In Health We Trust – Social Media Strategy During COVID-19 Pandemic

September 17, 2021

In this new COVID-19 clickbait world, ‘fake news’ headlines such as ‘Putin Unleashes 800 Lions to Enforce Russia’s Lockdown’ spread like wildfire. If your brand or business isn’t using Social Media Strategy to communicate with a clear message, in a concise and engaging way someone else will do it for you, whether that occurs through an independent Instagram post, Facebook comments, Google reviews or even a TikTok.

Silence is no longer accepted on social media.

Users are demanding transparency of brands policies and values and clear communication in regards to COVID-19 responses. It is imperative that brands and businesses have a core communication strategy in place.

The necessity for clear communication is even more amplified when it comes to the health industry. In times of uncertainty when people question everything from their news sources to government, they often turn to health professionals as their most trusted source. Therefore, all brands and businesses must have a clear health communication strategy that aligns with official medical health advice.

Shift from ‘attention economy’ to ‘trust economy’.

Marketers are finding that there is a shift from ‘attention economy’ to ‘trust economy’, as a result of concerns around data management and fake news. We are experiencing an ‘infodemic’ as much as a pandemic and this new ‘trust currency’ is beginning to play a larger role in online real estate.

Trust has augmented the perceived value gained by a consumer, thus driving a greater retention rate within a brand or business when done correctly. Consumers want to feel empowered with the right information and they want it fast.

Trust alone isn’t enough.

Organic reach is also becoming increasingly difficult with more and more competing messages vying for our attention across social media algorithms. The total number of Pages liked by the typical Facebook user grew more than 50% last year and the global effect of lockdowns has also seen brands shift even more of their marketing budget online. Facebook is constantly evolving its quality rankings aka News Feed algorithms to ensure we see the content most relevant and useful to us at the top of our feed.

Facebook has its own COVID-19: Community Standards Policy. If you are sharing information going against these standards you will also be limited.

Organic and paid content must go hand in hand.

In order to combat the saturated News Feed market, organic and paid content must both be utilised. ‘Boosting’ posts is not just a simple fix. It’s common to see unimpressive results from significant paid ad budgets, as competition for paid social marketing is just as high. A strategical approach with clear objectives is required for any online social media campaign.

The biggest messages to take away from this is that in order to gain reach on social media you must use paid and organic strategies to present valuable content to users, with trust and transparency a hot commodity in 2021.

On August 13 2021, Facebook published a new report, ‘The 2021Creative Forecast’ on how broader societal shifts have impacted ad response.

Overall, the main emphasis of the report is on five key creative behaviours that will shape campaigns for years to come:

  • Build inclusively– Brands seeing stronger performance focused on more inclusive creative, depicting their audiences in representative and insightful ways
  • Create edutainment – Brands that sought to provide more education, in creative ways, generated more positive response
  • Sell with ideas– With social interactions limited, brands that were able to communicate ideas aligned with the desire to find new information, replacing traditional discovery processes
  • Speak platform language– In other words, creating content more aligned with user-generated posts and updates – ads that look less like ads
  • Reward self-discovery– Creative that connects with people’s desire for personalized, guided information saw improved response

Case studies can be found via the full Facebook report here.

Need a Social Media Communication Strategy for your business? Get in touch: [email protected]

Written by Gemma Easton, Social Media Manager

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