We have gone through different phases in the past year, and we are beginning to be fully aware of the magnitude of the health crisis caused by COVID-19. Our life has changed exponentially and without room for maneuvering.
One day we were free, and the next, we were forced to stay in our houses. It has been challenging, and we are not going to deny it. However, we are adapting to a changing and unconventional reality. No one is spared from the battle against the satanic coronavirus; most companies and businesses are paying a very high price for this disaster.
Most companies in Malaysia have reduced most of their business activities, and some even shut their doors for good. Only essential services remain. The incomes of a large percentage of the companies have disappeared, and the government’s measures change almost daily.
Impact of MCO on Social Media Management
It is a real crisis, not just a fictitious scenario that we only see in movies or read in books. It is realistic. Thus, the social media management strategies that we had implemented and executed before the pandemic became obsolete in a few days – since the beginning of the Malaysian Movement Control Order (MCO) (also known as Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan “PKP”).
This situation of uncertainty that we are experiencing has transpired on social media as well. The shift on social media has compelled all companies, including large corporations and SMEs (Small- and Medium-sized enterprises), to modify their strategic approaches. They need to manage the social network emergency that is currently happening on their social profiles.
What do we know about the social media crisis?
A social media crisis is a situation in which the public and internet users question the credibility and accountability of a company due to a specific event. In these cases, companies need to act quickly and follow an adequate plan. Swift and effective actions can minimize the impact on the organization’s social image.
It is not just about putting out the fire quickly; we must also reverse the situation whenever possible and improve the company’s social vision by publishing it on social media. Companies can emerge stronger from a social media crisis.
The current situation is much more complex. We are not talking about a fact or action of the company that may compromise its social image. Now the case is a global crisis alien to any business. Of course, the coronavirus crisis is not directly related to the productive activity of the company; this global crisis still requires a change of strategy in social media management and crisis communication management.
What should social media management and communication be like during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Followers of social networks want to know what situation the organization is in, how the company is tackling the problem, etc. Furthermore, this is the best time to show solidarity with society since everyone goes through tough times. By displaying the company’s sincere solidarity with the public, the business delivers its most human side.
Companies in Malaysia and all over the world must rethink the tone of their communication, though. It is crucial to consider that the products or services may not be relevant at the moment of this impasse. Businesses shall not advertise or follow the same communication content as before the outbreak of the crisis. Failure to do may bring forth even more serious user criticism, leading to a reputation crisis.
As we have already mentioned earlier, our life has changed. We can’t leave home; boredom and loneliness have taken over our routines; online shopping is soaring, and the sales of many retail products and services have declined. We can no longer access some of our essential services and supplies. What to do when a company is in this situation? Is silence the best solution? Nothing could be further from reality.
It is the best time to work on branding and corporate social responsibility through our social media management. We must be present so that users do not forget us. By doing so, they will feel that companies accompany them in the worst of times. Companies must put in the effort to stay on top of their customers’ minds.
How to work on social media management during the lockdown or MCO?
- Generate content that entertains users and distracts them from worries brought forth by the crisis. So they can get away from the fiasco for a while.
- Offer official, truthful, and verified recommendations and information. It is conducive to refer users to official media for the latest news.
- Keep in touch with customers and users through online contacts. Many customers may need to contact your company to seek relevant answers.
- Take the opportunity to advise on healthy habits or routines that can improve the public’s confinement situation and the spread of the covid-19 disease.
- Give as much value as you can. The key is to empathize with the audience and make content are helpful, invaluable, and practical to users.
Word Philocaly Is Here for You During This Unprecedented TIme
We all hope to win the battle against COVID-19 as soon as possible. We are eager to regain freedom and do things that we are missing so much for more than a year.
As much as everyone wants this pandemic to be over, companies must keep in mind that they are responsible to their customers and internet followers. At Word Philocaly, we know that silence is never a good marketing strategy. Now is the time for all businesses in Malaysia to work on those issues that will help us emerge stronger from this health and social crisis.