Where there is a brand or a business, the crisis will follow. It is inevitable. No matter how well equipped you are, a crisis lingers around looking for ways to get you, and badly enough to wipe out decades of hard work. Only strong communication can abet us to handle such situations. And social media is at the forefront of keeping people connected at all times, crisis or not. To get the latest news and verified news, social media has come a long way since it all began. It has been a crossroads of growth for many brands by turning a crisis into an opportunity.
A crisis has no specific pattern or form. It could strike at any time, irrespective of the place, person or brand. Currently, living under the lockdown situation because of the COVID-19 pandemic is not just a crunch time for people but also brands and organizations whose operations are at a stand-still, and many brands’ endangered existence. Yet, social media is being very instrumental for all the brands to be able to contribute or do their bit in the best possible way. You can witness the brands ‘humane’ side via social media during these difficult times. Social media platforms become a stage where brands showcase their social responsibility and reach out to millions around the world.
Social media to stay connected
Famous shoe brands are giving out free pairs for the frontline warriors against our COVID-19 battle – doctors, police force and more. Radio stations have come together over a series of Twitter banter communicating life around the city and living in confined spaces of our homes. NGOs are coordinating on social media to not only reach out to the underprivileged and help them with basic essentials but also source food, masks and other essentials for the cops and the workforce that is catering to defend the spread of the pandemic.
The government is reaching out to the citizens via social media to relay measures and messages during the lockdown situation. The Film fraternity and various brands have come together to convey messages about the pandemic through their work on social media platforms; while contributing to the underprivileged and the daily-wage workers within their industry simultaneously.
Health and wellness brands are utilising social media platforms to connect with people live and cater their services like fitness classes, health food culinary classes, yoga sessions, and more, for nominal prices. Not only are they gaining new consumers, but the old ones are retained as well.
With all the restaurants being closed and most of them involved in exploring their culinary skills, e-commerce platforms provide culinary classes; influencers share their recipes, etc. Messaging for various reasons has increased the traffic on social media platforms drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Obtaining and verifying information is convenient and finding solidarity with others facing similar crises provides solace for all whose life has slowed down in the last few weeks. Also, brands learn from the past and others who have faced a similar crisis. to be careful and deal better with their own brand strategy.
Social Listening to stay safe
Also, having all the time to socially listen can warn brands early on and prepare them to brace the situation by determining the scale of the problem. Even if a crisis strikes, the brands have a response ready to tackle the situation sensitively. If the social chatter about your brand is spewing toxins putting your consumer relationships at stake, social media listening helps you ward that off and build loyalty to strengthen it instead.
For example, this is not the first time that we have faced a pandemic situation. There have been H1N1 flu, Ebola and Zika virus outspread earlier to the current COVID-19. Initially, when the other pandemics spread, social media was the connector that connected millions to help each other out of the situation. Social media platforms have evolved post the pandemic.
The insights of the situation then have led us to be at a better place today, where communication is faster, stronger and more valid in the present times. Now the social media is equipped with technology that can verify the information obtained socially immediately and help people take measures before the crisis hits and affects the population. And, if that is missed, social listening gives enough information to understand what’s happening at real-time and ward off a disaster with immediate response in place.
The social media conversations are very important to a brand or an organisation. If you’re really listening, brands can use social media to promote and stay connected with their consumers, get more consumers and retain consumers even during the outbreak of a deadly pandemic. A crisis stirs the sentiment value and becomes an opportunity for brands to catch the pulse of the moment and rebrand, appealing to the different consumer base, growth and reaching out to a diverse audience.