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Digital and Social Media: Communication in the Current Climate

On Tuesday April 28th, 2020, The Red Tree hosted an engaging briefing event on Digital and Social Media. The virtual session highlighted topics on how to communicate with your audience, how content has changed, the impact of COVID-19 on paid advertising and influencer marketing and the importance of community engagement. The briefing provided insights into best practices and featured discussions on the challenges faced over recent weeks and success stories in overcoming them.

As effective communication is integral to a brand’s success, we summarised 10 key tips on how to communicate in the current climate:


Listen to your audience and acknowledge the current situation

This is the first time that the majority of people are living through a pandemic, and because this is the age of digital and social media, we have to – in a sense – relearn how to communicate with our followers. It is thus important that we pay attention to what is going on and acknowledge the times that we are living in.

Moreover, as brands may be particularly puzzled about promoting sales during these challenging times – now, more than ever – it is important to listen to your audience and reach out to them to find out what kind of content they want to see from you.


Be empathetic

People around the world are struggling – that is a fact. Some individuals may have lost their jobs and are trying to make ends meet, while others may be caring for someone who is sick. It is thus important to think twice about your content and have at least an extra set of eyes to look at it before posting it on social media.

Being empathetic and compassionate in your approach and in the manner in which you communicate is crucial in order to ensure that your content does not come off as insensitive.


Provide useful content

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to turn your pages into valuable resources for your audience. Valuable content can encompass, but is not limited to, how-to’s, tutorials, live webinars and mindful sessions.

Find out what is it your consumers want to know and figure out how you can help with the resources and knowledge that you have as a brand.


Align your content with the new normal

Business isn’t as usual, and content has shifted to reflect the times we are living in. Aligning your content with the realities people are facing, will not only make you more relatable as a brand but will also let your audience know that they are not alone.

Consumers are craving connection and this is echoed in the time people are spending on messaging services – which has increased by 31%. Longer length videos have also seen an increase in views with more IGTV and Live Streams taking place every day.

Social media had turned into a largely paid media outlet with less focus on the social aspect, but this has shifted in recent weeks and has brought people and brands together.


Focus on mindfulness

Although it’s important to address the times we are living in, it’s just as important – if not more – to focus on being mindful and focus on our mental health.

Sharing mindful content, reminding your followers to care for themselves and practice self-care – be it reading a book, taking a nice bath, or taking breaks to FaceTime with family members throughout the day – is essential during these times.


Be authentic

As people are spending more time on social media than they ever previously have, they are paying more attention to the type of content that comes across their feeds.

Individuals are demanding authenticity and honesty from brands and calling some brands out for taking advantage of this situation to increase sales. This further emphasises the importance of tip 4 – to adapt your content to reflect the times we are living in


Run influencer campaigns and paid ads (if your budget allows)

Now is the time to run influencer campaigns and paid ads if you have the budget to do so, as they can help increase brand awareness and help maximise marketing spend.

But it’s important to remember that influencer campaigns and any other campaigns for that matter, should never be about capitalising on a crisis. Your goal as a brand should always be to provide value, deliver relevant messaging and establish connections with your audience.


Support your community

Many industries and individuals around the world have been severely impacted by this pandemic. Our communities are important and if this pandemic is teaching us anything, it is that we are all connected.

Influencers and brands, alike, are using their platforms for good and encouraging their followers to share their stories and businesses on their platforms so that they can reach more people.


It’s okay to ask for help

So many people are struggling right now and it’s important to know that it’s okay to ask for help. Many accounts with large followings are encouraging their followers to share their stories and how they can help.

Take advantage of the opportunities to participate in online webinars and ask questions. It’s important to be informative and clear about what you do and what you are asking for.


Keep posting

People are spending a lot of time online, more than ever before. It’s important to stay present and continue to connect with them. Just be mindful of the type of content that you are posting and make sure that you are empathetic and show compassion towards your audience. Above all, share positive messages to help support and uplift your community.

We’re all in this together and now more than ever, people are coming together to help each other, whether that is by helping a neighbour or someone vulnerable in your community, or virtually advising a colleague or brand on how you are navigating the crisis.

If you would like to know more about our briefing session, you can watch the recording from our live event here:

The above article is the copyright of The Red Tree and cannot be published in its entirety or part without The Red Tree’s prior permission.

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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