Brand responses to crisis situations are something that marketing managers lose sleep over. The way a company chooses to interact during a challenge can make or break their reputation, and with the booming popularity of social media, this interaction has to happen in real-time. During a time when in-face interactions aren’t an option, many of your customers will reach out to you online for the answers they need the most.
Why Social Media?
Let’s face it: So many of your customers head online first before spending money. In the world of social media, that includes checking out content on the Big 3 — Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. First, they’re coming to look at how frequently you’ve been posting content. With the news landscape changing daily, customers want to know that you’re staying ahead of the curve and helping customers make educated buying decisions.
Remember that these decisions don’t happen during normal business hours, which aren’t so normal during times that offer unprecedented obstacles. All of our normal routines are disrupted, and information needs to be accessible 24/7. Social media gives us a great platform to answer questions when there’s nobody that can walk them through a solution.
They’re also looking to see what kind of content you’re posting. Is it valuable? Does it contain accurate information? Is it a link to important resources that can help solve pain points? People will tend to share good content, and your brand needs to nail the spelling and grammar and include high-value links to build up trust.
The biggest bonus? Social media is FREE. You don’t need to pay to set up an account — and this goes both ways. Your followers won’t have any hoops to jump through in order to interact with your business, and your marketing budget won’t take a hit. It’s win-win on both sides when cost-efficiency is top of mind for everyone.
Crafting the Message
What you say is as important as your timing. That sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s not always easy to have the right words when you see challenges arise. Don’t be an early adapter if you’re not sure about creating a message with your social media content. Take a beat and look at what your competitors are saying and doing, and what may be hitting (or missing) the mark. It’s better to be silent on a topic than it is to jump the shark and get brand notoriety for the wrong reasons.
Positivity is the name of the game here, especially with something like the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone is facing hardship right now, and they’re looking for hope because there’s more than enough information out there that will terrify us. Offering resources, sharing positive stories, and appealing to empathy will be what people remember your social media messages as being during dark times.
Some organizations and industries — like municipalities or nonprofits — can use curated social media messages and content to garner much-needed advocates and support. Many of these organizations are on the frontline of response and could use an amplifier for their initiatives and build a network of support and resilience. Social media content is ideal for (literally) spreading the word.
It’s easy to find yourself pulled into many different directions right now as an entrepreneur, but social media should be high and your priority list. To get the message right, work with a team of professional marketers to fine-tune your process. At Emphatic, our US-based team of writers can help you pivot your content strategy to meet the growing and evolving demands of your clients during times of crisis.
Bridging the Gap
Times are uncertain, and that means your revenue may be too. Staying consistent on social media and offering your audience solid content can offer endless opportunities to create a network of trust. Keep in touch with your customers, stay transparent and positive, and keep them informed about your business and their community.
Nobody knows when things will be business as usual, but there’s one universal tool that all of your current and potential customers have access to — and that’s social media. Keep posting because people are looking to businesses they trust to offer some stability and normalcy. Take advantage of cost-efficient tools like social media that help offer ROI now and once this crisis has passed over.