Here’s how brands can do their bit and pitch into the selfless COVID-19 relief efforts on social media and also put out relevant brand communications sensitive to the current times.
Taking leads from a few brands who have already begun contributing to the COVID-19 relief efforts ongoing on social media, here are a few ways you can help.
Disseminate Safety Precautions
Several health organizations and authorities have been communicating safety precautions throughout last year, but the number of people we see wearing the mask below the nose indicates that we need to amplify safety precautions until the end of the pandemic.
Collate safety precautions from verified health professionals, and organizations such as WHO, and authoritative health ministries only. Do not post or publish any safety practices that have not come from these sources.
There are practices such as masking up, handwashing, and more that have been continuously recommended, but as the situation evolves practices such as ‘double masking’ surface. These practices need to be verified and accurate information needs to be posted.
Being creative whilst not changing or altering the guideline, and making the communication consumable, would also make the communication more engaging and hopefully effective.
Amplify COVID-19 relief efforts
Ordinary citizens have been major contributors to several online efforts that are making an on-ground difference. Most social media brands have or continue to build a substantial social media presence and have an engaged community, this voice and power can be used to amplify relief efforts, and connecting a needy to a provider may help save a life.
It doesn’t matter if your online community is sizeable or not, even if you have fewer followers, every effort counts and each person can make a difference. Post a CTA urging your followers to tag the brand’s social media handles while requesting a resource or sharing the availability of a resource, and preferably a hashtag that can club all calls for help.
Verify the availability and legitimacy of the supply, request, and contact information at your end, segregate them as per the location and share them through social media creatives and posts. Various brands have already started amplifying such calls for help, but more brands need to do so.
Communicate New Offerings
Several brands have transformed their services and products to suit the COVID-19 situation. Zomato added a checkbox to enable users to indicate that the order is related to a COVID-19 emergency. TrulyMadly, a dating app transformed their service to a system that is able to match plasma donors to the needy. CRED coins can now be used as donations for an oxygen drive.
Such alterations to services need to be communicated at the widest scale, to ensure the majority of consumers are aware of it and are able to use it efficiently. Simple, on-point, and frequent communications would be able to highlight the offerings.
Communicate New Guidelines For Use Of Service
To comply with restrictions, containment measures, and the continually evolving situation, your services may not be available at certain hours, operations might change, you may only accept digital payments, and more of such changes may vary. But these changes should be communicated to avoid discrepancies.
Don’t Be Tone Deaf
Continued use of services can be proposed, but with a tonality that is considerate of consumers’ current priorities and is sensitive towards the country’s scenario. For instance, several brands such as Bumble are acknowledging the current situation and communicating with a sensitive tonality.
People are overburdened and overwhelmed with the current turmoil, the least a brand can do is not be tone-deaf and go about with a “business as usual” outlook and continue putting up brand communications that one would put out in the normal world.
This Is No Time To Influence
Social media feeds are filled with influencers and celebrities who are violating containment guidelines or boasting their lavish lifestyle and holidays, while most of the country struggles to make ends meet. It is more distasteful to see brands collaborating with these influencers and being associated with such content.
It is advisable for brands and businesses to avoid such promotional activities, and if a brand wishes to collaborate with them during this period, it can be directed towards relief efforts. A chunk of the influencers are also pitching in for the relief efforts instead of going about with their usual content, brands can foster partnerships with them and create value for their consumers during this time of uncertainty.
Donate If You Can
If a brand has the means to donate monetary support or resources, they can do so by partnering directly with foundations, NGOs, and organizations that are dedicated to providing relief or hospitals that are falling short of relief materials or medicare supplies. Vaccination programs for employees or consumers is another way to contribute to curbing the virus outbreak.
Don’t Stay Silent
The consumers will never forget if you are able to provide any kind of relief to them, and they will also remember if you are absent during the hard times but communicated “We’re in this together” throughout the year.
Each brand can contribute in their own capacity, one need not be disheartened by the size of their community, or the resources at their disposal, the intention to help is bigger than one’s limitations.
While the option of staying silent is available and is better than usual promotions, it is not recommended, this is the time when a brand can contribute to sustaining humanity in an inhumane situation, and be a part of consumers’ lives, and not just be an entity that sells products.