EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY CHANGES DURING COVID-19

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY CHANGES DURING COVID-19

Global digital marketing trends are rapidly shifting in response to COVID-19; lockdowns and social distancing practices are changing the way consumers are using social media platforms; and every platform is rolling out a raft of updated rules around what is acceptable for both content creators and advertisers.

A number of policy changes have been put in place to stop the spread of disinformation, tighten up restrictions on acceptable advertising practices, and avoid content creators from monetising and profiting from the global pandemic.

In our next #GetSocial blog, we roundup all the policies that have recently been put in place by big hitters Facebook, Google and Twitter, and what brands and advertisers in Myanmar can do to evolve.

Facebook & Instagram


Ad approvals slow down

To protect against the spread of infection among staff the social media behemoth has put a significant number of contractors who work in its moderation and ad-checking teams on paid furlough. Privacy concerns prohibit staff from using unsecured networks at home which means that remote working is not an option – therefore, Facebook has warned a slow-down in approvals for ads is expected in the coming weeks and months.

Impact on brands: This means preparing for delays and ensuring no changes are made after ads have been submitted. Additionally, it’s worth considering running campaigns for a longer duration and submitting multiple creatives to keep brand awareness high whilst limiting the amount of times consumers see the same ad appearing in their feeds.

Policy against COVID-19 ad content

Facebook has suggested all its advertisers “to refrain from using images such as medical/breathing face masks, hand sanitizers, surface disinfectant wipes, and COVID-19 test kits“.

Impact on brands: Take this time to spread information organically. Coronavirus comms is not a bandwagon to be jumped on – stick true to core product or service offerings and, if it’s relevant, highlight a way your business can provide a service or product that can help protect the safety of consumers during lockdowns; delivery services and mobile payment apps are a great example of this. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog where we’ll give a rundown of what well-considered branded content looks like in these times.

COVID-19 Information Centre

Facebook added a Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information Center to its mobile application, which links to official news sources and WHO advise alongside the latest news, tips and community requests related to coronavirus.

Impact on brands: This reinforces Facebook’s commitment to cleaning up false or misleading content, and promoting authoritative information for users who might look elsewhere for news. Facebook, Instagram, Google and Twitter have all put in place policies to fight fake news and misinformation – so how a brand approaches their outward facing communications is more important than ever.

Google & YouTube

Updated Google Ad policy

(March) Google updated its inappropriate content policy including: “Content that potentially capitalizes on or lacks reasonable sensitivity towards a natural disaster, conflict, death, public health emergency, or other tragic event”. Examples could be:

    • Appearing to profit from a tragic event with no discernible benefit to users;
    • Price gouging or artificially inflating prices that prohibits/limits access to vital supplies;
    • Sale of products or services (such as personal protective equipment) which may be insufficient for the demand during a sensitive event;
    • Using keywords related to a sensitive event to attempt to gain additional traffic

Impact on brands: Brands should give careful consideration to the messaging and visuals used in ads delivered across GDN, looking closely at tone of voice and proactively sharing information about business hours and stock availability. Assessing whether the subject matter is appropriate for the current climate is vital, for example, now is not the time to promote cut price travel and event ticketing deals. Think about the reputational damage risk of serving certain ads to audiences right now. Some useful tips of how to navigate campaigns throughout COVID-19 can be found here.

Official news sources

Similarly to Facebook, Google is linking to the WHO website on many of its products including Maps and Google search.

Impact on brands: If you are communicating COVID-19 updates across your branded channels, make sure the information is coming from reputable sources. All platforms have introduced more stringent content takedown policies, so anything that perpetuates fake news or misinformation is at risk of being removed without notice.

YouTube creators

YouTube has encouraged creators to support with content that will ‘Spread the word to stop the spread’. If they choose to use YouTube to share content to #StayHome, they should consider videos that are helpful, fun and informational and tag #StayHome and (cook/dance/read etc) #WithMe. Here’s some inspiration.

Impact on brands: Although this content is monetizable, there are strict rules: distressing footage of sick people, medical misinformation and pranks & challenges are not allowed for monetization. A full list of how YouTube is updating policies can be found here.

Twitter

Ad spend

Twitter has been the first social media platform to acknowledge ad revenue has taken a hit in light of the recent outbreak: “The Covid-19 impact began in Asia, and as it unfolded into a global pandemic, it has impacted Twitter’s advertising revenue globally more significantly in the last few weeks,” Twitter CFO Ned Segal said in a recent statement.

Impact on brands: Although not a widely used platform in Myanmar, this is an indication that ad spend across the board is being reduced as many businesses scale back. Reviewing performance metrics across all platforms and finetuning campaign spend is more vital than ever. As brands reduce spend globally, we might see costs for ads start to also reduce – now can be the time to make use of that especially for things like app install campaigns.

So, that’s our recap of how the world of digital advertising currently looks across different platforms, thanks for sticking with us! Let us know on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages if you’ve got any requests for future blogs using #GetSocial.

Keep informed about the latest developments from official sources and follow these measures from World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.