How to Handle Social Media During a Global Pandemic

Last updated: 06-01-2020

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How to Handle Social Media During a Global Pandemic

Hey writers! I know most of you are already adjusting your online marketing and social media activities to match these crazy times. If you’re putting time and effort into figuring out how to alter what you normally post — what you’d already prepared and planned to post — then you’re doing the exact right thing.

We can’t simply continue on with marketing and platform-building activities as if the world were still the same. It’s vitally important that we all pay attention to what our readers want and need in this moment.

Most likely the people in your target audience are working on survival. Some are essential workers, putting in long hours and enduring the stress of being among people when there’s a pandemic. Many are trying to work from home, difficult in the best of circumstances, but they’re doing it with roommates or spouses or kids around. Many are trying to do the hard work of educating their kids with no experience and very little structure in place to help them. Millions of people are facing the worst financial crisis of their life. Millions are seeing their own anxiety and fear rise to unprecedented levels. As you know because you’re living in it yourself—times are not normal.

This means our social media presence and our strategies to connect with people online can’t be “normal” either.

If you have a book releasing soon or one that came out recently, this is challenging because you want to tell people about it. The only way to do that is in the context of how your book can help people through this.

Whether you’re marketing a specific book or you’re simply doing day-to-day social media in the effort to build your following, switching your focus to serving others will serve you in the long run. Right now it’s not about selling your books, it’s about showing who you are and being a person who is relevant and helpful. Your long-term reputation hangs on how you’re perceived in this moment of crisis.

You’re seeing this everywhere on the internet right now. How can you join and be part of it?

If you happen to have a book available that’s closely aligned with people’s needs right now, then go ahead and talk about it. But be sure your messaging is targeted NOT for the long-haul, but for what people are going through right now. Don’t sell but talk about how your book addresses the immediate need.

Normalcy will eventually return. We won’t be talking about the pandemic forever. But if you want to be relevant and appreciated in this moment, focus entirely on serving others. Nothing else will work.

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