Pandemic Survival 101: A Guide To Surviving COVID-19.

25 March, 2020 (Wednesday)

COVID-19(Corona Virus) has taken the world by storm and it seems like it is here to stay. In a time where the common masses are taken by fear and panic as governments announce curfews and quarantines, it has become quite a challenge for brands to remain relevant. How brands handle the situation can affect their perception in the eyes of the consumers and this distinguishes the good marketers from the amateurs, hence it is extremely important to have the right approach.

1) Communication

Knowing what to say at the right time can go a long way but also knowing when to be quiet is essential. Expressing your concern for a particular value without actually living by those values can do more harm to your brand image than good. Expressing that your brand is taking necessary steps to keep employees safe and striving to keep business going is something that customers expect anyway and it isn’t something newsworthy. It is obviously a tough time for several businesses and brands can’t be blamed for trying to keep themselves afloat but making their self-interest a priority over public health is a definite marketing blunder. It is important for brands to bury their desperation and try to actually provide value to consumers through their communications on social media.

2) Raise Awareness

The pandemic will certainly impact every sector and industry, including social media and understanding the needs and feelings of consumers will play a key role in communicating with them positively. It’s imperative to tread the thin line between asking people to stay calm and raising awareness about the disease without making this sound like an advertisement for your own brand.

3) Adapt To The Situation

It has become essential to adapt to the situation and to be sensitive to the needs of the hour. If this means rescheduling your entire social media strategy, then that’s what you need to do. For example, putting up a post asking people to ‘come together’, which would usually be viewed as a positive message would now be terrible advice and comes across as tone-deaf.

4) Use Alternate Social Media Strategies

As most people are working from home and staying indoors unless absolutely necessary, it is natural for sectors like travel, fitness, nightlife, etc. to face a tremendous down surge in business. In such times, brands can benefit from flexing their agility and equipping alternate strategies to maintain their significance in the market. They may not be able to get business right away but they can provide alternatives to consumers through their online presence. Many gyms have resorted to fitness apps, restaurants now teach you how to cook your favourite meal and travel companies are creating experiences so they can enjoy beautiful destinations from home. Thinking outside the box to create experiences that do not sound like self-promotion could help retain those consumers later on.

5) Social Media Website

It is obvious that certain sectors also see an upsurge due to the quarantines. These are mainly your streaming platforms and social media websites that work toward alleviating boredom among people stuck at home. However, if your business doesn’t revolve around these, you could take the time off to redesign your website or simply rewrite old posts for search engine optimization.

6) Re-use Old Content

If you’re at a loss for new content you could reuse older content that you haven’t used in a while, adapting it to a new format or tweaking it to provoke a response that could perhaps be used as User Generated Content.