Social Media Marketing During a Crisis


To ultimately have enough information that will provide at least a 1,000 word blog on social media marketing during a crisis such as the coronavirus. An ideal response will include best practices, what "not" to do, and examples of effective marketing campaigns during a crisis. The deliverable should also have this keyword phrase: "social media for the coronavirus" appearing at least 6-10 times throughout the deliverable, evenly spaced throughout. Crisis (other than the coronovirus) can be defined as things like BP's oil spill, other natural disasters, power being off during the Superbowl, hurricanes, and other things like this.

Early Findings

  • The virus is having an unmistakable influence on how consumers shop and as well as consume social media, and marketers need to figure out how to communicate with people in a new way. Or not communicate, as the case may be. Social media plans that made sense two weeks ago might strike a sour note today and not be the right approach for social media for the coronavirus crisis. Set-it-and-forget-it is never a good idea, but especially not now. For example, when Spirit Airlines sent promotional email messages the week of March 9th with the cheery subject line "Never A Better Time To Fly", which happened to be on the day after President Trump announced that the United States was instituting a 30-day ban on travel from Europe, they learned the hard way to stay on top of messaging. According to the airline, the messaging was created months ago and sent accidentally. An apology over social media was then issued by Spirit Airlines to everyone that received the promotional email. It read: "We apologize for the marketing email that was sent earlier today. It was written prior to the current situation and unfortunately sent. We are closely monitoring COVID-19 and taking precautions to keep our Guests & Team Members safe."
  • Another great example of what not to do is to lie outright to your customers. For example, The Miami New Times reported on March 11th that managers for Norwegian Cruise Lines were urging their sales staff to share lies about the coronavirus in order to increase bookings, including that the disease doesn’t spread in hot weather. A whistle-blower leaked emails in which a manager shared talking points for sales reps to use if potential customers noted any concerns about COVID-19, such as “The only thing you need to worry about for your cruise is do you have enough sunscreen?” After the story broke, an executive sent an internal memo with the statement: “One of our own ratted.” That email was leaked as well.
  • According to Buffer, The first thing to say is that "this isn’t a marketing opportunity. Brands shouldn’t be looking at the COVID-19 pandemic as something to capitalize on." They feel that brands need to pause and reconsider their social media plans (and goals), figure out if the company can even help in an effective manner, communicate clearly with customers, and ensure that the company supports and keeps their team informed.
  • Cinc Social Media asserts that management for social media for the coronavirus crisis should consist of reviewing, and if necessary, pause planned and scheduled content, don’t try to profit from the pandemic, keep communicating with the brands' audience, don’t contribute to the panic, and show empathy.

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • Our initial hour of research was spent ensuring that the questions asked could be answered publicly and then providing some data that can be leveraged for the blog post required.
  • We want to note that the SEO keyword phrase: "social media for the coronavirus" was only used twice in the initial findings, but will be used at least 6-10 times in the final deliverable, that will cover all three aspects of the ask.
  • It is our opinion that we will likely be able to keep to the COVID-19 crisis for the best practices and what "not" to do sections, but we will likely have to expand to other crisis's for the examples of effective marketing campaigns for brands during a crisis. However, if we can find anything that is deemed effective for COVID-19 (unlikely given the time span) we will include it.
  • As a geographic focus was not provided to us in the chat transcript, we are taking a global approach. If a more targeted approach is desired, for example, the United States, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

Research proposal:

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