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Social on Tap: COVID-19 - How to Communicate

April 2, 2020

Navigating COVID-19: How to Communicate on Social Media

People around the world are adjusting to the new normal of social distancing, being quarantined at home, and trying to stay safe. As a result, marketers have shifted their campaigns, adjusted content calendars and developed creative new ideas to stay afloat and adapt to the new norm.

While people across the world are quarantined, Instagram story views have gone up 50%. As we all take a beat, this is a good time to connect with your social following and really get to know your customers and perhaps provide them with content that is entertaining and a welcome distraction from the current world events. April will be about the comfort of community from a digital perspective, and below we have included best practices and tips for how to speak to your followers in our new normal.


5 Guiding Principles for Social Media Marketing & COVID-19
Full link here from

  1. Listen & Acknowledge: Pretending like everything is normal can come across as inauthentic at best, and tone deaf at worst. Acknowledge the world's current events and let your followers know that you are here for them during this new normal.
  2. Keep Posting: Your followers are spending more time online than ever before. Now is a great time to stay connected with them to build on your existing community.  
  3. Be Empathetic: COVID-19 is affecting everyone around the world. Have empathy for your followers and offer compassion during this time. You don't have to mention COVID-19 in every post, but take the time to consider the tone of your captions and how they can be interpreted by people around the world.
  4. Provide Organic Value: With more eyes on social media, turn your social channels into a valuable resource for your audience. Focus on engagement first, instead of driving traffic, provide extra education through videos, carousel posts, or captions - instead of constantly asking to swipe up or click the link in the bio.
  5. Ask for Help: It's okay to lean on your community, that's what it's there for. Get vulnerable and relatable with your content and clearly communicate with your followers. Show that we are all in this together.

Additional Key Takeaways from the FohrLive event: The State of Influence During COVID-19

  1. Tweaking Content and Tone Matching Is Key: Make sure what you put out there is in line with what your audience wants to see and be mindful that times are different
  2. Stay True to Your Brand Identity: While many are jumping into TikTok and other platforms to be more relevant, strategists recommend brands stay true to their identity and really ask themselves if the platform is right for the brand. If it's not, find ways to make your current channels better, versus spreading yourself to thin. Your audience will appreciate your authenticity!
  3. Skincare, loungewear and fitness content: At home content such as skincare tips, loungewear outfits and fitness tutorials are performing really well. If these categories touch on something you can offer, use it as content to share with your audience!

Recommended Content to Share Right Now

  • Instagram Stories: Instagram stories are up by 50% in the past month. Find ways to interact with your community with tutorials, user-generated content, interactive videos and more.
  • Educational Videos: Whether that's through your stories, Instagram Live, or IGTV, find ways to provide value to your followers.
  • Brand Personalities: Whether you tap into your influencer network, or your in-house team, allow your followers to connect with you by putting influential personalities at the forefront of your content. This will go a long way to develop trust with your community.
Credit: Pinterest

How platforms are getting involved:

  • Pinterest provides a guide on how to communicate with customers during this time. Download the guide here.
  • Instagram launched the 'Stay at Home' sticker which pins anyone that's used it on their stories under one curated 'Stay at home' sticker story. Pin it to your relevant stay at home content and you may just appear there! Details here.
  • TikTok sets #HappyatHome: Live! Nightly Programming, which seeks to ease the pain of social distancing. Read more here.  
  • Luxury Travel Advisor is currently hosting a March Madness style bracket for the most Instagrammable Hotel. Check out the current standings here.

Examples of Brands Shifting Strategies

Anthropologie has been posting regularly, while adjusting their visual content to include a bit more interior design, loungewear or at-home imagery. They have tweaked their captions, adding words such as "daydream", "date-night-at-home," "how to be best-dressed in your next Zoom meeting," and more!

Revolve is known for the epic influencer network and travel content. Given that everyone is at home, they created a new hashtag #revolvearoundthehouse to encourage their followers to "stay positive, stay productive and most importantly, stay connected." As such, using their network of influencers, they have turned their IG account into a resource for their followers offering up recipes, daily work-outs, and more.

Union Square Hospitality Group
As we all know, the hospitality sector is not doing well due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Union Square Hospitality Group has shifted their messaging on social media to focus on promoting their USHG employee relief fund, which supports team members affected by this public health crisis. In every post, they provided the "we're in this together" messaging and have been honest about the current times.

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