Across the country, states have enacted stay-at-home orders and shut down non-essential businesses. For small businesses especially, this can be damaging for cash flow and reputation. Luckily, we live in a time when communication in quarantine is possible. Social media and websites are a great way for your business to stay connected with your audience while on lockdown. Here are some useful tips for staying in touch with your customers and prospects during the new normal.
1. Update information on local listings and social media accounts
Everyone is unclear about what is open and what is not right now. Because of this uncertainty, it is important to communicate changes in your business during this time. If you have limited hours or are temporarily closed, update your Google My Business listing, social media accounts, and website to reflect your new business operating hours.
2. Check scheduled content for relevancy
Many businesses plan their social media content weeks in advance to ensure interaction with their audience. Review all upcoming posts to make sure that they don’t reference activities that aren’t available right now. Not only will non-relevant posts negatively remind your audience what they’re missing, but they can also make your business appear insensitive.
3. Increase social media presence
Because your business may be unable to serve your audience in-person, it is important to stay active on social media. People are spending more time than ever on the internet and social media can be your lifeline to your audience. Make sure that they are aware of any situation changes. For example, if you now offer online shopping or delivery, post often to remind them that your business is still available to get them what they need.
4. Respond to comments with empathy
It is a rough time for many people and some may take out their anxiety or frustration on businesses that don’t have control over their situation. When responding to online reviews or comments, be thoughtful about the poster’s possible circumstances. They could be dealing with a sick loved one or may have been laid off from work. Offer whatever help you can in order to lift them up during this time.
5. Post virus updates from trusted sources
When keeping your audience informed about news from third parties, only share objective information. Stay away from biased or unknown sources when posting Coronavirus-related news. Articles from organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are credible sources for keeping them up-to-date. Not only is it dangerous to spread false information, but your audience might perceive you as being deceitful, resulting in a loss of trust.
6. Offer online sales… or not
There is a split opinion about sales during the Coronavirus quarantine. Without careful consideration, sales can look tacky or seem like businesses are taking advantage of the situation. Unless your business is able to offer a special promotion that makes sense in the social climate – like free delivery for a restaurant – stay away from deals that just seem like an excuse to mention COVID-19.
7. Mention the Coronavirus sparingly
Coronavirus does not need to appear in every post. Your audience is probably hearing and thinking about COVID-19 all day, every day. The fact that society has changed shouldn’t be ignored but giving your audience a chance to focus on something else for a while can be a welcome distraction for them. Putting a spotlight on other topics may encourage them to return to your site rather than avoid it.
This is a difficult time for all businesses, but those that can keep communicating using technology are going to come out of the pandemic in a better position than those who are completely silent. Letting your audience know you care about them is part of gaining their confidence. By paying attention to their needs, your clientele will be excited to patronize your business once this is all over.
About the Author
Mandie joined Top Of The List in 2018 and has a degree in Web Development. She lives in Grand Rapids, MI with her chihuahua-mix, Potato.