Group Gordon’s Marykate Cary shares social media lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic that will still have relevance and tangible benefits during recovery and post-pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic required quick adaptations and agility in all aspects of communications. For many clients, especially B2B ones, an engaging social media strategy was not always the top priority pre-pandemic. But as clients lost the ability to gather in person with their staff, boards, stakeholders, and other key audiences, social media has become a more critical tool than before. Many companies and organizations understand this and have invested in social media as a priority of their marketing and public relations strategy. In fact, the CMO Survey showed a 74% increase in social media spending in marketing budgets between February 2020 and June 2020.
As we enter recovery from the pandemic and a new normal begins to emerge, we have an opportunity to look back at adaptions that are worth bringing into the future. Successful companies will continue to adapt and maintain strong social media presences that endure far beyond the pandemic. Advocacy efforts, major announcements, and events (in-person or virtual) are areas ripe for continued investment.
Even as in-person events return, social media should remain an integrated part of the public relations and development strategy to promote them.
For example, for an upcoming gala, sharing the traditional ticket and registration information on social media is standard. Take things to the next level in the lead-up by utilizing mini announcements, such as a high-profile speaker or musical guest, to generate excitement. Having pre-planned posts ready to go throughout the event will also offer another touchpoint for virtual guests and provide those who cannot attend with an opportunity to engage. Leveraging that momentum post-event with follow-up posts, such as how to donate, access a recording of the event, or otherwise get involved will ensure you capture potential audiences.
— Equality California (@eqca) September 4, 2020
When announcing a new piece of collateral, such as a report or policy platform, think about how you can transform that content into a campaign that will prompt engagement from followers. A single post with a link is a missed opportunity. Instead, consider a series of posts that break up the information into parts without relying on users to click through.
Ask yourself: Which parts of a piece of content are most exciting? What are the main takeaways for audiences to understand? How can this translate into a thought leadership opportunity? Posting excerpts, quotes from spokespeople, or related graphics are all great places to start.
Particularly when it comes to public relations for nonprofit organizations, advocacy efforts also benefit from a robust social media strategy that is integrated with the public relations strategy. Twitter storms have myriad benefits. By tagging elected officials or other stakeholders, you can draw attention to important issues. An added benefit is that by partnering with a coalition on the effort, you can also bring peer organizations together and build a sense of community.
Without a doubt, the social media landscape will continue to shift as we enter recovery and a post-COVID world. However, the social media lessons learned out of necessity during the pandemic will still apply long after lockdown.