Article written by Katina Jaye Beveridge, ASBAS Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre.

With stage one of lock down in place, what should we do when it comes to communicating with our customers about COVID-19 social media?

In times like this, social media plays a very important role in the overall scenario of things. Social media is a powerful tool for information dissemination and influencing public sentiment, so businesses and individuals have to be careful of what is being posted online.

Unfortunately, there is no general guide on how to handle social media marketing in times of tragedy or crisis like the COVID-19. But as a general rule, social media should be used to alleviate the situation, instead of contributing to the pandemonium that is currently happening. The problem is, people have differing opinion on what would be good to post in the wake of major events.

Here are some tips to help you decide what materials or updates to post in sensitive times like this:

  • Silence is never the right response. You have a very powerful tool in your hands that can help spread information and help in the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 virus. You can use social media to spread information on what the virus is about, how it is transmitted, and what you can do to prevent it from spreading further. People expect brands to be listening and reacting to the public outcry, and not just keeping mum about it.
  • Don’t get caught off-guard. The worst thing you can do is scramble for a plan of action when something big happens. You should have a social media strategy ready during critical and sensitive times like this. Establish a chain of command of who should do the talking and what message to send out.
  • Speak from the heart. Consumers need compassion and a helping a hand during troubled times. You can do your part by outlining how your company plans to help or providing helpful information for the public.
  • Do not sell your products or services. That is outright insensitive and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Most of all, lend a helping hand. A kind gesture, no matter how small it is, will be vividly remembered by people more than what you post online.