Social Media During a Crisis- Crisis Marketing

Social media during a crisis can be overwhelming. Believe it or not though, between the political opinions, one-sided views and negative propaganda there is space for positive comments. It’s these positive comments that social media users search for. The decision may not be conscious, but it does happen. When people find that beacon of hope, they cling to it.

This post explains how to make people stop and pay attention. It explains the do’s and don’ts of using social media during a crisis. Most of all, it explains how to be that shining light.

Ask Yourself Why

Before we begin, have a think about why you’re doing what you do? Why do you have a business? Why do you work so hard and why is it so frustrating that just when things were getting going, the crisis hit? If the answer is that you want to be rich and bathe in money whilst others bring you champagne, you’re probably not going to get there. If the answer is that you truly believe that your business offers the best service, sells the best product of its kind and has the potential to change lives, bring smiles or make a difference for years to come, then you’re on the right track. Read on.

A Simple Truth

Many business owners don’t harness the power of social media. They don’t understand it well enough and either don’t use it because they believe it isn’t for them or they use it to sell.

So, let’s get one thing straight. Social media is not meant to be a selling platform.

The truth is that never before have business owners been armed with so many ways to reach their audience. We’re not talking about standing outside a shop with an A-board over your shoulders and a megaphone in your hand or paying for expensive radio advertisement slots. We’re talking about free channels to express your voice, to reach customers far and wide and deliver your business message.

So, when crises hit, business owners have a platform from where they can be heard and they have the chance to make a difference. So make every post count, because when normality is restored, your audience won’t forget who made a difference to their lives when times were hard.

Turn Life On Its Head

As you search through social media channels, find those posts that you think are share-worthy. Maybe a supermarket has announced new timings, or special slots for the elderly. Don’t re-post it yet, just follow that post. Do this for all the positive posts you find and at the end, you’ll have a bunch of posts that are waiting for you to add a positive comment and then share.

It’s not unethical to ask your audience to share it too. If somebody is doing something share-worthy then what’s better to let your community know and ask them to pass the message on.

It’s not wise to share every positive post as soon as you see it. Social media users have a short attention span for people who share too much; it becomes tiresome. But if every post you share makes a difference, people will start to sit up and listen. You’ll begin to capture their attention. Your beacon will begin to glow a little and more people will start to notice you.

Captivate

Before you hit the Share button, think about your comments. People like people. Social media users follow people they can identify with.

Does your comment have enough ‘bang’ for it to be noticed in the fog of negativity? Does it convey how the post made you feel? If you can capture people’s attention with a statement and convey your emotions, you’ll find your engagement will increase. It doesn’t have to be an emotion at one end of the scale or the other, but an emotion is good. Heart-warming, made me smile, inspired. These are all positive emotions that people will feel if they read your post, and they know you felt the same, guess what? You just connected with them.

Your Voice

A strong caption will cause intrigue. After that, it’s down to your tone of voice to keep the reader reading. Think about any social media channels you follow. The chances are that you follow them because you can identify with them. They use language that resonates with you. Quite often, you’ll find the person who wrote the post is writing as themselves, using language they would use every day. If you were stuck in a lift with somebody who voiced one-sided opinions and used superfluous language in an attempt to impress you, you’d probably tune them out. Tuning out is what we do when we scroll through all those negative comments.

Make A Difference

You have a platform. Your business may be temporarily paused while the crisis is being resolved, but in the meantime what can you do other than try to spread joy? Well, lots. You can occupy your audience and keep your brand afloat.

Maybe you own a gym. Why not host a live online exercise class with all your members? It can be a fun way to reach a new audience too.

Maybe you own an art shop. How about doing an online demo? If you are still able to sell products online, guess what? You’ll probably make some sales, but don’t push for sales. That’s not the point of this.

Maybe you own a butcher shop. Why not host a live session where you explain how to cut meat, what the various parts of meat are called and how best to use them.

If you’re unsure how to go about hosting an online event, Facebook or Instagram are good places to start. At the touch of a button, you can broadcast yourself to your entire audience. For effective results, you can always let people know that you will be live on your social media channels at a given time and what you aim to do.

We can’t go through every industry and job role, but you get the idea. Use your knowledge to occupy your audience and earn yourself some points toward being an industry professional or even a market leader. If you can do this using your natural voice, a voice that resonates with your audience, you’ll make a huge splash.

Summary

Social media during a crisis, if handled well, can make a huge difference. Not only will it maintain brand awareness and provide opportunities to reach a wider audience and deliver your message, but you can also make a difference to people’s lives. Those people you connect with when times are hard will still be by your side when normality is restored. You shared an experience with them. You helped them through a tough time. It matters.

Social media during a crisis is your voice. Use it well and you’ll develop relationships that will carry you through this stage of the road.

Discover more about marketing during an national emergency with our Crisis Marketing Tips.

If you would like any advice regarding this, then please feel free to contact the DBS team on 01522 811688.

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