Digital Communication & Social Media During a Time Of Crisis

Social media use during the current global crisis has seen some incredible peaks in usage, as we use it as our means of contacting family, colleagues and friends, and to keep up to date with what’s going on. It’s also a vital tool in providing some light relief from the news. 

Facebook has reported that in those countries hardest hit by Coronavirus total messaging has increased more than 50% over the last month. Voice and video calling have more than doubled on Messenger and WhatsApp. And in Italy specifically, they’ve seen up to 70% more time spent across their apps since the crisis arrived in the country. Instagram and Facebook Live views doubled in a week. 

Vodafone also reported that internet usage had surged by up to 50% in some European countries as consumers shift to working at home. In these unprecedented times, it is very difficult to know what to do from a marketing perspective.  What elements of your business are ok to promote? You need to generate more business but how can you do that with sensitivity to the situation? 

Firstly, you need to listen & learn from your audience, understand what’s resonating and what’s not.  Step back and consider if your messages/campaigns are right to promote now. When you do share, be careful with your tone. 

Above all, we need to be agile with our communications in these unprecedented times, demonstrated by EatFarmNow (EFN).

efn header lockdown learning

As many of you will know, TAP is a founding partner of EFN, a digital hub putting real food and farming stories from real people in one place. 

With our nation in lockdown and many parents struggling with home working and home teaching, TAP and the EFN team saw an opportunity to assist with #LockdownLearning.  So, we have worked to mobilise a ‘food & farming army’ to provide learning resources for children who are out of school. The initiative has early support from NFU and ADAMA. Please check out the resource and share with anyone who may find it useful:


Many people are also panicking about food availability and so we saw a unique chance, alongside the learning, to reassure people that farmers and the food chain ‘have your back’ and are continuing to produce food.  Upon launching the #FoodArmy hashtag, EFN has asked pickers, farmers, fishermen, packers, bakers, manufacturers and delivery guys to share their stories and help curb panic or over-buying – crucial communication at this time.

Now more than ever, digital attention is at an all-time high and many of your competitors will be pausing their campaigns. You have the opportunity to reinforce your place in hearts and minds now.  Be mindful to keep listening, learning and ensure that timeliness & relevance.


Emma Craigie - 06/04/20

"Partnering with TAP has helped our team tackle the challenges of the European marketplace and its diversity of geographies and languages. TAP’s expertise, connections and work has strengthened our brand, content and social media efforts. We appreciate its responsive collaborative approach, and its ability to work efficiently within short timelines, limited budgets and across time zones and languages. Plus it connected quickly with our team and are a pleasure to work with."

Colleen Shaw - Global Communications Leader, Nuseed

"The Ad Plain’s digital skills and expertise have helped Interagro in building a social media presence in the agricultural market place. TAP are innovative and creative with their ideas and at the forefront of developing social media strategies. A dynamic and forward thinking team - an absolute joy to work with."

Emma Ralph - Managing Director, Interagro

"Mexico Tourism Board worked with TAP for all its creative requirements for UK, Ireland and Scandinavia. We have been delighted with the strong creative concepts which work effectively over a broad spectrum of media. In addition, as well as communicating a strong image of Mexico, the creative works to accurately portray the rich diversity of Mexico's many regions. The whole team are always ready to help and will find a solution for any problem and hit even the tightest deadlines."

Lupita Ayala - Deputy Director, Mexico Tourism Board

"TAP have helped Monsanto through all stages of establishing and building a social media presence for DEKALB, which yielded impressive results in a recent high-profile website launch."

Lucy Kane - Production & Marketing Coordinator, Monsanto

"The Ad Plain's professional, creative and patient approach enabled us to produce a vibrant and accessible report for the conference which will stand the test of time and which is already creating demand for further copies. Thank you to The Ad Plain team for working so effectively with us."

Julian Gairdner - Co-chairman Oxford Farming Conference