Social media in times of COVID-19

Do we use social media the same or different since COVID-19? I think it is the same. And with using social media, I mean the principles of social media-communication. The elaboration of the basic principles is of course different from before this crisis, because the circumstances have changed. Lots of things are uncertain, such as our future. However, a few things are certain. Firstly, many people will have a decrease of income or even lose their job. Secondly, during lockdown you will have time to evaluate and change your point of sales, and that is a great opportunity!

Stay visible and connected
One day we will go back to -a new?- normal. Till then, it is very important to stay connected with your audience. Have them visit your business today online, so they will reconnect with you tomorrow in real-life. Social media is the ideal method for that. Harvard research shows that companies which invest in marketing during a crisis are more successful. Also, some companies use less paid advertising during COVID-19. Because of that, organic posts will reach more people.

Pivot your business model
A lot of companies are now pivoting their business model. They are doing this in order to create new value and protect their brand to survive in these difficult times. There are 3 important questions you can ask yourself to succeed in difficult times
• Can you add products to your portfolio? For example, textiles and handicrafts companies are now making face masks.
• Can you collaborate with other companies? For example, food companies are now making food boxes together.
• Can you change your point of sales? For example, make an online shop now on Facebook.

The basic principles of social media
1. Create desire
Also in these times you can create desire by showing your products or services. Maybe not all products sell good now, but some will.
2. Inspire your (potential) customer
People are at home and need inspiration from the outside world. They find this online, often on social media. So be there and share inspiring content.
3. Create relevant content
Start storytelling of your brand. Stay visible! Ideas for content: a quiz, a day out of the life of an employee, everyday activities, recipes, facts and figures.
4. Show ‘real life’ content
Share original content of women artisans/farmers you work with. Tell their stories and show what they do to survive. People are interested in this. You can inspire people with their strength, doubts and entrepreneurship.
5. Be consistent in your design
Always use the same colors and banners. Use the extra time you may have due to COVID-19 to develop a unique style for your company.
6. Don’t forget a Call To Action (CTA)
Make an offer people can’t refuse and make it easy for them to buy your product with a clear call to action.
7. Collect reviews
Now you have the time to collect reviews. Ask your employees, partners, ambassadors, influencers or customers to write a review online. Or even better: let them make a short movie.
8. Start a conversation
Interact with your audience. This will create customer loyalty. You can do this by referring to the news, placing recognizable content, being personal, asking good questions, showing emotions and @mention people.

Boost your profile
It is important to have a good profile on social media. Make sure it is correct and nothing is missing. This way people can find you!

Act now
To put it all together in my key message: create content, inspire and support your audience, align your strategy to your -new- goals and inform your employees so they know it too. ACT NOW, STAY CONNECTED and STAY CONNECTED!

Danielle Pels
Expert social media at Women on Wings

Picture: Danielle during her webinar on social media for Women on Wings’ partners, May 29, 2020