Supply chain disruption, shifting consumer demand, and managing remote teams have all presented their own unique challenges to senior executives worldwide. Business leaders have had to act quickly to protect the health and safety of their employees and customers. Where possible, business activities have been shifted online, and companies have found new ways to make the workplace safe for essential workers.
The current moment demands more of business leaders than at any time in recent memory. Perhaps the greatest challenge for leaders is learning how to manage in a constant state of uncertainty. Senior executives must communicate in a way that fosters hope, instills trust, and inspires resiliency. They need to reassure employees, customers, and community stakeholders that all will be well despite the fraught and fast-changing circumstances.
We launched our 2020 BRANDfog CEO Social Media Communications in the Age of COVID-19 survey to understand how leaders are navigating these turbulent times. We found that stakeholders expect leaders to clearly and effectively communicate how they are addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 98% of survey respondents state that during this COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for company leaders to communicate what they are doing to support employees, customers, and the community in which they operate. Consistent, proactive, and compassionate communication is always essential for leaders, but even more so in times of great stress and uncertainty.
Social media remains a critical tool for leaders as they communicate their vision for handling business operations throughout this pandemic. Nearly three quarters of survey respondents (74%) stated that they look to CEOs on social channels to find information about how companies are addressing the COVID-19 crisis. What’s more, CEOs must communicate how they are helping those most in need during this crisis. A whopping 96% of survey respondents said that they expect CEOs to actively communicate what their organizations are doing to support COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts.
Leaders that best leverage social media to communicate during this crisis will earn and build brand trust. Social media is among the most important leadership tools of the 21st century and living through turbulent times only brings that fact into greater relief.