How to adapt your social media activity in times of uncertainty

IPSE Ambassador Luan Wise recently hosted two webinars, packed full of top tips and resources for adapting social media in times of uncertainty.

Here’s the key points listeners took away.

woman using laptop and phone for social media
Don’t panic – this crisis affects everyone

This current situation is impacting everyone. Life has changed so quickly and continues to change daily. While we’re all experiencing a rollercoaster of confusion and emotion, we’re all in this together and one day there will a ‘new normal’.

Communication is critical

It’s good to talk, the BT adverts said in the iconic 90s campaigns, and communication could never be more critical in helping us all to navigate the changes and stay connected. It’s important to acknowledge that there is a (Coronavirus) crisis, and not ignore it. For every message we post, we should use a tone of voice that shows understanding, empathy and sensitivity.

Don’t stop marketing

People will still buy things during a crisis; some businesses might even be seeing increased sales right now – but even if they don’t, your business will be the first one they think of when the crisis is over if you keep marketing and stay visible.

It’s time to use another 90’s reference, and pivot. It’s time to let people know if you are still open for business and if/how things have changed (for example opening hours, delivery times, hygiene standards). You can also:

  • Update your website
  • Update your Google My Business information
  • Pin a post to your Facebook Page and Twitter Profile

Check-in with your customers and key contacts to ask how they are doing; offer your help and support and address any concerns that might have about working with you at this time. Here’s where you can reinforce the ‘in this together’ message.

Being helpful is the best way to avoid overt-selling; this is not the time to be opportunistic and take advantage of a crisis. It is time to build relationships.

If the crisis does present your business with an opportunity don’t forget the importance of showing understanding, empathy and sensitivity in your communications.

  • Use phrases such as ‘In these challenging times’ and ‘We recognise the uncertainty’
  • Do not use images that include groups of people or large crowds.
  • Do not use phrases that could be misread such as ‘take your breath away’
Adapt for the short-term, and focus on the long-term

Now is the time to switch off scheduling and automation. All content needs to be reviewed, and either amended or postponed. You might also find that you’re posting more on social media at this time to help with the changes that are happening, and to ensure you stay visible.

Your customers do still need you, so think about how you can help them right now. You might have lots of existing resources that are really relevant to share, or useful tips such as how you’re set-up to work from home. Think about how their needs have changed (short-term and perhaps also long term), and if the ways you can help them have changed.

If you already have a content inventory (perhaps an Excel spreadsheet), this will be easy. If you don’t, perhaps now is the time to create one! A document of everything you have created to support your business will also help spot gaps for new content you might create.

While re-assessing your social media posts daily, it’s a good time to be reassured that ‘the other side’ of the crisis will appear, so preparing for this is essential. The ‘new normal’ might be different, it might all spring back into place… no one yet knows.

It’s a good time to do some housekeeping on your social media profiles, including:

  • Updating your account set-up and profile information
  • Checking your privacy settings
  • Reviewing who you are following, and removing inactive followers using UnTweeps for Twitter and Cleaner for Instagram
  • Reviewing Facebook Groups
  • Reviewing LinkedIn Groups

It’s also a good time to upskill, and there are many online learning courses available including LinkedIn Learning, Facebook Blueprint, Hootsuite University and Google Digital Garage.

To watch the full webinar recording, visit:

To find out more about Luan, visit her website

Meet the author

Luan Wise copy.jpeg
Luan Wise

Chartered marketer and independent consultant

Luan loves to share her passion for marketing. This is done by speaking at events and conferences, through social media (mainly Twitter and LinkedIn) and also her blog.