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Using social media during lockdown

Published: 15/09/2021
Elderly couple looking at a laptop screen

The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed each and every one of our lives. Due to the aggressive transmission of COVID-19, our drive to communicate digitally with our residents has never been more crucial.

Our initial priority when the first lockdown happened was to think of the quickest way to reach our residents, to ensure their welfare needs were met. We used traditional methods such as delivering leaflets but it was through social media where we could quickly relay any vital messaging. It has since proved to be one of the most effective methods of communication as the pandemic has unfolded.

Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have become essential in regularly signposting residents to our coronavirus webpages. We have also utilised Facebook Groups to reach rural areas of the borough and to gain access to community forums and local networks, allowing us to identify vulnerable residents and distribute essential supplies to those who need it the most.

Using social media and the latest data from Public Health England, we’ve been able to keep our residents informed on the latest government advice and the support available to them. Better yet, we’ve been able to geotarget specific Facebook community groups when the data has told us that coronavirus cases are increasing in a particular area of the borough.

Looking ahead, we are now making use of geo-targeted messaging on another platform Nextdoor, allowing us to reach thousands of residents in localised areas. This has resulted in our key communications being much more accessible, which can now be distributed via a range of digital platforms depending on where the social conversation is happening.