How should brands be communicating on social? 28th June 2020

How should brands be communicating on social?

Yes, people are spending more time on social, but they also don’t want to be ‘sold to’ – how can you connect in a meaningful way?

Only 8% of people think brands should stop adverting during the crisis. – – KANTAR

It makes sense that people have been spending more time on social since the pandemic hit but the numbers are mind-boggling. Here’s a brief snapshot:

  • WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram saw a 40% increase in use from the 18 to 34-year-old demographic. – Kantar
  • Facebook use has increased overall by 37%, and use of messenger increased by 50%. – Kantar
  • People are spending 20% more time in apps, globally. – Social Media Today
  • Newcomer TikTok saw an 18% increase in downloads in the first two weeks of March. – Music Business Worldwide


So how can you connect with the online world? Notice that I didn’t say ‘capitalise’? That’s because the general public doesn’t want to be ‘sold’ to during a pandemic. Brands that are too pushy, and too sales-focused, will deter users but research shows that there’s a deep desire for connection.

In fact, 

  • 74% of people surveyed think companies should not exploit the situation 
  • But an additional 78% of consumers think brands should help them in their daily lives, during this time.

The public wants to hear from you, and they want you to help them,  but they don’t want you to use this situation to your advantage. But by forming meaningful connections now you’ll be able to grow and nurture a community of engaged and loyal followers. – Kantar


So how can you connect meaningfully and add value? Start by thinking about what you and your brand / organisation / company have to offer. (Hint, this is where almost 90% of your content should come from anyway, even in non-pandemic times)


  • Do you have useful information to share that helps individuals? That can help them navigate the crisis?
  • Is your content entertaining?
  • What kind of content do you like to consume online? Can you recreate this for your brand?
  • What is your social purpose? Why do you exist on social? 

For example, one of our clients, a mall, pivoted during the lockdown, to become a source of entertainment and information. We published stories about staying healthy during the pandemic and brought on food influencers to entertain through Instagram live cooking shows.

One of our tech clients took a similar route, helping individuals stay informed about how they can excel at remote working formation. 


This doesn’t mean you have to totally disrupt your content strategy. You can still keep posting your regular content and it pays to do sobut be mindful of the hard sale.

Despite the need to think deeply about what you post, it’s still essential to keep marketing. Remember, only 8% of people think that brands should not advertise at this time. 

And, past recessions have shown that brands that continued their marketing efforts, came out ahead compared to competitors.

So, keep posting and creating great content, but with a bit more consideration and care. Don’t forget to fine-tune and constantly look at analytics and sentiment, too! 



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