As the impact of the coronavirus drastically changes the way people live and work, companies are understandably trying to fit their voices into the mix of content on social media. It makes sense: This is a make-or-break moment for brands in all categories.
Share valuable, helpful information, and you have a tremendous opportunity to build trust and credibility with your audience. But consumer sensitivities are heightened — one bad social post could do long-term damage to your brand. Share tone-deaf or inaccurate information, and you could dismantle your credibility.
Bank marketers need to be thoughtful and careful as they reevaluate their social media strategies and decide what to post during this time. Use the following questions as a guide to creating and posting content that will help you and your customers:
- Whose needs does this post serve?
If your messaging serves the needs of your bank over the needs of your readers, don’t post it. Now is not the time for sales content, and a poorly timed sales message could have lasting negative consequences. Case in point: 71% of consumers said they would lose trust in a brand that seemed to put profit before people.
Instead of posting sales-specific content, share valuable information for readers. Eighty-four percent of consumers want to see brand advertising that’s focused on helping people cope with changes during this pandemic. Share helpful resources, and you will be seen as a trusted partner now and into the future.
- Does this image accurately reflect society right now?
Social media content isn’t only about copy — you have to consider imagery as well. If your posts include situationally unaware photos, consumers will notice as soon as they visit your page. Right away, they’ll be able to tell whether you took the time to consider the broader context of your content.
For example, when states are mandating social distancing, stock photos featuring groups of people close together or physically touching will seem disconnected from the current reality. Be especially conscious of photos you share of older people, too. A picture of a grandparent hugging a grandchild might only make people more upset.
- Am I trying to be funny?
Under usual circumstances, social media is an excellent place for humor — it can humanize your brand and boost engagement. But now is simply not the time to make jokes. Humor around a terrible virus would be in poor taste, and any attempt to make jokes around social distancing wouldn’t be worth the risk. For many, the reality of this crisis is literally life or death. Don’t try to make light of it. Instead, focus on helping and providing value.
- Where did this information come from?
Especially as people practice social distancing in their homes, they’re entirely reliant on online media sources for news and guidance. But the spread of misinformation online has been a big problem throughout this crisis — the extent of it has even overwhelmed fact-checking organizations like Snopes.
Spreading misinformation can hurt both your audience and your brand. One piece of poorly sourced news could cost you customers’ trust forever. If you’re sharing a headline, make sure it’s from a credible, nonpartisan news source.
Social media is a valuable avenue for building your brand image and connecting with customers — and the stakes have gone way up. It’s important to make your voice heard as you try to help, but you must proceed carefully and kindly. Show people that you care about their best interests over your own profits, share relevant and socially aware information, and bring value to your customers when they need it most.