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As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, more brands understand that having a voice and communicating through their social media platforms is especially important right now. Builders and architects are no exception. But, how exactly should you encourage consistent engagement with your followers during a global pandemic? There are a few ground rules and best practices that every brand should adhere to during this crisis. These can even be incorporated to support and promote continued high levels of engagement when business eventually goes back to normal.

If your brand hasn't spoken out already, it's time to break the silence regarding COVID-19. Followers, including existing and potential customers, don't want to connect with brands that seem unaware of current issues. If your brand has only reached out to customers via email or newsletter, be sure to bring it up on all of your social media accounts, too. This simple act has the power to create a safe place for conversations to occur in comments or direct messaging.

Social media is a reliable and easy way for users to contact their favorite builders about various questions, ideas, comments, or even suggestions to be heard. Of course, these posts can't be random. Posting meaningless captions and photos will quickly drive followers to click the unfollow button. If your brand has a spokesperson that can speak on the COVID-19 issues, keep the content valuable and educational.

Instead of continually flooding your followers' feed with posts, try utilizing the story features on Instagram and Facebook, which gives followers more control of what they view. Followers have limited patience, so be sure the content is to the point and easy to read. These stories also allow your social media team to be more creative. Try posting interactive polls or questions to engage with followers and gain insight at the same time. You could also create quick videos that are both informational and on-brand. These videos can highlight the latest blueprints or designs, or advise on how to stay safe and healthy while building on site. No matter what, make sure the photos and captions are genuine.

After posting meaningful content, start reaching out to worthwhile influencers to drive more users to your brand's page. The ideal influencer has reliable engagement metrics, good communication skills, a high following, and is the right fit for the building industry. There are plenty of insightful and inspiring content creators that are happy to work with designers. Encourage your influencers to have them post about business updates, while motivating their followers to visit your account and follow.

If your brand has a tight budget right now and can't afford influencers, try reaching out to your loyal followers. Encourage them to repost and share the content to keep it circulating. Make sure posts are aesthetically pleasing, as followers will be more likely to want to share.

This crisis is affecting brand awareness, so do what you can to increase engagement on your social media channels. From direct contact with followers to posting valuable content, to finally making the leap and using influencers, there are countless ways to drive engagement rates during and after the crisis.