While it may seem like a lifetime ago, it was just February 19, 2020 that the S&P 500 hit the all time high for the index. Now, with everything upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a completely different world. Among the many problems the coronavirus has created for S&P 500 brands, they now have to completely rethink their social media strategy.
To help those brands better understand what the new normal looks like for them on social media, ListenFirst took a closer look at how S&P brands are posting about the coronavirus and what the social media best practices should be going forward. Out of that research here are 5 tips about how S&P 500 brands can most effectively post about the coronavirus on social media.
Tip#1: Don’t Post Coronavirus Content In The Morning
There’s never a good time for bad news, but apparently that’s especially true during the morning hours. Between March 11 – March 25, 2020; 68% of the top 25 most engaged posts by S&P 500 brands that talked about COVID-19 were shared post noon PST. Brands posting coronavirus related messaging should leverage the end of day to capture engagement on social from customers working from home. Peak hours of conversation about Coronavirus is happening between 7-10am PST so consider posting your brand’s content after the news has hit.
Tip #2: Focus COVID-19 Content to Instagram for Maximum Engagement
Between March 11 – March 25, 2020; Instagram accounted for 61% of COVID-19 engagement across S&P 500 brands despite only accounting for 21% of content. Brands need to focus more of their coronavirus related communication on Instagram. Allocate image posts to Instagram, while sharing a higher volume of links on Facebook and Twitter, which currently accounts for 10% of S&P 500 COVID-19 related engagement.
Tip #3: Family, Health, and Community Most Engaging Coronavirus Related Topics
Across social, customers engaged with inspirational statements promoting the well-being of family, employees, and the community. For example, Nike emphasized the importance of staying inside by stating if you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now you’re chance, in a post that generated 655,326 responses. Meanwhile a Starbucks Instagram post expressing that we’re in this together about the community received 168,016 responses.
Utilize Instagram to share positive stories happening around your brands during this crisis, while sharing more informative posts/updates on Facebook & Twitter for maximum engagement.
Tip #4: Post Frequently With Up To Date Information
The pandemic has been a fluid situation both around the threat level and what the best practices are for staying safe. During times of uncertainty, customers have engaged with brands that keep them in the know. Over the past week, the majority of high engaging S&P 500 brands have shared on social either every day, or every other day. Preemptively answer customer questions by sharing up-to-date information across social. Additionally, for maximum results, share a higher volume on Facebook & Twitter.
Tip #5: Avoid Using Video Around The Coronavirus
While videos accounted for nearly 12% of cross-channel post volume between March 11 – March 25, 2020 for the S&P 500 on social media; they yielded less than 4% of engagement. Additionally to the extent that video does make sense around COVID-19 messaging, it should be short form and on Instagram. During the same time period, videos on Instagram earned 121% more engagement per post than on Twitter and Facebook for S&P 500 brands.
To stay the current environment isn’t ideal for S&P 500 companies is an understatement but there’s still opportunity for building up brand equity during a challenging situation. By targeting the right platforms with valuable information, brands can act as a resource to consumers, fostering brand loyalty during a very uncertain time.