The situation we find ourselves in could not have been predicted. As business owners it’s crucial that we keep communicating to our customers. But what do we say?
I’ve written this blog to help you rethink your content strategy and to encourage you to adapt your social media pages to meet the needs of your customers. We mustn’t let this pandemic stop us in our tracks – with the right content you’ll maintain a strong and trusting relationship with your followers.
Using social media during times of crisis is invaluable. Regular communications and instant updates provide the ultimate customer service and will incentify more people to follow your pages. Knowing how to post on social media about Coronavirus will help you over the next few weeks and months.
Your Social Media Profiles
Before I begin, I must repeat a top tip concerning social media content – talk about the solution you have to your customers’ problem.
With this in mind, rethink how your product and services can help your customers during this unsettling time.
To keep your head above water you should update your social media profiles to reflect what you can offer now. For example, I am focussing on my online training instead of my usual workshops and 1-2-1 social media coaching sessions. If you head to any of my social media pages you will see that online training is now my key message.
Take a look at your profile and make sure you are emphasising what it is you are offering now to help your customers. And don’t forget if you have created an extra phone line or another emergency contact to cope with the extra queries add these also.
Certain businesses will be receiving a higher than usual volume of messages. To manage your customers’ expectations and to keep transparent about your Covid-19 communications, you can set up an automated response to explain why there could be a delay and when to expect a response.
You may also consider redirecting the message elsewhere for a more immediate response.
Opening Times / Work Patterns
If your business has adopted different opening hours than usual, make sure your customers are aware of this by posting updates and placing the change of hours in your profile too.
Tell your followers why you have done this and detail the benefits to them.
Keep your followers informed of event statuses
If you have any events coming up that are still going ahead, confirm this on social media and give the date – many will assume it’s not happening. Your followers will appreciate a little more information on how you are going to manage the event too. Be honest and tell the attendees what steps are in placed to ensure their safety. Reassure them that all surfaces will be cleaned before anyone arrives and that everyone will be politely asked to wash their hands on arrival.
Likewise, inform your followers of any events that have been cancelled or postponed.
What To Be Sharing On Social Media
This is the question on everyone’s lips, ‘Just how do I communicate with customers about Covid-19?’ I’ve spoken to many of my clients about this. Some are worried that they may sound like they are taking advantage of the situation and others don’t think it’s appropriate to sell their products during this time. It’s a tough one, but you really need to continue posting to reassure your followers that you are still there for them and that your brand is one they can trust.
Transparency and positivity are key. Your honesty will be valued by your customers so please tell them what you can offer, and just as importantly what you can’t. And, if there is likely to be a delay, tell your followers explaining why.
Here are my recommendations for the best way to communicate with customers about Coronavirus.
- Light-heartedness. While the number of positive cases of Coronavirus in the UK is still relatively low, this may not always be the case and there are families who are currently looking after very sick relatives. While humour is always welcome, tread carefully and make sure that any amusing posts won’t offend any of your followers. I’d recommend you stay clear of Coronavirus jokes. Coronavirus and social media are not always the best mix – leave that to the professionals.
- Positive stories. Now is a good time to tell your customers what you’ve been doing in the face of adversity. Talk about the extra cleanliness and how you are washing your hands more often. Have you any videos to share of your staff washing their hands to their favourite songs? Staying positive is infectious too!
- Live Streaming. We have been told to limit our physical interaction with others. What better way to keep in touch than to livesteam and show our faces? Talking directly to your customers is wonderful for maintaining trust and keeping a strong connection going. You could really get across the ‘We’re in this together’ message and ask your customers how they are managing and if there is anything you can do to help.
- Plans for the next 6 months. It may not seem it at the moment, but this crisis will pass. Share your plans and remain optimistic – your customers will appreciate learning about your positive plans as it confirms that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
- Crowdfunding opportunities. Whilst business may be a little quieter than usual it’s the perfect time to consider if there is a way that your customers can invest now for a future product or service you are planning to launch?
- Shop local – shop independent. Encourage your followers to support independent businesses. Tell them what you have available to buy online. It’s messages like these that will positively reinforce the ‘We’re in this together’ message.
- Ask for help. There’s no denying it, we are all going to struggle in some way, shape or form. It’s OK to ask your customers for their help. Tell them that you really want to keep your premises open for example, but to do this every visitor will have to wash their hands before entering. Small gestures and support will mean you can keep doing what you do best. Your customers will want to be a part of your journey and see you succeed.
- Who’s in your team. Give a shout out to your cleaning team and others who are working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the wheel’s turning. People love to see the people behind a brand.
- Sharing news. If you are going to share news about COVID-19 only share from reputable sources.
Rule #1. Keep in contact with your customers. And I don’t just mean posting your own content. Spend a little more time than usual looking at their posts and interacting with them. Stay on their radar in a supportive way. By being in the forefront of their minds for the next few months will mean that they are highly likely to become loyal customers once again once things return to normal.
Another great way to keep in touch and to add value is to create groups to keep the flow of information going. Communication really is going to rule throughout this crisis!
Areas To Focus On While Quiet
Use this time wisely. I know it’s not ideal but we can only remain positive and embrace this space to work on our marketing, things like: improving our websites, write a coronavirus marketing plan, creating a marketing strategy for when things get back to normal, build a social media content plan and schedule in posts etc.
You can even upskill your team and teach them how to use Facebook business pages or get them involved in posting more content to keep them connected with your customers.
If you have any concerns at all regarding social media and coronavirus, please let me know what they are, I’m here to help. I have free online training on how to set up a Facebook page, you can catch me live every Monday at 12:30pm on YouTube sharing social media tips and I’m just finishing an eBook on social media content ideas. You can subscribe to all these resources on my website.
I also provide 1-1 support and online workshops, so please do get in touch if you need support.
Bye for now,
Social Media Executive, email@example.com