Coronavirus Outbreak: Social Media and Brand Engagement
On 30 January 2020, India encountered its first case of the 2019-20 Covid-19 pandemic. To fight this worldwide health crisis, in India, on 22nd March, a voluntary ‘Janta Curfew’ was announced by the Prime Minister. This was followed by a nationwide lockdown for 21 days from the 25th of March 2020. These measures are expected to control the spread of Covid-19. The only thing that stands in the way of this pandemic is our determination, sensibility and sacrifice. When we look around us, we note that health workers, sanitation workers, police officers, media workers, people who are responsible for getting us groceries, everyone have staked everything for our safety and wellbeing.
With the beginning of year 2020, the whole world faced something unexpected and disastrous. With the outbreak of Covid-19, the lives of billions of people across the world has come to a halt. Social distancing and isolation, which had wisely put physical distance among us, has been countered by social media activities. Conversation on social media is keeping us connected to each other. According to a report shared by Nielson, Covid-19 based conversations on social media touched 22.3 million on 24th of March 2020. The data are taken from the 1st of Jan to 24th March 2020.
In this hour, when we are going through a crisis, everybody is contributing his or her bit in order to keep the hope alive. Social media, being the common platform also changed its face. With the changing scenario and uncertainty associated with that, social media and their users are also using the platform with all the sensitivity and sensibility. As social media is widely used for brand engagement, advertiser are facing hard time. They have to play a very balanced role both for their brands and for society. In this testing time, brand engagement in social media should be handled very carefully and sensitively, keeping these facts in mind.
Today, the impact of brand engagement on social media is low on every platform, across the globe. However, the brand handlers are showing the compassion to connect with their followers not just as a brand representative but also as empathetic friends.
The industries that are active even at this time of the crisis are giving some semblance of normalcy to others. Media houses, Higher education institutions, IT have tried to move their work online. They have not missed many steps due to the changed scenario.
Coming to the social media platform performance for brand engagement. A study conducted in US suggests that Twitter is doing better in terms of brand engagement than Facebook and Instagram. The simple reason is that twitter provides easy and quick access to news and updates than other platforms. A large number of people are using these platforms for news and updates.
At this moment of global crisis, it is advisable for brand engagements to be more subtle, empathetic, and reasonable. The content should be thoughtful to avoid negative impact.
What to do?
Few recommendations for brand engagement on Social Media platforms:
Your post should not be loud
While using social media platforms, it is mandatory not to keep the message loud. In this crisis, where not so good news updates are often shared on the same social media platform, it will be awkward to have a loud message in the background with not so desirable impact.
Need to adjust your content
As there is less attention towards the content related to brand engagement by the social media users, there is a need to adjust the content. The content should be more empathetic and concerned towards the current situation.It is important that space emptied due to reduced action towards the brand engagement be filled by relevant information about Covid-19 that instills confidence, and comforting messages that having a soothing effect, and a feeling that you are there for them at this time of crises without any intrusion.
Be wise with volume
It is also advisable to be a little wiser with the volume used for brand engagement by cutting your content/post short to adapt with the other activities going on social media platforms. People tend to be ignorant to the brand engagement contents due to their diverted interest in news, updates, entertainment and other activities.
Get prepared for the future
Though it is a lean time for the brand engagement as a part of social media advertising marketing, it is a good time to prepare for the future when this crisis will be over.
To sum up, in this difficult time for all the people across the world and we need to use the social media platform with the utmost care, be it a user or social media advertiser. Brand engagement through social media platforms has obviously taken a back seat at this hour. However, there is a need to handle it with a more humanitarian approach to match it with a present context.