During this particularly chaotic digital media environment, both in the online and offline world, it is important for Brands to speak in the appropriate tone of voice and convey the right message to target audiences. This article aims to share a few things to keep in mind for Brands to navigate and avoid PR pitfalls while continuing to grow their voice in the social media sphere, amidst a digital landscape full of noise from COVID-19:
Be Human and show Empathy
To this day, many brands still robotically focus on creating content about the brand, and ignore what most of the audiences are currently care about (usually the COVID-19 situation). As an example "Goop", the Instagram brand pioneered by Gwyneth Paltrow got a lot of criticism for this. Instead of shifting gears to educate its audience about COVID-19, Goop continued to post promotions about its $425 sneakers, which caused social media backlash. Learning from this, brands should find creative ways to adjust their content strategy and adapt to current “trends” by educating and engaging its audience about the COVID-19 situation, how it relates to the brand, and what steps can be taken to by both the audience and the brand to make positive impact.
Experts in marketing and psychology argue that brands that inspire strong positive emotional reactions from its audience usually foster better trust, brand-recall, and long-lasting goodwill among its potential customers. Build a strong impression among your audience by sharing inspirational stories or call-to-actions that leave your viewers in awe, and spur them to participate in their own community to contribute in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Actively Post More and Differentiated Content
Avoid drowning in the noisy digital landscape of people constantly talking about COVID-19. Brands must continue to thrive in this environment by posting more content, in different formats, and in creatively differentiated ways to set themselves apart to get noticed (or get viral).
Research and Fact-check to Avoid Unintentionally Spreading Misinformation
Though timing and speed is key in posting content, be thorough in verifying information and sources. Everybody must play their part in safely and reliably informing the public with factual and useful information.