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Social Media // May 11th, 2020

COVID-19: Maintaining Brand Connection On Social

Written by Maxwell

How To Avoid Distancing on Social

Google searches for “cooking at home” grew by 58% this week as people across the nation—and world—juggle 24/7 childcare, working from home and all the stress and anxiety that comes with these unprecedented times. With hashtags like #StaySafeStayHome and #SocialDistancing trending on Twitter and Instagram, we are sure of one thing in this time of mass uncertainty: consumers are thinking, talking and worrying about the pandemic.

CPG brands have a unique opportunity to be of service to their social media communities in need, rather than go dark and ignore what is top-of-mind for consumers everywhere. People have cleared grocery store shelves and stocked up on CPG brands’ products. Now, as they practice social distancing, these consumers need to be inspired and educated on how to use the products in their pantries to nourish their families, manage their time and stay healthy.

Here are five things your brand can do today:


1. Don’t be tone-deaf, be human.

Rework your previously approved content calendar to address “the elephant in the room.” This is not the time to post simply for the sake of posting for a few reasons. For one, it could be seen as insensitive or naïve to continue on as if nothing is out of the ordinary. We know people will be receiving content through the lens of their new normal—a state of discomfort and disruption to their routines. If brands don’t account for this, they can do more harm than good. Even further, consumers are seeking out content to fulfill their needs, so messages not aligned to these needs will likely be overseen and have little impact. Ensure there is a purpose behind each post, even if it means posting less often.

2. Be of service.

Now is the time for brands to ask themselves, “what can we do to help?” Might the answer be providing helpful content such as quick tips and lessons or fast and easy recipes using pantry staples? Or maybe your brand can better serve their community by lightening the mood through relatable or inspirational messages to bring the community together? No matter the answer, social communities will respond to a brand’s acknowledgment of the situation and gesture of concern with gratitude.

3. Answer burning consumer questions.

Whether you post about Covid-19 or not, consumers are likely to reach out to brands through social media commenting and direct messaging with their questions about empty store shelves and food safety. Be ready with prepared messaging to explain restocking and supply chain mechanics, and address food safety concerns to protect your brand and reassure consumers.

4. Don’t stop advertising.

Now more than ever, consumers need to know what shelf-stable or non-perishable items are available to them. Brands can help by educating consumers outside their existing social communities through targeted social media advertisements. Rather than pulling advertising, adjust messaging to align with the current climate and focus in on product education to continue to be of service to consumers in need CPG options that aid in healthful, convenient social distancing.

5. Be flexible.

With news coming out hourly, the landscape can change on a dime. Be prepared to evaluate your strategy on an ongoing basis. What feels like the right call today may need another gut check tomorrow, so don’t set anything in stone during these turbulent times.

A note from our Pinterest Rep 

You may be asking yourself, “How are people using Pinterest at a time like this?”
Here’s a sampling of what we’ve learned about Pinners in the last two weeks:

They’re still planning for future moments.

When the present is uncertain, it can be nice to have a place to plan for the future. Searches for ‘weddings’ and ‘birthdays’ are as high as ever, and people are still planning for upcoming seasonal events: we’ve seen a 2x increase in searches for Irish recipes for St. Patrick’s Day and a 70% increase in Easter-related queries.

They’re looking for inspiration.

They want ideas for up-ended travel plans, kids stuck at home, working—and working out—from home, and so much more. Searches like “how to entertain bored kids” and educational activities related to germs are rising.

They’re seeking positivity.

The constant stream of news online can get overwhelming. More than ever, people need a positive corner on the internet. Searches for “keeping calm” and “staying calm” increased 31% in the last two weeks vs. the two weeks prior. And people are keeping their spirits up with searches like “quarantine funny” rising, too.