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It’s tough to be a social media manager these days. Plenty of people are cooped up at home just looking for online fights to keep them entertained. And everyone is dealing with stress from pandemics, lockdowns, political unrest, and more.

Some companies are responding by pulling all of their social media campaigns. While it’s understandable, companies that pull out now could lose critical momentum. Restarting won’t be easy.

There is a better way, although it will take a bit of planning.

Why Avoid Social Media?

Campaigns you develop and execute on social media are available around the clock, even when you’re not watching them closely. The risks are real.

Companies pull their campaigns because they’re worried about:

  • Association. Your clever posts could be sandwiched between dangerous or explosive content. Your brand could get linked to the negativity in time.
  • Speed. A hashtag or keyword you used on Friday could have a completely different meaning by Saturday, and you could offend without meaning to do so.
  • Conversations. Fans can turn the comments section into a battlefield. Each attack can harm your brand too.

Adding staff to monitor your accounts around the clock could help. When someone is always watching, problems stop before they spread.

But few companies can add multiple, full-time social media managers to payroll. Pausing all work seems, in a scenario like this, to be a wise choice.

Assess the Advantage of Persistence

Social media risks are real, but so are the benefits. Step back from your fear, and you may discover that your channels are just too important to abandon.

If you stop posting, you could risk:

  • Followers. Dark channels don’t grab attention, and some of your fans may move to your competition.
  • Opportunities. Constant conversations keep your fans close, so they’re ready to jump when you ask them to do so. Drop out for a bit, and they may be less likely to respond.
  • Credibility. Consumers demand quick, accurate social responses. That expectation doesn’t stop when you’re not posting. Fans could still comment on your old posts. And they can still write reviews. Without monitoring, you won’t see these attacks unfold.

Stay active within your social channels, and you’ll continue to deliver the experience your fans expect. Your hard work is likely to pay off.

A Four-Step Social Media Action Plan

Rules and regulations will save you as you utilize social media to help your brand.

Consider adopting these four social media best practice guidelines.

  1. Focus on your brand. Anything you create, comment on, or share should tie right back to what you make or what you do. All of your hashtags should relate too. If you make lampshades, all of your social work should focus on lighting up a room. Don’t step out of the lines with posts about bird watching. Stay focused.
  2. Stay positive. Snarky comments and angry reviews are hard to read, and sometimes, they make social media managers angry. Responding with kindness and compassion shows you’re a professional brand, not a petulant child. Stay above the fray, and glean what you can. The one angry person that speaks up could be talking for dozens of others.
  3. Gain internal consensus. Before you join a potentially edgy conversation, either through a comment or through content creation, hold a conversation. Is this the right message for your brand?
  4. Tighten ad spend. Examine every audience group, keyword, and phrase in your paid campaigns. Cull anything that doesn’t respond to your brand and nix concepts that seem unusual. Now isn’t the time to experiment.

A social media channel with a tight focus, positive comments, and thoughtful conversations is far from edgy. Your fans can’t visit your pages to break out the popcorn and watch the battles unfold.

But a channel like this supports your brand and keeps you engaged with potential customers. And, you’ll lower your risk of an online explosion too.

Ongoing monitoring is key, and you may find that you can relax your rules in time. But for now, as unusual times continue, implementing them could keep you both engaged and safe.