Tips for Navigating Social & Digital during COVID-19


Tips for Navigating Social & Digital during COVID-19


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(EN) The social and digital landscape is constantly evolving with sentiment shifting by the hour. We asked our Digital Team for best practices and recommendations during these times. As always, we’re here, connected and available if you need advice.

General COVID-Specific Messaging Recommendations

• Use the WHO and your country’s Department of Health guides and reference points for language.

o WHO:
o CDC:
o NHS:
o MOH:
o CHP:

• Link to or share articles only from trusted global health organizations such as the CDC or NHS, official government domains, or WebMD in brand messaging – avoid sharing general news articles. The CDC, NHS, and WebMD, in particular, will offer vetted medical information to your audiences.

• Do not use brand or campaign hashtags in social media messages on COVID-19 – if needed, use the hashtags #COVID19 and #coronavirus.

• Consult the AP’s style guide for the coronavirus:

Social Media Recommendations

• Identify and put in place a social media “go team” to monitor inbound mentions and comments for questions, concerns, or commentary on COVID-19 on your social media platforms.

• Be prepared to pause all scheduled social media posts – it’s better to pause posts out of an abundance of caution than to publish tone-deaf information. Empower your “go team” to pause messaging if they feel it becomes necessary. Evergreen content can be re-used at a later date.

• If you have not yet reached a point where all posts need to be paused, consider scaling back on the total number of social media posts that do go live. Under this approach, focus on priority messaging and save evergreen content for a later date. This will also help to lay the foundation for a full pause if one is needed.

• Only use approved messaging on social media, including in response to any inbound comments.

• Develop a basic, broad response that links back to a central resource webpage to use when responding to inbound comments. As this situation is developing quickly, avoid using specifics or other information that is subject to change so that your response language can be relevant as long as possible. Focus on updating the central resource webpage with the most up-to-date information.

• When responding to social media audiences regarding COVID-19, adopt a “don’t feed the trolls” mentality: do not engage with users seeking to provoke, divide, spread misinformation, or otherwise stir the pot.

Web & Digital Recommendations

• We strongly recommend that all information on COVID-19 that is intended to be shared with audiences through a website is published on HTML web pages and not as online PDF documents.

• HTML pages are more widely compatible on a variety of devices than PDFs, will load faster (especially on mobile, where a PDF must be downloaded to the device), and will help facilitate easy sharing of timely and urgent messaging.

• If you develop a centralized resource page on your website, consider giving it a short URL that is easy to remember and type (ex:

• Ensure that COVID-19 updates provided on existing webpages are easy to find by placing them at the top of the webpage with a dedicated banner to draw the audience’s attention.

• Perform an optics double-check on any existing pages you intend to update with COVID-19 message before sharing with public audiences to make sure other messaging or photos do not detract from the timely and urgent COVID-19 messages (ex: a carousel of top headlines featuring photos of happy people).


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