How To Positively Communicate With Your Audience Amidst A Pandemic

Picture of Jagruti Bhargav

by Jagruti Bhargav

Difficult times have just begun. Global economies will be facing the brunt amidst the crisis. And the ones that might suffer the most will be small businesses & marketing agencies. According to a study, 35% businesses fear being shutdown due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In such times how does a business remain visible on social media? Do they continue running their ongoing marketing campaigns using social media tools? Or should marketing to come a complete halt?

We asked these questions and more to a bunch of marketers who still continue to actively post on social media.

What content do they post you ask?

Content that is positive, hopeful, and helpful.

Marketers are of the opinion that content that represents the resilience of the brand, the core values of the brand will survive.

The top few opinions that emerged were –

“ You’re going to have to get a little creative with the content ”

“ We are staying connected with our followers through educational videos rather than promotional ones ”

“ Marketing is fundamentally a long game, fixated on primarily building relationships. ”

“ A stronger focus on value-first based marketing and that businesses keep a check on offering unqualified medical advice ”

Continue reading for the detailed advice that marketers across industries have shared with us…

Joel Sanders

Joel Sanders


I work for Stasher, the world’s first luggage storage solution. We solve the notorious pain point of having to lug all of your belongings with you whilst traveling or checking out of an Airbnb/ hotel. As you can imagine, the current situation has hit us hard, and our usual social content is focused around travel. We don’t feel its right at this time to continue with pushing traveler content so we’ve switched our strategy onto tips, and advice for those who are either having to work remotely, adapt financially and are have focused on pushing positive content, surrounding those that are helping others at this time.

We’re using LinkedIn as an advice platform, and Instagram as a positive messaging platform as well as pushing advice. We’re namely using Instagram stories to prompt questions and polls surrounding this.

startup hiring
Laura Mahaney

Laura Mahaney

Create With Blu

One thing is for sure – your social media presence should not be business as usual. You’re going to have to get a little creative with the content you are sharing. Here are a few tips you should consider when running your social media during this time of crisis:

Keep it Authentic – Everyone is looking for something to connect to right now. Share content that is authentic to your brand and helps to tell your story. If you can use your brand to make someone feel something, they will be sure to remember you for the future.

Don’t Try to Be Doctor Facebook – Unless of course, you are a medical professional. Everyone is OVERWHELMED with all of the COVID-19 information available. You don’t need to share more information on COVID-19. Keep your content relevant to what you do and let other sources share updates to COVID-19.

Use Video as a Teaser to Promote Your Services – If you have been lucky enough to be able to share your services through the internet, you can use video and Facebook Live to promote what you are offering. Give people a taste of what you are offering and capture their interest.

Jeff Moriarty

Jeff Michael

Moriarty Gems

Our family’s business just recently had to close its doors due to Covid-19. Because of this, we are staying connected with our followers through educational videos rather than promotional ones. We have done videos covering more educational topics in the past, which have done very, very well, but they were very time-intensive, and we didn’t have time. All this week we are starting a series of videos staring the owner, at home, teaching, rather than selling. Not only does this keep our customers and followers engaged with our brand, but it will also help continue to build trust in our brand and help us back a comeback once everything goes back to normal.

James Marques

James Marques

Iconic Genius

Genuineness is now more significant than ever during this outbreak.

With personal connections and physical proximity being decreased, individuals will turn to the internet more than ever for reliable sources of info and meaningful digital content experiences.

It’s worth thinking about what role your company will play. If you’re the company’s going through deep-seated changes, these steps can help you decode your concern to action.

Building Hope through Trustworthy and Philanthropic Content

Marketing is fundamentally a long game, fixated on primarily building relationships. Presently, the best way to chase this goal is through truthfulness and altruism, in the context of your industry and audience.

Focus on Connection

The easiest thing your company can do is place an importance on being available and quick to respond via social media, email, and other digital channels. But you also might want to contemplate finding ways to duplicate the vibrant personal interactions online. For example:

  • Webinars & Live-Streaming
  • Virtual Networking Events

See all 11 strategies here.

Abby MacKinnon

Abby MacKinnon

Hoot Design

Our social media plan during COVID-19 focuses on sharing valuable content. This takes a few different forms for us:

  1. Informative emails to clients
  2. Blog posts with tips and tricks
  3. Social media stories that showcase what our team is up to

First of all, we have shared emails with our clients that illustrate best practices during this time. We read research that shows how much employees value their employers during this pandemic, so we sent out an email (see below) to encourage our clients to communicate with their teams.

Like many offices, our team is working from home full-time. However, we already remote work once a week, so we felt as if we were in a good position to share WFH tips and tricks. As a women-led agency, we were sure to focus on working moms with children at home, as we understand how challenging that scenario is.

Finally, we have shared updates on our Instagram story about what our team’s day-to-day looks like. Our office is in a small community, Columbia, Missouri, which lagged behind the major cities in terms of staying home from work. We used these stories as a way to encourage others to social distance.

WFH tips and tricks
Ruth Carter

Ruth Carter

Carter Law Firm

Please remind your audience to share, not steal content.

In school we called this plagiarism.

In the real world, we call this copyright infringement.

Whatever you call it, if you get caught, your audience will see you as lacking integrity and creativity

During this pandemic, many companies are reaching out to their audience with message of reassurance, information about changes in their services, and ways their audience can help during this challenging time.

The best way you can add to the conversation would be to create your own content that builds on the original message, not just repeats it. (If you’re going to create content that repeats another’s message or general information, at least find an original way to do it.) If someone wanted to build on this, they could have created a graphic about the importance of maintaining normalcy in your pet’s life, which includes their walking schedule.

Help Your Dog
Deborah Sweeney

Deborah Sweeney


I am a business owner who has temporarily suspended creating content that deviates significantly from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a business that helps entrepreneurs and small business owners to incorporate and form LLCs, we are working to create material on and off our company blog that encourages small business owners to keep progressing forward with their teams and companies — and really, with their dreams. There’s a lot of material to cover here, from examples of businesses that are succeeding under the pandemic to leadership advice to tips for remote work and looking out for small businesses as a consumer. We are taking care to ensure the advice given is positive and motivates entrepreneurs to keep working hard and to remember that this too shall pass.

Zack West

Zack West


We’re advising clients to maintain a tight grip on professionalism and take an approach of helpfulness and avoid being overtly opportunistic. I find that during times of crisis such as these, commercialism is easily interpreted as insensitivity. I’m recommended a stronger focus on value-first based marketing and that businesses keep a check on offering unqualified medical advice. Some examples:

  • A dietary supplement company launching a campaign describing specific actions taken to improve sanitation practices in the shipping warehouse or how their shipping schedules are delayed but they’ve added an extra shift to ensure continuity.
  • A commercial supplies company providing a detailed discussion of what type of masks carry approval ratings relevant to viral pathogens—even if that’s no something they carry in stock.
  • A sports apparel store launching a series of at-home fitness exercises All of these concepts illustrate helpful information that’s not focused on products. During periods of crisis such as these, I find the real winners from the marketing sector to be those that come out with the reputation of having been helpful, sensitive, and not commercially opportunistic.
Emily Carroll

Emily Carroll

Drive Research

It is important to our social media platforms as an educational tool for our readers, rather than a sales pitch. For this reason,we’ve switched our promotional content to discuss common challenges businesses are experiencing due to COVID-19.

In light of ongoing concerns about COVID-19, our market research company has received many questions about how this will impact plans for in-person market research such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, etc. Many of our partners have spent their allocated budget on conducting research and are scrambling to come up with a different approach so not to have to cancel the research altogether.

To help reduce concerns or exposure to COVID-19, we thought it would be helpful to remind our social media followers of the many remote market research methodologies available. Instead of canceling or postponing a market research project, organizations can still leverage video focus groups,web interviews, or online surveys.

In order to best share our advice, our market research company wrote a blog speaking to four different remote market research methodologies and their corresponding advantages. After publishing the blog on our website,we posted a link on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages for our followers to skim through.

Melissa Wesner

Melissa Wesner

LifeSpring Counseling

The content that I have been posting on social media using is about the transition to telehealth, tools that people will need to access services in this way, benefits of telehealth during a time such as this, and blogs about telehealth services. Many people are experiencing increases in stress, anxiety, panic, fear, worry, and transition. As a result, many providers are posting tips about how to manage anxiety and cope with work, parenting, and life at home. Additionally, I have been posting inspirational quotes or images to encourage viewers to consider opportunities for growth and healthier perspectives during this time.

My social media posts have also been reminding people that they can still get support and access needed counseling services at this time. COVID-19 may be keeping people at home, but they are still able to get counseling from the comfort of their own homes.

Telehealth Session
Rebecca Beach

Rebecca Beach

The type of content I been promoting is articles that help my audience find remote work. Several of my readers have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been writing about job opportunities at Amazon and other companies. My traffic has never been higher because so many people are finding my content so useful.

Other content I have been promoting on my blog are activities for young children to do at home, which has been getting 1k views a day. Parents are needing things for their kids to do in order to keep their occupied while they work from home.

Telehealth Session
Katie Kimball

Katie Kimball

Kitchen Stewardship

I immediately edited or cancelled all my social posts that had been scheduled, especially a few that started, “Can’t wait to throw a party?” Oy.

Now, here’s what I do:

I teach kids to cook online, so my kids and I decided the very first day school was cancelled that we wanted to support families, so we started making videos (mostly live) every single day on our Kids Cook Real Food Facebook page. We’re demonstrating simple recipes,encouraging kids to try their hand at cooking, and really focusing on how flexible cooking can be — in case people can’t go to the store for ingredients! On my blog Kitchen Stewardship, where I’ve been teaching home cooking for 11 years, I’ve been focusing on live videos and shares from the archives that support exactly what people need right now: so people cooking at home for the first time can find out what vegetables last the longest, how to deal with bone-in chicken, how to make nourishing broth out of literally food scrap garbage, and how to stretch meat so they don’t runout.

My hope is that families look back on this time and see the silver linings: their kids finally building life skills in the home, learning to cook healthy foods, and connecting as a family in the kitchen, building memories that had nothing to do with anxious news headlines.

Kimchi Recipe
Czar Yarcia

Czar Yarcia

At Clockwise, we were recently ramping up our social content on Instagram, specifically to showcase our company culture and values: Authenticity, Curiosity, Drive, Empathy, Enthusiasm, and Focus. Our social content calendar was paused as we transitioned to work from home.

Now that we’re settled in, our new content calendar has been updated to include relevant and relatable topics featuring our teammates. Our focus is to spread positivity and show how we connect and make time for what matters (our company motto) while we are all WFH. We will mainly utilize Instagram Stories since that currently has more reach for us.

Our Instagram Stories will cover how some of our teammates are balancing working from home while caring for their children, and how they maintain their physical and mental health with exercise, reading, and meditation. We will also be featuring our furry friends and our optimal home office setups that keep us productive. To showcase our value of Empathy, we will also share how our teammates are connecting and volunteering in our community during this time.

One of our teammates recently celebrated their birthday, and we wanted to surprise them. We photoshopped a birthday photo and made it our backgrounds in Zoom. Signing in early, we had our video turned off until they logged in. Their favorite Tiramisu cake was delivered to their home, and their partner helped us by bringing out the cake lit with a candle while we sang Happy Birthday to them!

Birthday Celebration
Dave Munson

Dave Munson

SaddleBack Leather

Entertaining not selling during coronavirus.

During any terrible or uncertain time, don’t try to sell people things. Just be their friend. Make them smile or educate them. That’s what they need. We have hundreds of cool and funny and education videos we had created since 2006, a lot of which most of our customers had never seen. So, we are posting one or two videos a day to just entertain our customers. It’s what friends do.

Varda Epstein

Varda Epstein


During our current global coronavirus pandemic, I have made the decision to concentrate on creating and sharing content that is either informational or motivational. Many of our readers and followers are parents, so we’ve reached out with activities for children, reassuring or inspirational memes for parents, and information on the virus our followers can trust. It’s easy to see from the response that this is exactly the kind of content people want and need.

When I shared a meme that reassured parents that they don’t have to ace this homeschooling gig, because kids are resilient, that got a lot of likes and shares. Parents need to hear that they’re doing okay with their kids, that their kids will survive this, that they won’t become uneducated dolts, even if the lockdown must be extended over a long period. They need hope to keep going.

It’s when you feel like the situation is hopeless that you give up and stop trying, so I see it as my mission to keep peoples’ spirits up. That’s my personal mission, and I see it also as the mission of the nonprofit I represent, to keep people going, to help them, even if it’s just a funny meme that makes them laugh.

Shelly Steffler

Shelly Steffler

Mundo Social Media

Managing communications and social media during an emergency is challenging, to say the least! I was at the helm with I worked for a municipality – a water main broke, and there was a week-long power outage. Now, I’m helping dozens of clients shift their messaging and pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So how should your social media and business strategy change during a pandemic?

  1. Stop all hard sells. It’s not appropriate, and it’s likely that your clients will be put off.
  2. Tell your clients what to expect. Are you running a skeleton crew? Are some of your communications channels temporarily unavailable?
  3. Share some good news. If you’re sending your employees home with pay, if you’re in the medical field and can acknowledge your colleagues, if there’s something uplifting that’s going on in your area… share it! People will appreciate the change of tone, engage with your content, and remember your business.
  4. Don’t be afraid to sell. Just adapt your message. Offer discounts or free trials. Encourage people to your support local, brick and mortar business by purchasing gift certificates. I came across this ad yesterday, and I thought it was particularly well adapted!
Keep Calm
Ashley Sterling

Ashley Sterling

The Loop Marketing

As a Digital Marketing agency, our focus is always on maintaining the right type of brand awareness for our clients and for ourselves. During this uncertain time in the world, maintaining humility and connecting with your audience is absolutely vital. One aspect of this is to not give into the fear that is being circulated on all social media platforms, but to focus on what can be accomplished during this time.

We have worked with our clients to discover new ways to reach their audience and offer services that work with social distancing, offer discounts, live videos, etc.

Our recommendations to use this time to be productive include:

  • Send an email to your email list — let them know what’s going on within your business. Communication is essential.
  • Use Social Media to make any announcements about your business, changes to hours, changes to shipping, unique specials, local business support, etc.
  • Go LIVE! We are all worried about what’s going to happen, so to have someone who you can see on the other side of a social media account for business allows you to connect. Videos are easily accomplished, we even offer a few tips on how easy it is to do here.
  • Use Social Media comments and messenger to connect with questions or inquiries. A lot of review platforms have frozen their capabilities, so social media is a direct way to access your audience, answer questions, offer customer services, etc.
Loop Marketing
Matt Pitchford

Matt Pitchford

Optimal IdM

Sharing a personal experience on how the leaders of his company are helping the community in these pressing times, Matt says,

As many employers and employees are setting up shop on the dining room table to try and maintain business as usual during these changing times, our CTO and Managing Partner, Larry Aucoin, wanted to share some advice on how to adjust to a work-at-home lifestyle. After working from home for the past 15 years, Aucoin, who is co-founder of Optimal IdM, a global identity access management software company, said, “Working at home takes time getting used to. When you wake up, you’re at work. When you go to bed, you’re at work. It becomes a 24/7 experience and knowing how to disconnect becomes critical for your health and well-being.”

He offers these tips for both employees and managers working from home.

Adjust work From Home
Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson

Whether its a blog, video, post or live stream, here are the 4 types of content that should be flooding your feed right now

  1. Content that tells a story. People love stories, particularly one that they can relate to. Share a story about how this pandemic has affected you and your business. Focus on how you’ve over come it or how you plan to as a way to motivate your community
  2. Content that shows people a way out. You’re the expert here so they’re looking to you for tips that they can implement to help them stay afloat or relieve stress during this time.
  3. Content that uplifts people. With all the negativity bombarding our spaces on a daily basis, be someone’s ray of sunshine. Remind them that people need them and they are not alone Uplift their spirits and remind them that you are here to help them every step of the way.
  4. Content that gets people into action. Give them something to do that can help them move forward in their business. People love to feel like they are working towards their goals, so make it interactive

Above all, be empathetic in your approach.

Yaniv Masjedi

Yaniv Masjedi


Yaniv shares that many companies that have started during difficult times, some have perished yet some have flourished. The core value of being helpful should be reflected in the activities of the company. Nextiva’s CEO, Tomas Gorny, is doing something similar –

Yaniv says – Our CEO (Tomas Gorny) is trying to lead the way on that for our company. He has started several companies during recessions, and not all of them have been successful. He’s been active on social trying to help other business owners based on what he learned from those experiences.

From a sales and marketing perspective, the people that are focused on helping people now will be the ones that are remembered later when things get back to normal, whenever that is. Also, from a human perspective, helping people any way you can is just the right thing to do during a time when a lot of people are hurting.

Business Owners
Malte Scholz

Malte Scholz


A lot of companies nowadays add more fuel to the fire that is spreading through the media. Despite the ongoing virus pandemic, you want to make sure that you don’t spread panic and keep things going just as you normally would. That means trying to avoid talking about coronavirus unless it’s something that directly affects your business.

For us, it means helping out others with our personal insights. We’ve been working remotely ever since we started our company and many of our customers are SaaS companies who are forced to work remotely nowadays, so we do our best to help them out.

Beside our regular content, we publish posts about remote work. How to stay productive, how to maintain communication, how to manage a remote team and more. We’ve tried to explain everything from how to make the transition to how to make sure that your team is actually working.

All of the content is written by the company co-founders and we have quite a few comments on our posts. We are planning a live video in the upcoming days where we will answer our followers’ questions, both regarding our own product and how to effectively work as a remote company.

Mimi Banks

Mimi Banks

MB Social

What businesses are facing currently is not easy. Working environments are changing, the way teams interact has changed, the dependency on technology and tools have increased more than ever before. And with all this we never had the chance not the choice of not to adapt.

We are working with clients closely to adapt and engage on the ‘new normal.’ Be personal human with a genuine message, connect via LIVE, spark joy via captions, engage with concrete, practical WFH tips, tools, resources and advice to help employees and managers adapt to remote work.

Owl Labs
Nicole Harwood-Nash

Nicole Harwood-Nash

The Workout Digest

Nicole is a renowned personal trainer, that contributes to various fitness sites as well as maintains her blog. She shares fitness and nutrition tips through various channels. Amidst the pandemic, she changed the content as well as the platforms she distributes content through, ever-so-slightly to stay relevant.

My Instagram account is full of inspirational content but with the recent pandemic, I try to be as sensitive as possible in terms of the kind of messages that I put out these days. For instance, posting exercise videos that give them ideas on what to do during home quarantine is helpful. In addition, motivational quotes can help in uplifting everybody’s spirits as we try to refocus our minds even for just a few seconds everyday from the entire panic that’s going on.

Anne Talbot

Anne Talbot


On our social media channels, we are posting links to government entities and funding sources offering assistance and relief to businesses facing adverse effects from the COVID-19 slowdown, such as small business loans from the US SBA and from NYC SBS.

Rachel Collins

Rachel Collins


As a business based in New York City, the heart of the crisis, we are feeling the effects of the national emergency more than many across the country. We began working from home a week ago, and our team is now remotely working from the Financial District, Harlem, Bay Ridge Brooklyn, New Jersey, and even upstate. During this time we feel it’s important to share content that shows how we really work as a team. Some teams fall apart under pressure, but we don’t.

We always deliver for our clients, and no matter the challenge, we’re ready to meet it. We’re showcasing our new remote working with our Zoom “Wine Down Wednesdays” and “Cookie Fridays.” We’re showcasing our work, but with the gravity of the current situation at hand. We’re even doing some throwbacks to some of the marvelous events that we’ve hosted while keeping in mind that we are promoting social distancing for the time being.

All in all, we have hope. Hope that at the other end of this trying time, we will come back stronger, brighter, and better. After all, we are New Yorkers. If anyone knows how to bounce back, it’s us.

share content instagram
Justin Hill

Justin Hill

Hill Law Firm

Our social media is heavily focused on engaging our local community and friends. We love our city, and we let that shine through in our posts. During this time, we’ve been focused on ways that we can help our community find access to resources. We’ve also worked to engage friends in supporting non-profits who are really taking a hard hit on their funding sources. In an effort to keep it light, we like to have our office dog, Winston, showcase some of the ways that folks can help.

On LinkedIn, we’ve been working on some best practices that law firms can take in order to serve our clients in the midst of a pandemic. We also try to stay engaged with our connections who may be able to share their own strategies. I think, during this time, it’s especially important to open the conversation up to each other. It’s about connectedness and knowing that we’re here to help each other figure this all out together. No one is an expert, and we realize this.

All in all, we have hope. Hope that at the other end of this trying time, we will come back stronger, brighter, and better. After all, we are New Yorkers. If anyone knows how to bounce back, it’s us.

Access Resources
Paige Arnof-Fenn

Paige Arnof-Fenn

One message we are sending to our clients is that communication is key to all of our community and employee engagement. I try to set the tone upfront with one rule, when in doubt over-communicate. Especially now that everyone is working remotely it is key to set up regular e-mails, video and conference calls. If the lines of communication are open and everyone makes an effort to listen and be heard then collaboration will happen naturally and the information will flow.

Another idea I am sharing is to look at all the groups we are a part of and suggest they start their own stimulus package by agreeing to support/buy from each other directly and refer business proactively to each other too. Cross promote the products and services in newsletters, follow/like/retweet on social media and vice versa. Your network is probably more than happy to get the business right now.

You have to cover all your bases to meet your audience on their preferred platform for best results. Twitter is great for short attention spans, blog posts give you more room to share your thoughts and white papers allow space for long form content and research findings. I have also turned articles into infographics, and talks that have been videoD that I have been able to share over social media and on my site.

Sonia Saidi

Sonia Saidi

My Infinite Ways

The virus is spreading rapidly around the world. Governments, businesses and families are responding to the pandemic in an unprecedented way, causing massive economic disruption – we are reacting with fear.

But listen carefully, it doesn’t mean that the GAME is OVER!

There are strategic steps you can take to maintain the health of your business, from life support to self-breathing:

  • Blaming doesn’t help. Shout loudly once and for all, then be active.
  • Measuring the losses. It may seem critical on the surface, but if you dig a little deeper, you will find that there must be more possibilities that will lead you at the end of the tunnel. Take small resuscitation steps by identifying what you can save and what needs more support.
  • Stay nimble, but don’t get overwhelmed by the magnitude of change.
  • Build your community. Choose wisely with whom you surround yourself to foster the factors leading to positive and lasting change.

At the end of the day, there is no perfect solution. But if you’re willing to keep an open mind, appreciate the opportunities that change brings, and approach each new development as a challenge to grow, then you’re giving yourself the best chances to uplift your business economy.

Build Community
Shantel Khleif

Businesses need to communicate with their clients as well as team members now more than ever. Using this as an opportunity to help bring forth their voice more clearly and loudly, we designed special offer to provide our services amidst COVID-19. It isn’t being opportunistic but a response to the rising demand of businesses to remain visible even during the crisis. We believe the businesses that will come out of this situation the strongest are the ones who continue to foster their online community with an authentic approach.

Communication Package

Frequently Asked Questions

🌟 What is the best way to communicate on social media amidst a crisis?

There are a few ways in which a brand can communicate positively during a crisis –

1. Being transparent and honest
2. Address the crisis directly
3. Get creative with your content
4. Publish value over sales pitches
5. Build a relationship
6. Go Live with a message
7. Share your work culture
8. Be Genuine

Picture of Jagruti Bhargav

Jagruti Bhargav

Marketing and Communication Strategist - SocialPilot. Avid digital marketer and a low-key fitness enthusiast.

Table of Contents

Be A More Productive Social Media Marketer

Start Your Free Trial

*14-day free, no credit card required

Request Demo