Social Media Marketing During COVID-19: 5 Winning Strategies Brands Need to Follow

COVID-19 has frozen marketing activities. After closing multiple stores, pausing ad campaigns, and canceling promotional events, brands must not only preserve what’s left but try to engage their consumers and encourage them to keep buying. 

The question is, how is that possible?

What should brands tell their consumers and how can they capture people’s attention on social media without being accused of profiteering amid coronavirus pandemic?   To answer these questions, we’ve investigated more than fifty social media profiles of various brands and defined five most effective strategies, which help them stay relevant and fuel followers’ activity.

Support and show commitment

When it comes to social advertisement, let’s turn our eyes on the legendary brands.

On March 28th, after almost two weeks of silence, Apple updated its  Instagram and posted a picture of a child looking at the window captioned: 

“Everything feels different now… … All over the world, we’ve seen an outpouring of creativity in the face of this crisis. People are sharing their unique points of view. Finding ways to connect from afar. To that end, we will be featuring moments captured at home by creators from around the world. We have always shined a light on artists, and we are committed to supporting them now, more than ever. We might be apart, but we’re in this together.”Later in April, Tim Cook announced on his Twitter that Apple is going to produce protective gear.

Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing brand, posted an official message, where it announced that the brand’s parent company had procured and donated 10 million masks to healthcare facilities. The post appeared on Instagram on the 27th of March.

apple and uniqlo screenshots

Add a perk of humor...but don’t go too far

Going through daily news where every headline contains the death toll is depressing. People develop anxiety and start suffering from massive panic attacks. Taking that into account, brands can add a little relief to the situation by crafting some humorous content. 

Following this approach, Stella McCartney posted a hilarious Instagram video where she slides from the stairs while staying at home on lockdown. The video gained over 1 million views and even triggered #StellaStaircase challenge, however many users admitted that it was a very risky initiative, as the last thing people need these days is to end up in hospital during Coronavirus pandemic. Totally reasonable.

Stella McCartney posted a Instagram video

Rise to the occasion

Coronavirus turned out to be the moment of truth, a black swan, which has put brands in the situation, where they need to demonstrate dynamism and agility in order to survive the crisis. This tragic event can be used as a great opportunity to prove your value to the consumer and stand out in the competitive landscape. 

For example, the latest Instagram post by Tesco encourages people to “think before you click” and buy more in-store to free up delivery slots for more vulnerable customers. 

Instagram post by Tesco

Show high standards

Trying to minimize health risks at every step of the way, people are getting extremely concerned about hygiene. Sanitizing and decontaminating have become an inseparable part of the daily routine and will remain permanent  even when the quarantine is over. 

Knowing that brands need to show they also take measures to ensure their customers health and well-being. Dominos, world’s famous pizza restaurant chain, showed a great example by posting a list of internal hygienic rules ensuring their customers their team follows all the guidelines for safe delivery. Plus, the restaurant implemented contactless delivery service.

Dominos is posting a list of internal hygienic rules ensuring their customers their team follows all the guidelines for safe delivery.

Bring your community together

Quarantine has become a real tragedy for travel and tourism brands, just as for brands of sports. For example, Speedo, whose swimwear is sold worldwide, is currently going through tough times. 

However, the brand didn’t go dark. Instead, Speedo decided to strengthen their community by posting encouraging messages and showing pictures of well-known swimming pools. The community reacted vigorously; an Instagram post with a Phoenix swimming pool during sunset gained more than 11.000 likes and received numerous positive comments. 

Speedo is posting encouraging messages and showing pictures of well-known swimming pools

Six months ago, when one of the Chinese provinces, Wuhan, was suddenly hit by a hazardous virus, later called COVID-10, no one could tell it would have such an immense impact on the economic environment. 

COVID-19 has plunged the world into darkness. Thousands of canceled events, closed manufactures, a burst of unemployment and social distancing escalated fear and anxiety, which completely reshaped customer perception; companies need new digital marketing ideas to continue operating afterwards. 

For brands, at this point, it’s important not to stick their heads into the send, but to show their involvement in the world’s COVID-19 battle, keep bringing true value to the consumers and adhere to their commitments.

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Let’s grow stronger together to survive the tough times.