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With the coronavirus outbreak branching further across the globe, and causing widespread anxiety and disruption, it's also added a new complication to consider in brand communications and messaging.
This week, Twitter has provided a list of key elements to factor into your messaging, in order to ensure that you're providing helpful, beneficial information to your audience, while also working to navigate the rising disruption caused by the outbreak.
They wrote that brands must understand the unique roles they play in people’s lives, how those roles have changed due to the coronavirus and what they can do to help, rather than copying what other brands are doing.
Here are Twitter's key tips:
Know your brand
Twitter advises brands to consider how they can be useful within the crisis, and how they can lead by example, and do the right thing.
We want to help businesses and schools impacted by COVID-19 stay connected: starting this week, we'll roll out free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities through July 1, 2020 to all G Suite customers globally. https://t.co/OWWF7s5jjR— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) March 3, 2020
Keep up to date with what’s happening
Twitter advises brands to keep abreast of the latest changes, and to adjust their communications strategy accordingly. "What might have felt like a good message yesterday might not be the right thing today", Twitter notes, and by staying on top of the latest info on the outbreak, brands can ensure their messaging aligns with important updates.
For the next 2 weeks, there’s no change or cancellation fees* with any of our fares. Applies to bookings made 2/27-3/11 for travel through 6/1/20. Details > https://t.co/Z2MO9WX3Zz pic.twitter.com/tZBI3tL19O— JetBlue (@JetBlue) February 26, 2020
Things are changing fast, and what might have felt like a good message yesterday might not be the right thing today. Keep a close eye on the news and conversation, and be sure to consider the context before replying or broadcasting. And note, sometimes it’s better not to say anything at all.
Be thoughtful about tone of voice
Twitter also notes that consideration is important in your communications at this time. "Right now might not be the best time to be snarky or sarcastic, while empathy, understanding and even certain types of humor may go a long way."
Anticipate changes in your customer’s behavior
With more and more people shifting to working from home, among other behavioral shifts, elements of all businesses will be impacted. Twitter advises brands to be aware of these impacts, and to offer relevant policy changes and shifts in line with evolving needs, where pos
As people are potentially asked to self-isolate, or stay home, there will be a number of behavior changes that might impact their needs as well as how they interact with your business.
We’ve already seen the release of the latest James Bond movie pushed back from April to November, in an effort to avoid a major global release when people are social distancing. We’ve also seen airlines offer flexible tickets, at no added cost, to reflect the realities of travel right now.
Twitter also advises brands to ensure that they're contributing accurate information in regards to the outbreak, while also looking to provide relevant customer support and assistance where possible.
But the biggest message here is about consideration, and keeping in mind the ways in which people are being impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Everyone is affected by this, and there will be varying levels of anxiety and concern permeating through all communities.
Be considerate and understanding, and look to provide options to help those who may be in need.