Social Distancing Means a Different Approach to Social Media

Most AEC firms are now safe and secure in their home-based working environment, and so are their clients, partners, vendors, and other key audiences. At a time when we’re being asked to stay apart, social media can play a big role in keeping you and your clients together and in new, maybe even better, ways. To do so effectively, it’s important to rethink how you employ social media.

Think back to the social media strategy you put together for 2020. Most strategies in the business-to-business (B2B) space are very traditional, touting speaking engagements, new thought leadership pieces, successful projects, and new hires and promotions. While that’s been historically appropriate for a B2B entity, we’re living through a crisis that’s affecting us very personally. Worries about our health and safety and that of our loved ones, our job security, the stock market, and retirement plans, the toll isolation is expected to take on us in a few weeks. This pandemic is the great equalizer, and your traditional B2B social media approach should be supplanted by a business-to-people (B2P) strategy. Businesses don’t make decisions, people do. Businesses don’t have emotions, people do. Businesses are affected by crises, but it’s people who feel those effects.

So how do you change your entire social media strategy? First, you will want to post content that your loyal followers will appreciate during this time, as long as it’s aligned with your brand and its values. For example, one of our clients partnered with a local doctor, who had an idea to create 3D-printed masks to help with the current shortage to protect our healthcare workers. Our client put their 3D printer in action for the cause, posted about it. Some of our other clients have worked with restaurants in their design and were helping them out by posting their hours and take out and delivery options. This is also a good time to recognize your employees, clients, and the greater community for what they are doing.

We don’t recommend throwing the baby out with the bathwater entirely. If you have already established posts that are still relevant, useful, and don’t come across as insensitive amid currents events, keep them on the schedule. Given that the conferences and events you were planning to promote in the near term have been canceled, and some of your posts are no longer appropriate, you should have room for new B2P posts.

When it comes down to it, business relationships are important and take time to build. However, using social media to speak to your clients on a personal level can result in new levels of engagement, stronger relationships, and awareness among audiences you may not have spoken with prior. There’s never been a more appropriate time to do so.


Sheri Chorlins is a Special Projects Coordinator at Cameron MacAllister Group. She supports client engagements with social media, public relations, and administration services.