How Should You Be Using Social Media In The Midst Of COVID-19?
Updated: Apr 6, 2020
Now more than ever before, your social presence is paramount. That's likely the primary way you are able to connect with customers during COVID-19. The way businesses act right now demonstrates who they truly are as an organization. You will leave a lasting impact either in a positive or negative way. You run the risk of losing short-term business, yes. But you also have an opportunity, if you handle this situation well, to not only retain customers, but possibly gain new ones!
There are a lot of different businesses out there experiencing a lot of different things. And the right response right now will be different, depending on your industry, product/service, model, etc. We’ve done our best to break this into four categories and offer some suggestions on how to handle your social presence at a time like this.
WHO: If your doors are closed and you cannot sell right now…
(ie. salons, nail studios, event companies)
WHAT & WHY: Focus on building and maintaining relationships with customers. They will feel personally connected with you and will show up knocking on your door when you open up again.
● Have business owners share very personal messages, ideally via video, that demonstrate empathy and kindness.
● Keep customers informed about how you are responding to COVID-19 (ie. additional precautions taken, when doors close, and ultimately, when doors are going to open again).
● Share previously posted user-generated content to highlight your customers and your products/services.
● Keep content light-hearted (it’s not time for not a pushy, educational sales post). Even though this is not directly related to your business, it is a fun way to stay connected virtually.
WHO: If your doors are closed, but you have the ability to sell online…
(ie. spas, restaurants, fitness studios)
WHAT & WHY: Focus on “offering” as opposed to “selling”. That doesn’t mean you have to give anything away for free, but it means, now more than ever, you need to deeply consider what they need right now and how you’re going to help address that need with value. Consider creating an extension of your business with a new service offering or a modified service offering
● Keep messaging personal and share the exciting news that you are still able to fulfill their needs, even with your doors closed.
● Respond to all comments and messages quickly and personally to ensure there is no friction or delay for customers during their buying process.
● Focus on your current customers with organic social and how you can serve them.
● If you are going to attempt to expand your customer-base with your online offer, do so gracefully. We recommend using very targeted ads to do this as people tend to expect selling from ads whereas they might be turned off by being targeted by pushy sales comments or DM’s.
● Offer free local pick-up or local delivery. Leave a special message with their order and let them know you really appreciate their business in this time. Make them feel appreciated for choosing to spend their money with you.
WHO: If your entire business is online already and is continuing to run...
(ie. e-commerce businesses)
WHAT & WHY: Focus on being a steady, reliable resource for your customers during this time for uncertainty. Remember, not everything has paused, and your customers may still need to purchase what you’re selling. Do not abandon them and stop serving them when they might need you most.
● Offer free shipping as you know everyone is doing most or all of their shipping online right now.
● Avoid any pushy messaging. Do not make people feel like they are being “sold”. Ensure all marketing is in good taste and focuses on how you can help, not how you can convert.
● Consider a campaign to #GiveBack as well (i.e. % of proceeds go to support _______, discounts for medical professionals, etc.).
WHO: If your business is still running, and even getting busier, but your whole office is now working from home…
(ie. HR consultants, lawyers, financial services, cleaning services, liquor stores and grocery stores etc.)
WHAT & WHY: Focus on sharing your knowledge and expertise in times like this. This is when your audience and your customers need your support, so maintain presence, confidence and compassion through a regular posting schedule. Communication and education are key right now.
● Curate relevant content to share to deliver value for your audience. Answer questions they are asking right now.
● Or better yet (or in addition), create content of your own! Blogs are great, infographics are helpful and video is even better.
● Consider hosting a webinar or a Facebook live or even a more personal Zoom call where people can ask questions and gain access to your knowledge. This helps them feel connected to you, and will be more likely to pursue your services when the time is right.
If you’re interested in discussing your specific situation, please reach out. Right now, we’re offering free 30-minute consultations with our CEO that you can book right here.
In addition, if you sell a product, we are also offering free product photography for the month of April! Send us your stuff and we’ll send you back content. Get in touch if this is something you’d like to take advantage of.