Social Media Messaging Tips During a Crisis

Written by Laura Roeder

On March 30, 2020

Did you know that Team Edgar hosts daily Facebook Lives? Join us daily as we chat about social media, marketing, business, and entrepreneurship. Here’s a recent Edgar Live on how messaging tips during a crisis.

(Editor’s note: We reference an Instagram live in this video. Since you’re watching a replay, the live has already happened but we’d love for you to follow us on Instagram so you can catch our next one!)


Businesses Can Change People’s Lives

Why should you continue messaging to your audience during a time of crisis (ahem, like during a pandemic)? Because, truly, businesses can change people’s lives. They can help change someone’s world for the better and solve a pain point, but only if your message gets out there. Hiding right now is not doing your followers any good. And the fact that you have a business, perhaps you’re employing people and they’re actually relying on you or your product or service, getting to someone could improve their lives is the mindset you need to have right now. You don’t need to be hiding. You just need to be altering your message a little bit. 

Be a Problem Solver with Your Messages

You want to make sure that you’re focusing on solutions. Focus on the solutions you can provide right now. People are being inundated with problems in their lives. During a crisis, your solutions don’t necessarily have to be related to your product or service. For example, if you’ve learned a tip during the social distancing that you think could help your community, share that. People want to know your unique experience. They’re following you because they trust you and because they like the messaging that you provide. So get your behind the scenes content out there and focus on solutions even if it’s not a solution associated with your product or service. What kind of content can you create to solve the problems that are going on in someone’s life right now? For example, MeetEdgar is a remote company and we have been sharing our favorite resources, tools, and strategies for thriving as a remote team. These messages don’t promote our tool and their value isn’t directly related to our tool. But we’re experts in remote work and we know our audience can benefit from that right now.

It’s OK To Sell

You do not need to feel bad about selling right now. Not everyone is being affected by the current economic downturn in the same ways. Many people still have the money to purchase from you and people want to help small businesses succeed so get your message out there and let people know who you are for, why you created the thing that you have brought into this world, and continue to communicate and have that conversation with the right people.

Evaluate Your Messaging

You have to talk about what’s going on right now but we don’t want to come across as tone-deaf. Remember that everyone’s community wants something different from them. So if you’re going out there for a one size fits all advice, your community is going to want something different than our community might. Our community wants us to talk about what’s going on and how you should message on social media during this time. We are pivoting our messaging that we had on our existing editorial calendar into something that’s more helpful for you right now. But maybe your community doesn’t want that. Maybe they want a sense of normalcy that you can provide them. So ask them what they want from you. Don’t be afraid to put ask them in emails or on social media if they want you to pivot their message or if they want you to continue as normal. Ask your community what they want. Don’t take a one size fits all approach because everyone’s a little different. But don’t fall as tone-deaf on what’s going on right now because your followers want to know and want to resonate with what’s going on in your own life right now.

Get Creative

If you’re losing business right now, make sure that you’re thinking about ways you can get your name out there besides just social media. Email your network, your lists of your personal connections and ask them if they know anyone who needs your service. You can even send along a calendar invite for people to book a call with you, a discovery call to see if you’re right from them. If you have untapped networks of people, remember people are willing to help right now in a way, any way that they can. And you don’t want to rob someone the opportunity of being able to help. You know you’d like to help people in life, but so often we’re really bad at receiving that help ourselves so flip that around and remind yourself, people want to help. If you’re not asking for it and receiving it, you’re robbing them of that great opportunity in order to contribute to the world at a time that we’re all a little confused about how to do that.

If you’re a brick and mortar business, we shared some creative ideas for how to make money online in this article.


Act Like a Leader

We’re really looking for leaders and your community looks to you as a leader on social media. Anyone who can help us give a sense of what’s going on right now or give us permission to live our lives in the way that we want or to achieve our goals is going to get that attention on social media right now. You know more about your followers than you think you do. Sit down and write out what their goals and passions are, who that ideal audience you’re speaking to is, and give them permission to continue to fight for these goals and passions. That’s what people want to hear right now. They want you to be a leader of that community. Ask people questions, give them that motivation, and you’ll really see some good gains on your social media engagement because so many people are consuming content right now.

True leaders and role models become who they are and become respected because they share their unique experiences. So what micro-stories are happening in your life right now that you can use to stand out more, right? It doesn’t have to be the main origin story of your business that you share or that hero’s journey that perhaps is woven into all of your social media storytelling these days. It can be these little stories of what’s going on in your life, these micro-moments that actually you’re sharing with your followers in a real authentic way that can teach them something. Be that role model and mentor on social media right now by sharing your unique experiences.

Now, we don’t want you just to be creating content just to be inspirational. If that doesn’t fit your brand or if you’re not believing in that message because, again, a role model and a leader believes strongly in that message so get your core values down of what your company stands for and start sharing them more on social media.

Consistency Still Matters

Continue to be consistent on social media right now. Consistency builds trust more than anything with your audience. If you continue to show up for them, they’ll continue to show up for you. So during this time, perhaps alter your schedule to show up less and maybe perhaps some of the categories that just aren’t resonating with the time, but continue to show up because people want to hear from you. If you go dark right now, it’s going to be really hard to build that trust again afterward with your followers so keep consistent and keep your feeds fed during this time.


How To Pivot Your Message

If you need to pivot your message, remember you have different types of elements in most social media status updates you’re putting out there: the message, the offer, the price. So out of those three things, you can start to alter and pivot. Do you need to pivot your message, so again, it doesn’t fall tone-deaf to what’s going on right now? Do you need to pivot your offer to offer a slight discount because people are going to maybe be struggling a little bit financially? See how you can alter one of these things in your messages, but don’t alter your entire strategy here. Look at your status updates in this way that you’re breaking it down into the message, the offer, and the price, and see which one of those is perhaps going to be the strongest thing that you can alter in order to provide value to your followers right now.


Be Emotional

Emotions lead to results for people. So if you’re trying to compel people to take action, take a step on one of your tips or purchase, or join your email list, remember to find that really great marriage between the logical copy or an emotional photo, or an emotional copy and a logical photo so that, again, you’re appealing to people’s heads in a way that you’re saying, “Hey, there’s a human behind this screen. I am here to connect with you,” and help people see themselves in your content with that emotional bit. Then explain to them why your product or service or why the tip you’re providing them to take action on is really important.

Make The Most Of This Time

Use this time to build up your body of work. A lot of us might be experiencing some shifts in our workdays now and it can be so easy to get down and not feel motivated to continue going. Use this time to build up your content, create more blog posts for a few months down the road, create videos, start a podcast so that you have this calendar of your social media status updates and themes built out for the rest of the year, allowing you to take the time to actually work on different areas of your business that perhaps you couldn’t have.


Experiment with Different Content Types

People are looking for things to consume right now. There’s a huge boom in podcasts, videos, online content, so how can you repurpose what you already have to reach a bigger audience on different networks? If you’re someone whose main content pillar as a blog, perhaps consider jumping on and reading those blog posts over a podcast so that people can listen to them or start a YouTube channel for the first time. You don’t have to create brand new content. You can repurpose perhaps an Instagram live that you do every single morning and put it onto YouTube. Instagram is not a search-friendly platform. We can’t type it in and get those keyword searches, but YouTube is. YouTube, you can type in those “how-to” and get that SEO and keyword search for the main keywords in your industry. That’s going to open up your network to more people whereas just leaving that video on Instagram wouldn’t allow that searchability to happen. Something you’re already doing can be repurposed on these other networks to help grow your audience and to get a bigger reach.

Use images for upcycling your content too. When you’re categorizing your status updates and you’re getting more mileage out of that one piece of content, you can do things like get pull quotes from a blog post and put them on a background graphic in something like Canva. You can really use these beautiful images in order to marry them without language. And again, get five status updates from a video you produced that are text-based or get five status updates that have a lot of rich media like photos and videos from a written blog post. Get creative with it and continue to upcycle your content. Really make sure that you’re taking the time to tell these stories and to motivate people.


Motivate People with Results

Think about the results that you’re getting for your current clients. Perhaps your current clients have some time on their hands right now that they’ll actually go on and want to provide testimonials for you. Jump on a Zoom call and record a testimonial with one of your clients who have done well following your guidance or a power user of your software or someone who loves your product really passionately and actually share these results. People want to be motivated, inspired, and see people on social media right now reaching their goals so if you have someone who’s used your product or service and has achieved some awesome goals with it, share that with your community.


What Does Your Community Need?

They need you to communicate, they need you to continue to create and they need you to connect with them right now. So use those three Cs as a really strong motivator. Contribution is a human need. If you are someone who reads a lot of self-development or watches a lot of like Tony Robbins, he talks about this a lot, this idea of contribution being a core human need. So right now, a lot of us might be feeling that sense of disconnect when we are socially distancing. But if you can consistently contribute to your community, it’s going to give your followers that sense and that drive that is so core to being a human. Contribute to your community and ask your followers to contribute by asking them questions, giving that call to action in your status update that prompts someone to share your content or to comment on it, and to have those conversations. We want that certainty that you’re going to continue to show up for your community.

The more you push yourself to show up in bigger ways, the more that you’re going to be able to change people’s lives and really be a brand that stands out for handling their communication during this crisis in a really strong way.


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