With everything 2020, you may wonder when and if there’s a good time to pause your social media channels. Let’s dig into reasons for and against doing so.
Between the presidential election in the United States, the global pandemic, and countless natural disasters, the year 2020 has been full of twists. As these events unfold, many marketers may be struggling to figure out whether they should pause social media channels for their company or clients.
After all, few things have gone according to plan this year.
So why should your marketing calendar remain unchanged?
Let’s look at when you should put your social media channels on hold and review how to make the decision process as smooth as possible.
Minor issues can turn into major crises quickly, especially on social media.
To make the smartest decision, ask yourself or your team a few simple questions.
A minor issue that’s already fizzling out might warrant a brief pause for a few hours or the rest of the day. However, a major world event could mean a multi-day hold or reworking your social media schedule for the foreseeable future.
When an issue is relevant to your brand, your mission, or your local area, it’s much more important to acknowledge the situation and respond thoughtfully.
If your company is raising funds, offering support to people involved, or otherwise taking a stance, it’s critical to be transparent about your contributions.
When everyone else is talking about an important issue but your brand declines to get involved, you may risk raising eyebrows.
Other brands in your industry or area may be just as unsure as you are. Yet checking to see how they’re approaching the situation can help you gauge its importance and guide your response.
If you’re in the midst of a major social media campaign, you may have to rethink your calendar. This may take extra time and resources, but it could make a big impact.
If your agency manages social media for clients, you’ll need to advise them about best practices.
To give them the most helpful guidance, get their input first.
Ask your point of contact questions like:
Your clients may have additional data points that can inform your insights and assist in developing a more nuanced response.
The more specifics you have, the more accurately you can respond to DMs and rework scheduled posts.
No matter how well you know your clients, asking about their preferences is always a good idea. You might be surprised to learn that they’ve already prepared a response or made relevant changes that they’re eager to share.
After discussing the situation with your colleagues or clients, it’s time to make a decision.
It typically makes sense to pause your social media content when:
If your company is directly involved in the situation, avoid publishing any social media posts that could mislead followers or lead to a PR crisis.
For example, if you work for a health care provider and pandemic-related news breaks, it’s probably best to put your channels on hold and wait for official guidance from your local public health agency.
If your brand is unaffected but the world around you is feeling the effects, avoid sounding out of touch. For example, if your brand’s page has a high percentage of followers from an area that’s in the path of a natural disaster, it’s generally best to put everything on hold for a day or two.
Tweeting about your big sale while your followers make life-or-death decisions can make your brand look self-centered or detached from reality.
Putting your regularly scheduled social media content on hold can help your brand avoid major missteps. Yet in some cases, it’s a better idea to keep publishing consistently instead.
Is your brand is directly involved in the situation or could it provide helpful advice via social channels? Then it may benefit your brand and your followers not to pause.
In fact, you might even consider increasing your posting frequency to share news, resources, and support.
For example, when wildfire news broke, the Oregon Department of Forestry began to post multiple times a day, sharing warnings, updates, and tips for seeking disaster-related support.
In many cases, it’s clear that your brand should either put everything on pause or lend a voice to the cause. But what happens when neither option seems quite right?
Perhaps the situation isn’t relevant to your brand’s mission, but you know it’s causing hardships for others.
Maybe the situation seems like it will continue indefinitely, but you can’t hold off on publishing social media content for months on end.
Instead, consider toning down your message.
Your brand doesn’t have to share an opinion about the big news or jump into the fray. Yet you can avoid the hard sell, take a lighter tone, or redirect followers.
By adjusting your tactics, you can demonstrate that your brand is sensitive to the massive impact or the lack of normalcy.
For example, the San Francisco Travel Association shared locally inspired Zoom backgrounds when the pandemic made tourism impossible.
If you’ve decided to pause your social channels or revisit your scheduled content, go over the checklist below first.
By following these best practices, you can avoid mistakes and prepare to resume your social channels when the time is right.
Pausing your social media channels can be a tough decision. Yet it’s even harder to make a smart choice when you approach the issue haphazardly.
With these questions and checklist steps at your fingertips, you can keep your social media channels running smoothly, even when the unexpected happens.
Get started on saving time and energy on your own social media management! Check out our free trial of Agorapulse to help you schedule, track, and measure all your social media efforts.