This post will be sharing five social media messaging tips that would help you communicate during this global crisis.
Imagine stepping into 2020 excited about your social media strategy for 2020 and then boom! It’s March and the coronavirus outbreak has shaken the world.
Where exactly do you want to start?
How do you want to navigate this new reality? Especially when it feels like there is a ‘coronavirus recession.’ Everywhere you turn the one brand is laying off hundreds of staff or declaring bankruptcy.
How do we compose ourselves by being calm and positive? How do we communicate with our online audience in such a way that it is honest, transparent and empathetic? Because this will definitely pass. It is up to us to decide how we want to come out of the other side.
I know some business owners are struggling with the right way to communicate during these turbulent times. So I’ve decided to share some pointers that can help define your social media messaging during this period.
Here are five social media messaging tips for small businesses during this period.
There’s nobody in world at this moment that can boldly say that they are not affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Except they have been out of touch for the last 30 days. One way or the other, people are affected.
From doctors who are at the frontlines to Italians who currently have the highest death toll. To the elderly and high-risk family and friends whose immune system cannot fight the outbreak. Right now, your job as a brand/business owners is to empathise with your audience. Spread positive vibes. Share encouraging words and uplifting content. This might not necessarily be in line with your current social media strategy. But this is the perfect opportunity to humanise your brand. Your current social media calendar should be tweaked to reflect the situation.
Find ways to genuinely help your audience through your content
Speaking of content, some small business owners might be wondering what kind of content to create outside positive quotes and affirmations. This is the time to show how much your brand genuinely cares.
If you’re in the food and beverage industry, share recipes that people can try while social distancing at home. If you retail cleaning products, share unique ways people can take advantage of their self-quarantine to deep clean their ovens that have been dirty since Christmas. In the B2B/service industry? Share resources for people that will be working from home. If you run a bookshop, start an online book club and give people daily book recommendations. In the fitness industry? Share home workout routines.
Whatever industry you’re in, find a way to create original useful content for your audience.
To be honest, some business might not survive this coronavirus recession. They might not be able to get back into operations when this is all over. If you’re struggling with one thing or the other that is related to your brand, you need to be honest and transparent with your audience. If your deliveries or customer service responses will be delayed, you need to let your audience know. There’s absolutely no point trying to pretend that you have it all together when you don’t. Being transparent is also another way to humanise your brand during this crisis.
Streamline your buyer’s journey
People are either being quarantined or socially distancing at home. They will need supplies. From groceries to cleaning, toiletries, even crafts. If your brand is in the FMCG industry, more than ever before, they will need you to come through for them. Already, online shopping giant Amazon is currently struggling to meet demands. As a result of this, they’re looking to hire an additional 100,000 staff across America.
So, if your brand retails household staples, you need to ensure that customers know how and where to access your products. Make sure your website is well-optimised and user-friendly enough. Make sure your social channels have people on standby to attend to customers. Basically just make sure all your active communication channels have customer service specialists.
Watch your tone and don’t exploit the situation
While there’s a temptation to exploit the situation by hiking the prices of your products and services, this is really not the time. This is also not the time to be tone-deaf about the situation. A lot of people have been fired from their jobs and don’t know how or when the next paycheck will be coming in. Hiking your prices at the moment – especially if your product is a necessity- is frankly the most insensitive thing to do. Don’t be like Vanessa Hudgens. You should also watch the tone of your messages. Yes, most of us understand the gravity and inevitability of the situation. You don’t have to be a Captain Obvious.
In conclusion, it’s really just important to be empathetic and help yourself and your audience get through these trying times. Trust me, when this is all over, your audience will recognise your efforts and this in turn will strengthen their brand loyalty.