What the COVID-19 Crisis Means for your Brand’s Social Media Plan

We’ve been hearing a lot about COVID-19 these past few weeks, and rightfully so. It’s impacting all of us, and each day we’re faced with a rising number of cases, uncertainty about the economy, and a sense of not knowing when this will all come to an end. But we’re in this together, and taking it one day at a time. That’s why it’s important that you’re there for your customers, helping to create some feeling of knowledge and security through strong communication.

In my role as Social Media Coordinator here at Kolbeco, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in many discussions with agencies across the country over the last couple of weeks. We’ve come together to share information and learn how everyone is managing social media communication during this time of turmoil. There are some key points that we’ve all agreed on to help brands connect and convey important messages to their customers:

Don’t go tone deaf.

If you log onto Facebook or Twitter, I will bet that you are seeing many posts related to COVID-19 on your feed. Love it or hate it, this will be what the world talks about for at least the next month or two. This is important to know. Your content will be sandwiched around posts that really affect people’s lives. This isn’t a time for “filler” content. The things you should be posting need to be related to what you are doing as an organization to help combat the issue, or how you are helping customers or clients in this time of need.

Don’t turn a global emergency into a money maker.

People are being laid off, getting sick, and some are even dying. This isn’t to scare you, but rather to help you understand the size of the impact this virus is causing. Suddenly a “buy one get one sale” doesn’t seem as important. It shouldn’t. Instead, dig deep and promote your brand based on how you can help. For example, GrubHub is offering free local restaurant deliveries to customers. This is promoting the brand for their contribution in helping both local restaurants, and also the customers trying to eat and support those local restaurants. Right now, they are viewed as a helper in the community. That is the goal and what marketing plans should look like for the immediate future.

Content Strategy.

If you haven’t already, pause all current campaigns that do not relate to this world event. This is the time to put that content on the back burner and really sit down each day to determine what is relevant and appropriate. We are finding out that this will not be over in a week or two. The world will not be “normal” for a while. I would think about what your company can do for the community. If your business can provide a service or good for the community, communicate that. If you can’t, what kind of support can you bring? These are the types of things you should be thinking about moving forward.


This is the one that is the most important. If you are not empathetic on social media, you might see a ton of backlash. Before you post, email, or call, remember that someone else’s situation might not be the same as yours. This will go a long way with the tone of your communication moving forward.

As always, the Kolbeco team is here to help you with your social media needs. In fact, we’re offering a free 30-minute phone or video conference to help you plan out your social media messaging during this time of crisis. To get started, email Scott Kolbe at scott@kolbeco.net. We will get through this hard time together. We just need to take it day by day.