If you didn’t think you needed to be on social media strategy before, you’re in for a rude awakening.
News flash: more people than ever are on social media. In fact, a statistic by TechCrunch.com said there was over a 40% increase in Whatsapp and Facebook usage. People are isolated and need something to do, so they run to social media.
We are in a pandemic. A time many have not experienced before.
COVID-19 is a novel virus. And this is all more reasons to OVER-communicate. This is more of a reason to make sure your health practice and business have a social media strategy integrated in their marketing strategy.
Why though? People are turning to social media and online to find factual information. But do you know what they’re getting instead?
People like Dr. Phil and conspiracy theorists who don’t think COVID-19 is a big deal.
They’re not getting health professionals like yourself who know the importance of public health and how disease affects many parts of our lives. After all, we are only as healthy as our sickest neighbor!
In order to combat fear and rumors, we need to make sure we are staying on social media. We need to have a social media strategy in place. And that strategy needs to include messages on how your health business is combating COVID-19.
Here’s what to post on social media during a pandemic.
Latest updates on the illness.
If you’re not already familiar, Johns Hopkins keeps an updated list of all cases around the world of COVID 19. If you see something spectacular (like how many have RECOVERED) you should take the time to share it with your worrying audience. Stay up to date and share the good and the bad.
As part of your social media strategy, make sure you are following governmental organizations like the CDC and WHO for policy changes and suggestions.
What precautions are they now recommending? What new information have they found regarding the disease? This is good information to share.
But we’re not just talking about another death. When I say to provide an update, I don’t mean to share stuff we already know. Yes, people are sick and some are not recovering. But what is helping in combating it? What new precautions should we take? What new things do doctors suggest to fight COVID-19?
Combat common misconceptions and rumors around COVID-19
We can’t turn a blind to them. From 5G to people thinking it only affects the elderly “who were going to die anyways”, to martial law, to saying this disease isn’t even real, there’s a lot of false information that can lead us to panic. And panic itself can cause several fatalities. What are the precautions we should take?
Create social media content that addresses these issues. Some are worried that they won’t be affected. Some are worried that there isn’t enough food so we should hoard and buy everything we can.
Give these people something to think about. Address these rumors with your expertise.
Say someone says they need to buy as much as they can because rumor has it that there was going to be a shortage:
If a relatively healthy person buys all the hand sanitizer, soap and other necessities, that leaves people who don’t have it to go around without a means of cleaning their hands. Which means they’re touching things, getting sick, and spreading it to the rest of the population.
That is how you should address this issue to your followers. You’ve got to break things down for people and not get caught up in the scientific jargon or nobody wins. Create social media content that helps fight fear and act rationally.
Create empowering social media content
We’re not totally helpless. Even with many unknowns, you as a health professional need to assure the public that they aren’t helpless. There are steps to take to prevent the illness. There are also strategies to implement if one does contract COVID-19 or any illness for that matter.
Encouraging content telling us to keep thinking positive, exercise, and make light of a dark situation can be comforting. It reminds us we still have some power.
Encourage your followers to take action. If you cater to the older population, give them tips and health advice on what they can do while they self-quarantine. For the less at-risk youth, encourage them to call their parents and grandparents daily or weekly. Check-in on them. We all know the debilitating effects isolation has on our elderly.
Wondering why you see so many ads about Facebook portals and zoom calls and conference calls? They know staying connected is a necessity.
And of course, encourage your followers to #shoplocal. This pandemic is affecting many small businesses. Some might not even recover after this is over. The local economy is the bread and butter of every community.
If you are a local health business selling a product, create gift cards of things they can redeem at a later date.
Many pharmacies and clinics are also offering delivery for medications.
If your health practice is still running, let your online audience know you are. Give them your new hours. Give them content on why shopping local is especially important right now. Highlight relevant local businesses and tag them.
This is the time to really amplify your health communications and social media strategy. You need to be on social media now more than ever to combat this false information. False information, fear, and fright are on every corner of the internet. Keeping a consistent social media strategy of encouraging, engaging, and informative content can help with fighting fear. What are you doing to fight fear?