The world is finding itself in an uncertain whirlwind like we’ve never experienced in our lifetime. Even so, characteristically, South Africans are constantly on the lookout for the silver linings, the opportunities and the glimmers of hope.

While our extraordinary ability to stay positive is what will get us through this lockdown, the entire The Social Media Company team want to take a moment to express our deepest condolences to all those families whose lives will be irreversibly impacted by this situation. We would like to express our sympathies to all those who lose loved ones during this time, as well as to all the small and micro-business owners who are feeling the brunt of the economic impact that this situation is causing.

In the end, our country, communities and businesses will come out stronger and more united than ever before.

In times like these, the last thing you want to do is decrease your marketing efforts – especially your social media strategy. In fact, here are some very valid reasons why you should want to increase your social media focus during this time:

1. People will be spending more time on social media than ever before

We have already seen reports from Facebook, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and Disney, saying that they are experiencing enormous increases in online traffic from all countries where social distancing is enforced.

With the country on lockdown, and most people staying at home, more time will be spent on social media than ever before. Never again will you have such a large audience simultaneously browsing the internet.

2. You do not want to lose the traction

As you know, everything on the internet works on algorithms. When it comes to social media, the key thing to remember is that when people don’t interact with your page over a period, they start seeing your content less and less. The longer the period of time since someone saw or interacted with any of your content, the smaller the chances are of them seeing any of your future content.

If you put your social media strategy on hold for two or three months, and only then pick up again, you will have lost most of the traction you’ve built up so far, and will have to spend additional resources to get it back on track. Whatever else people have been seeing online over that period will be foremost in their minds – not your brand.

3. People will only be able to interact with you online

Digital community management in a time like this is more important than ever! Since people cannot come to your store, visit your office or even contact your call centre, social media will probably be the only way for anyone to communicate with you.

4. You need to be a part of the conversation

More than ever before, people are checking social media for updates about the state of things and the latest news about the virus. We need to keep an eye out for the online trends and make sure that, where possible, we can be a part of the conversation.

5. Sympathy for businesses is high right now

The general public is very sympathetic towards business owners at the moment. They understand the tremendous pressure businesses are facing during this time. Where advertising can sometimes almost reach a point of annoyance, people are now encouraging business to promote themselves and their needs.

6. There are opportunities

This is the time to focus on some parts of your digital strategy that you might not always get time for.

Already, we are starting to feel a renewed sense of excitement. In a way, the current situation is forcing all of us to do some introspection and evaluate our lives.

This, situation, as nerve-wracking as it might be, again reminded us why we do what we do. We started The Social Media Company because of an unrelenting passion for helping entrepreneurs, businesses and organisations to reach their full potential. In these troubling times, we can do so, even more than ever.

You might be on lockdown, but that does not mean your brand has to be!