Uncertain times can breed mass confusion. With lots of misinformation out there, it can be very easy to spread “fake news.” Brands must be vigilant around being honest and spreading facts, not fear as they pivot to adopt a more understanding, relatable tone with their consumers. Generating positive brand mentions with credible sharing is key. Here’s how it’s done.
Brand Mentions Must Happen
People around the world are scared, hopeful, depressed and positive – all at once. The moods are swinging all over the place due not only to the virus, but also the self-isolation. Using social listening, we can see consumer sentiment around COVID-19.
During this time, it is more important than ever that brands are mindful about their approach to marketing. Companies can’t stop advertising, but they need to be sensitive to the current crisis. And habits consumers create during this time, are habits they will likely continue once the threat of COVID-19 is gone. This could mean more demand for products and companies they connected with during this self-isolation phase.
Already, there have been some flops in advertisement. Pottery Barn advertising WFH (work from home) desks at a discount. And discount codes via email are just a way for companies to make money off consumers during a fragile and vulnerable time. What they need is something useful. And there have been wonderful examples of brands being sensitive and offering a hand-up.
Controversial, But Caring
One top mention in the battle against COVID-19 belongs to controversial YouTube entrepreneur Logan Paul of Maverick Clothing. In the past month he has been mentioned 329,774 times in the COVID-19 context.
Learning from past mistakes and navigating negative press waters, Paul has risen from the ashes and is practicing more awareness and sensitivity.
Offering free protective masks for anyone who orders through the Maverick website has grabbed attention. And his $10k giveaway has been a hit as well:
Winning the COVID marketing war, his fans have taken to social media to sing Logan’s praises.
By using social listening, we can see how people overall feel about Logan, Maverick Clothing and his recognition of/way he’s handling the crisis.
It’s apparent that Paul is using the right tools to connect with his fans and consumers, promoting solidarity.
And along with PPE equipment, equally important to consumers are the facts surrounding the pandemic . . .
Becoming an Information Hub
Communications firm Edelman believes that brands need to be 100% honest with their audience. Based on their research and interviews with 12,000 people in numerous countries, 77% said “they want brands only to speak about products in ways that show they are aware of the crisis and the impact on people’s lives.” To add to that, consumers also want a straight shooter. With all of the misinformation out there, they are feeling confused, and even lied to.
CEO Paul Quigley of Newswhip told Bloomberg, “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on.” Thankfully companies like Mucinex are lacing up their truth boots and fighting misinformation.
In collaboration with McCann Health NY, this lung friendly company has pivoted from fighting symptoms, to fake news, in its “Spread Facts, Not Fear” campaign.
Fighting Fear with Facts
They aren’t alone in their fight. Doing their part to promote facts during this “infodemic” is BuzzFeed. This news and entertainment website has made an area especially for debunked hoaxes surrounding COVID-19, making it easy for consumers to fact check.
Responding to outcries over fake news, Buzzfeed took it upon themselves to create a whole new faction of their business becoming a ‘Fact vs Fiction’ information hub. People everywhere are fed up with fake news as is seen with the sentiment wheel below.
Looking at our data visualization timeline comparison below, we can see how many news stories having to do with misguided information have been posted in the past three months. It is also divided into sections where we can see top trending stories, as well as days that saw significant spikes in misinformation.
It is becoming obvious that now isn’t the time for salacious news in order to get more likes or clicks. What consumers want is something definite and dependable in this time of insecurity.
“Brands are really going to be judged for a long time by how they behave through this,” says Patrick Strother, founder of Minneapolis-based communications firm SCG. He reminds brands not to be faceless corporations but sensitive resources during a difficult time.
Molson Coors to the Rescue!
Doing precisely that, Molson Coors is showing its strength at being a good Samaritan and resource for giving. Donating water to the homeless, supporting truck drivers making essential deliveries, and creating a virtual tip jar for bartenders and service industries, Coors is proving they understand this crisis and want to do their part to spread kindness.
And it turns out they actually delivered beer to one quarantined 93-year-old woman. Olive Veronesi’s daughter snapped this photo of her mom saying she was out of beer. The icy beverage company delivered, literally. Olive awoke to 15 packs of Coors Light on her doorstep.
Coors showed consumers everywhere that they understand the frustration of running out of your favorite comfort item and not being able to just pop into the store and grab more. And they also demonstrate the power of advanced image analytics, as Coors was never expressly mentioned in the original post!
Coors’ Kindness Pays Off with Consumer Love
And Olive isn’t the only one happy about how Coors responded, we can see how consumers feel about it below by exploring our sentiment analysis word cloud:
Having the right tool when things are normal is important. Having the right tool when the world turns upside down is a necessity. Being able to present real facts vs fake news – both to consumers and internally, as you separate actionable insight from noise, has become the most important tool in the shed.
What is being discussed and how are your consumers reacting? Having transparent, accurate insight allows your brand to connect with consumers when they are feeling isolated from everything they know. If you are ready to show consumers that you are a trustworthy resource and care about them during this complicated time, they’ll remember it later. Reach out for a demo and we’ll show you how to do just that!