With the country in lockdown mode at the moment, social media has become a key method of communication for many brands, companies and the various government agencies to reach target audiences.
An analysis of social media activity carried out by Sprout Social sheds a light on some of the more prominent social media campaigns undertaken by brands and government agencies like the HSE. Amongst some of the findings of the Sprout Social research the HSE’s #ItsInOurHands campaign, RTE 2FM’s #CreateDontContaminate initiative, and An Post’s call-to-action around #WriteNow have all gained strong traction on social media. The three hashtags attracted a combined 26,482 mentions and nearly 120,000 engagements (likes, comments, and shares) on Twitter since 16th March.
The HSE, which has leveraged social media to help spread public health information, has seen its hashtag #ItsInOurHands record 16,337 mentions and 58,492 engagements since 16th March. Well-known sports personalities, such as Johnny Sexton, helped boost the campaign by adding their own thoughts to the conversation.
According to Sprout Social, brands are also turning to social media in a bid to connect with people at a time of uncertainty. In the case of An Post, its#WriteNow campaign will see postcards delivered to households around the country which can be posted free of charge to anywhere in Ireland. Since the campaign launched on 20th March, #WriteNow has attracted 2,369 mentions and 9,623 engagements on Twitter.
RTE’s #CreateDontContaminate campaign is calling on people to follow guidelines of staying at home and encouraging them to be creative and expressive with daily challenges on social media. The hashtag has been used in 7,776 Twitter mentions and seen 51,559 engagements in the last two weeks. Additionally, RTE has utilised growing social media platforms like Tik Tok to generate viral content and is a prime example of a brand looking to engage and connect with users where they are at, while reinforcing important messaging.
Sprout Social has also published a guide for how companies can navigate social media during the crisis. The guide, which is available to download here https://sproutsocial.com/insights/how-to-navigate-global-crisis-on-social-media/ offers a number of recommendations including the following:
- Get a pulse on the conversation: Be mindful that acting like it is business as usual could come across as tone deaf. Monitor your social audience and leverage social listening to better understand where you should focus your content and messaging.
- Determine if there’s a place for you: It’s all about relevance. Assess the current state of the conversation and determine the role your brand can play, and if your audience wants or needs anything from you.
- This is not a time for promotion: Audiences can smell opportunistic brands from a mile away, so instead use this time to lean into authentic and genuine communications geared at connecting with your audience instead of selling to them.
- Lead with empathy not fear: Be careful not to market to the fear and anxiety people are experiencing. Consistency and dedication to helpfulness with your social content is critical in these uncertain times.
According to Kristin Johnson, vice president of content and communications at Sprout Social: “For any brand with a social media presence, it is incredibly important to have a finger on the pulse of your industry as well as the wider media environment. No brand wants to be seen as injecting themselves into a conversation for increased visibility or marketing at a time of distress for many. Now is an ideal time to build connections with your community by asking questions or looking for suggestions. It’s about showing empathy and relevance, rather than looking for ways to self-promote.”