When to Pump the Brakes on Your Social Media Strategy

For social media managers and content creators, 2020 has delivered one plot twist after another. These helpful tips can help determine when to pump the brakes on your social media strategy — and when to resume.

For social media managers and content creators, 2020 has delivered one plot twist after another. We've faced issues that weren't on anyone's editorial calendar, which means taking that crisis comms plan off the shelf and putting it into action.

When the next major issue comes our way, social media managers must be willing to adapt and alter content at a moment’s notice. Sometimes this means pausing your regular posting cadence and reevaluating messaging to ensure it resonates and adds value — both to the conversation and your brand.

As you review previously planned content, ask yourself the following questions to determine how you should proceed in the shifting sea of tweets, likes and shares.

  • Is the content timely or seeking immediate attention from your target audience?
  • Will the message resonate with ALL audiences?
  • Would you defend the post or topic in a room full of clients or customers?
  • Can you justify to your leadership team the importance of placing content on pause?

Once you’ve asked yourself these important questions, the next (and often much harder) step is deciding when to resume posting. While navigating the social media landscape throughout COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, here’s how our team moved forward.

  • Pay attention to the news: No matter the location, national issues impact every single industry. Monitor local and national media outlets to educate yourself and your colleagues on the current news cycle to determine what posts can move to the backburner and what messages need pushed to the forefront.  
  • Ask the right questions: As communicators, it’s essential we reach the core of our clients internal and external challenges. Get a gut check on what conversations are happening amongst leaders, employees and investors to better understand how social channels should be managed throughout — and after — the situation.
  • Pivot, and pivot again: Ross Geller said it best. When new developments come in, it’s necessary to revisit content to make sure your message hits the right tone. The social media post you drafted the day before — or even an hour earlier — might not meet the mark, and that’s okay.

We must remember that, at its core, social media is social. And when your content doesn’t positively contribute to the conversation at hand, your organization’s authenticity and effectiveness will come into question.

Never be afraid to hit the brakes on your social media strategy and invest time into truly understanding the issues of the moment — your audience will appreciate it.