In the past year of COVID-19, lockdowns and quarantine, every aspect of life and business has changed. As people around the globe struggled to adjust to rapid changes in their lives, brands and marketers had to radically transform how they communicate with their audiences. Social media and digital channels often became brands’ only options for connection and conversation during a time when many were feeling isolated.
With all the news around COVID-19, our usual social content just doesn’t feel relevant. Starting today, we’re using social to support you by sharing resources and starting new conversations around remote work and open communication to help (even just a little) during this time.
— Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) March 13, 2020
Today, as access to the vaccine expands, marketers have a new challenge: how to plan for reopening. With restrictions and vaccine availability at different stages in different locations, social marketers will need to plan for shifting timelines and the need to pivot on a dime. If we learned anything from last year, it’s that people will have many, many questions for businesses—and that social is often the first place they’ll go to ask.
In this roundup, we’ve assembled resources that we created to help marketers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, including how and when to communicate, as well as how to plan your reopening strategy. These resources will help you prepare for ongoing adjustments to the new normal businesses and communities are facing.
Resources for planning your reopening
Getting your social strategy ready for reopening
The world is starting to open up, and people want to feel safe and secure when shopping in-person. Follow these steps for a smooth business reopening and strong customer support.
Reflect on what’s working and plan for the future
This checklist can be used any time you need to zoom out and critically reexamine your social strategy. As you prepare for whatever reopening looks like for your brand, use this time to plan for the future.
Create a strategy for building long-term loyalty and connection
One of the biggest takeaways from 2020 was the power of social media to keep doors open (figuratively) during a crisis. This guide will help you think long-term as you build a social media strategy for community and connection.
Stay agile as the situation continues to change
Even in a pandemic-free world, things change and businesses are thrown curveballs—and social teams are on the front lines of communicating and reacting to those changes. Fortunately, marketers have always been adaptable. Here’s advice to help you stay agile, manage change and make the most of a new direction when your priorities shift.
While reopening is beginning, local plans and restrictions vary, and the coronavirus is still a very real threat. The resources in the following sections cover best practices for ongoing communication during a crisis.
Resources for communicating during this crisis
How to navigate through a global crisis on social media
During this crisis, people have used social to reach out, help others and create meaningful relationships during this time of uncertainty. Learn more about finding the right tone to engage and inspire your community through a crisis and use your platform to help foster connection.
Data: How COVID-19 has changed social media engagement
We updated the data from our yearly review of the best times to post to investigate what’s changed since the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Use this information to update your strategy and get a sense of how audiences’ priorities and interests have changed.
Stay informed using real-time data from Sprout Listening’s Featured Topic
Sprout’s product team has put together a comprehensive listening topic on the coronavirus so that you can tap into conversations and understand how to contribute in the most valuable and authentic ways. Learn more about how to put this feature into practice.
A closer look: What brands need to know about COVID-19
Marketers have never managed social media during a global pandemic. To better understand how businesses can contribute to the conversation, we analyzed Twitter messages in Sprout’s Listening Topic around COVID-19. We break down what the numbers reveal, provide examples of brands successfully navigating the crisis and share what marketers should consider when building their strategies.
Essential Sprout features to help your brand maintain connection in an uncertain time
Sprout has several essential tools for managing communications during a crisis. As social platforms turn into a place for sharing essential updates over promotional messaging, these features can help you quickly shift your approach to content and stay responsive to your audience’s needs.
From crisis to connection: How to build a social media crisis management strategy
The coronavirus pandemic has shown that there’s no one template for social media crisis management. Learn how to set up your social team with a response plan that is forward thinking and highly adaptable with the advice in this guide.
Social media crisis plan: What to do when things go wrong
These days brands need to be prepared for anything. In some cases, that might mean putting your social marketing on pause or shifting focus. In other cases, social may be the best channel for communicating with customers. Find out more about types of social media crises and how to shift course when they occur.
Working remotely and adapting to the new normal
What to do with your 2020 social strategy now
After all of your careful planning for 2020, Q1 quickly brought with it an entirely new way of life and a new definition of business as usual. This has challenged social marketers to pivot quickly, but that doesn’t mean you have to drop your previous plans entirely. We outline how marketers can reevaluate their planned campaigns and content, assess evolving customer needs and identify what parts of their strategy to salvage or scrap.
Remote work: 5 steps to cultivate an environment where employees thrive
Remote work has become the new normal as businesses do their part to facilitate social distancing. Try out these 5 simple ideas for helping build a remote culture that fits your entire team’s working style and helps empower them to feel engaged and productive.
Screen sharing tips and best practices for remote teams
Whether or not you’ve worked remotely before, the importance of meeting with your team or clients rather than relying solely on email isn’t lost on you. Knowing you’ll be sharing your computer screen in front of others can be nerve-wracking for the first few times, so we’ve put together a list of screen sharing tips and best practices to help you communicate confidently and effectively with your organization or clients.
Taking care of yourself as a social marketer
Battling burnout as a social media manager
The demands of working on an “always on” industry make social media burnout a very real challenge for people on the front lines. In this piece, learn how to identify burnout and balance self-care with customer care with tips from Red Hat’s Leigh Morrison.
Managing your mental health while working in social media
While many of us are on social more and more lately, few people experience everything from customer complaints to racist and sexist comments to straight-up death threats the way that social media managers do. For social media managers, addressing your mental health is about more than maintaining workplace productivity—it’s also about protecting your sanity and overall health and wellbeing.
We’re optimistic about how social will help all of us stay connected and navigate the ongoing changes we face—both as individuals and as marketers.
As you plan for a future of continuing digital transformation, you’ll need user-friendly tools that grow with your strategy and team. If you’d like to learn more about how Sprout Social’s powerful social media management platform can help, request a demo with one of our team members today.
This post One year later: Lessons & resources for communicating during the coronavirus crisis originally appeared on Sprout Social.