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COVID-19: Social Media Management in Times Of a Global Pandemic

In the face of COVID-19, with most activities being shut down, everything around us seems to have come into a standstill, with social media responsible for keeping us all connected. This has led to a very testing time for most brands to connect with their audience. With most organizations already dealing with a slowdown, if not a complete shutdown, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them in building newer connections and maintaining the pre-existing ones with one thought lingering over all their heads-” With operations seeing such a major hit, should we still be spending on marketing or creating content? And if yes, what should we communicate or talk about as we can’t sell at the moment?” The ongoing pandemic has made businesses reliant on their digital strategy more than ever. Without wanting to make it sound too alarming, it might be a deciding factor in many cases whether they make it through the tough times ahead.

As our general consumption of resources as humans has had a manifold decrease, our consumption of digital media has increased tremendously, along with our dish-washing skills! .With easy internet access, a number of different social media platforms, and an estimated 375million+ social media users in India, content creators have had to “pivot” to stay relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic as there are far more eyeballs than ever on the screens now. The Buffalo soldiers fam strives to help brands make this pivot, so come and break trends on Twitter, go live on Facebook, sizzle on Instagram, be the talking point on LinkedIn and say it out loud on YouTube.

Not just this, the crisis has forced most brands and industries to greatly reduce or completely stop spending on advertising. This inadvertently led to an extreme fall in the bid costs on all digital platforms like Facebook and Google, which means that advertising costs have gone way down and there is a much higher ROI compared to the pre-pandemic times, that too, with a much larger viewership!
We at Buffalo Soldiers believe that you can hide the dead on the 2nd page of Google Search. And we know the magic words that can get you to the 1st page of search results. This is the time to strike for brands that wish to leave a permanent mark behind and that is what we are here to do. We specialize in digital storytelling to grow your organization, connect your community, and make the world a better place – created collaboratively with you

Inspired by our very own Modiji’s CO.RO.NA. abbreviation in one of his recent public addresses, it is especially apt for Social Media, translating to COntent ko ROko NAhi!

Considering how governments, businesses, brands, influencers and even the common man has been sharing information and interacting with social media in the past few weeks, here are some primary roles that social platforms are playing during the COVID-19 outbreak:

A Source of Information( and misinformation!)

A public health report on lessons learned from the 1918 flu shows that critical information regarding the virus was primarily shared via postal workers, Boy Scouts, and teachers. Can you imagine having learned about COVID-19 from a Boy Scout knocking on your door, encouraging you to wash your hands? Never have we had more realtime information available at our fingertips in the face of a worldwide pandemic. Such information helps in the global understanding of current occurrences and how it might impact the ones we love. Yet, social media is also known to spread fake news, including miracle preventive measures, false propaganda, conspiracy theories, and more. Ensuring that our sources of information are trustworthy is of extreme importance in trying times like these.

Social Media platforms joining hands to combat misinformation on COVID-19

An opportunity to rebrand and remarket yourself

Most services require a face-to-face interaction at some point and will probably require a lot of changes in their methods of operation. Buffalo Soldiers will help you leverage your social media accounts to help spread information about the change in operations, introduce your new strategies and use mediums of communications that you have with established customers, like emails and apps to do the same. With almost the entire workforce now operating remotely, help your service team adjust to now dealing with clients and customers online, and help your customers have a good experience dealing with your brand.

The Indian e-commerce segment primarily comprises Electronics, books, and garments. However, with the ongoing epidemic, e-groceries have taken the centre stage, with social media being their bandwagon.

As per a press release by Razorpay, one of India’s largest payment gateways, online grocery shopping grew by 9% in just the first month. With Indian e-grocery giants like BigBasket, Grofers, and Amazon Pantry snatching the limelight, many small players have confidently stepped in to capture the market which has overnight become too overwhelming for the existing market leaders. Food delivery apps have tweaked their operations and are now delivering groceries and daily needs to our doorsteps!

They have seen a skyrocketing rise of their app downloads and new customers in each of the last months, as per MoEngage, an AI-based customer engagement platform. A large percentage of consumers who now find online grocery shopping easier, convenient, and, more than that, safer, is most likely to continue shopping groceries online post the pandemic situation. This consumer behavior would lead more businesses to digitize their business operations, especially in the food and beverage industry. This is exactly where digital agencies like BS come into the picture. Buffalo Soldiers helps you devise a digital strategy to help you scale your business into something that is sustainable and future proof, strategies that will apply when the ongoing crisis becomes obsolete. Using your key motivations, we craft data-driven, results-oriented strategies with a 360-degree experience, all the way from the cart to mart.

Communicate and empathize with your audience.

The first step is to listen to and converse with your target audience. That’s the best form of content anyone can create. Talk to your audience if they are reaching out to you or even if they are not. Conversational content works the best on Social Media. Remember, a conversation is a 2-way street. A lot is happening in the world today. As a brand, you must voice out your opinion and stand for something that you truly believe in. That will not only help you in creating content that is relevant and relatable but also in creating a heart-to-heart connection between you and your audience

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.

If you have a product that could sell a lot during this time period, reassess the communication as the message could come off as insensitive and over-opportunistic. Every post, campaign, and ad you run will need an added layer of care and empathy over the coming days and weeks With people already under a lot of stress due to COVID-19, some messages could come off as a tactic to increase sales, if not executed in a tasteful manner.

Instead, use these times to create awareness about preventive measures and try to align that with the principles of your brand. By educating the public, you will build and retain trust with your audience, which should be your goal.

A Learning curve

The coming weeks, months, or however long this situation lasts – will be especially challenging for any company that isn’t ready to fathom that have to replace the opportunities that have been lost.

We at Buffalo Soldiers strive to help businesses approach the shift to digital marketing strategy and we believe that there’s no reason why it should just serve as a temporary remedy but could carry on providing long-term value when the world eventually gets back to normal.

Author avatar
Sushobhan Dutta