North of Eight's Social Media Crisis Plan
Hey there friends, clients and passerby-ers. Come have a seat - but not too close! We are currently practicing the art of social distancing and trying our best to do our fair share in preventing the spread of germs and COVID-19. We are also here to inform you of some of the best techniques you can use to manage your social media during a crisis.
Right now, we are living in some pretty scary times. We've lived through tough episodes before, but nothing quite like this. As small business owners and important members of our communities, it is our responsibility to use the power of social media to promote public safety, health, well-being and love.
During this trying time, be sure to remember these four tips on how to manage your social media during the COVID-19 virus (and any other crises you may face) from your friends at North of Eight Design & Marketing.
The COVID-19 virus is a rapidly evolving worldwide pandemic, so be sure to keep your posts vague and don't overpromise and then underdeliver. Avoid making any definitive statements until things start to slow down and you can truly guarantee that you will be open/hosting certain events. The situation is changing hour-by-hour, so don't get locked into the "this is the way it is going to be" mentality. Be flexible and patient.
If you schedule your social media posts ahead of time (first of all - way to go!), be sure to check back in on all of your scheduled material to ensure that you aren't going to publish any posts promoting canceled events and/or insensitive material. During a crisis, certain words can take on new meaning so give your content a good "look over" before publishing.
Our clients are AMAZING. Seriously. We can't help but be so so proud to be part of such a loving network of friends and clients. One thing that has become clear is that our small town communities are in desperate need of help. These incredible folks are doing their best to provide for those in need.
The WE ARE Network has set their website's home page to redirect users in an attempt to help coordinate volunteers and people who have a need in our WE ARE communities during this national event.
Clover Meadow Winery has set up a temporary food bank for students in need of breakfasts and lunches, Monday through Friday. You can sign up, view menus and pickup times through their website.
The Dock Coffee is offering complimentary lunches for students. Every child can receive a free lunch that contains a turkey sandwich, chips, and a pickle or a PB&J, chips, and applesauce. Completely free, no other purchase is necessary. Just ask for a manager and they will be happy to make it happen.
[[ Attn. to all current clients: Are you doing something special to support the community/any charity work during this difficult time? Let us know! We are currently updating sites to include your business' coronavirus updates - free of charge. ]]
Make a crisis plan and stick to it. The CDC is doing a phenomenal job of informing folks on what is happening, hour by hour. They are constantly releasing updates and new information on their website.
In this day and age, social media is more important than ever. So if you're going to use it - be responsible. It holds the power to either invoke fear, promote arrogance, or spur hope. You get to choose what voice you use to promote your business so please practice discernment and patience. If you are going to share information on your social media account(s), verify that it comes from a reputable site and fact check EVERYTHING! The last thing you want to do is capitalize on other's fear by sharing misleading information.
Be Respectful - Manage your social media with compassion & kindness
We hope that during this time of hardship you choose to show love and compassion to everyone around you. Keep it professional though - no kisses on the lips. We're not doctors, or nurses, or in any type of service that would make us qualified to tell somebody else how to live their lives; but the one thing we can tell you is that love and kindness never get old and will always be needed during the good times and the bad.
Don't try to capitalize on the situation by creating disrespectful posts/crass ads promoting your product and services. People are hurting. This isn't the time, place or platform for you to make light of someone else's pain. Be kind. Be charitable. DON'T be greedy. Take just what you need and leave some for the rest. Post things that uplift one another rather than laughing in the face of those that are truly scared.
Life is hard enough without the coronavirus. We'll never know if we underreacted/overreacted to the pandemic, but the one thing I know is that Mr. Rogers said it best when he said this:
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"
And that's what gives me faith that as sure as I am that the sun is going to set, that it will rise again.
Kassie Mullins is N8s resident content expert, specializing in photography, videography and social media management. She also works with clients on web design, blogging and more.