Social media marketing objectives don’t need to drastically change during the coronavirus pandemic. After all, many Americans are spending even more time online, and there are long-term benefits to reaching them with branded messages today.

This doesn’t mean that your overall approach should remain the same as before. In a previous post, we discussed how SEO strategies might have to change during the present crisis. And since we may still be months away from things really starting to return to normal, it’s worth discussing how social media marketing could be similarly impacted.

It may seem somewhat morbid, but social distancing and stay-at-home orders could actually represent an opportunity for social media marketing firms. In fact, companies with a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter can view themselves as filling a much-needed role as people aspire to manage their anxieties and keep in touch with their ordinary lives and routines.

Of course, no one’s specifically looking to social media marketing campaigns for that sense of stability. But advertising is a familiar feature of everyday life at times when the economy is fully active. Some consumers are sure to have a more favorable view of that advertising than they would have a few months ago. As such, they may also be more open to the messages your company has to offer.

So the problem with advertising at this historical moment doesn’t have much to do with consumers. The major problems stem from companies that would usually fill space in those consumers social media feeds. With non-essential businesses shut down for the vast majority of the population, marketers just don’t have as many things to sell.

But this, too, can be an opportunity. It just depends on the company and its social media marketing team having a sufficiently long-term strategy.

Right now, many advertisers have a sort of captive audience. Millions of people are out of work but are hoping to pick right back up where they left off in the wake of the pandemic. Others are working from home and avoiding the leisure activities that typically take them outdoors. Almost everyone is relying on the internet to keep themselves grounded.

The relative lack of opportunity for immediate commerce shouldn’t prevent you from taking advantage of the public’s attention. If you can’t sell a product or a service, you can still sell the idea of your brand. Now is a time to help your consumers to foster a sense of trustworthiness and reliability. Now is a time to convince them that you deserve to be part of their first transactions when they resume their old routines.

Then again, this aspect of your marketing campaign shouldn’t be completely unique to the coronavirus pandemic. It has always been true that social media marketing differs from traditional advertising because it allows you to develop a personal connection with advertisers. So if you haven’t done so before, take this opportunity to engage your followers in games and contests, or to start interesting conversations that are relevant to your industry.

Improve the content of your social media accounts and you will increase their marketing potential. This is as true during times of crisis and economic stagnation as it is when everything seems to be going well.