • Supporting COVID-19 efforts
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Misinformation can cause bad press
  • Reflects poorly on your brand as not using due diligence regarding such a serious situation
  • Review COVID-19 related scheduled posts weekly and update language to reflect your city/state’s current COVID-19 orders

Highlighting staff or departments that have been affected by COVID-19

  • Showing thanks
  • Showing your commitment to customers despite pandemic
  • Certain staff may have been laid off
  • Certain staff may not have full access to PPE
  • Assess your company’s activity during COVID-19 with regard to layoffs and COVID-adjusted business practices
  • Identify how this post can be improved (Can you offer PPE or hazard pay? Can you highlight WFH?)

Ultimately, our rule of thumb when it comes to social media is to err on the side of caution—we all want to use our social media to stand out (especially now), but you can do so by sharing positive newsworthy content, not by trying to pretend it’s business as usual; it’ll be easier to return to business as usual after the pandemic without the added issue of negative brand perception.

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