To get you started on how to communicate during this time, ask yourself a few questions: Can you share positive stories that might uplift the people who connect with your brand on social media? Do you have positive initiatives that you can talk about? Can you bring your community together in a positive way?
At Reactionpower, we believe that no crisis is insurmountable. Through thoughtful and well-thought-out strategies, we help our clients emerge ahead.
Here are our recommendations on what to do now
- Know your brand: Don’t just copy what others are doing. Understand the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives, how that has changed, and how your brand can help or be useful during this crisis. This is a great opportunity to lead by example, do the right thing, and serve where it makes sense for your business.
- Keep up to date with what’s happening: Things are changing fast, and what might have felt like a good message yesterday might not be the right thing today. Keep a close eye on the news and conversation, stay up to date with what’s trending about COVID-19, and be sure to consider the context before posting anything.
- Watch your tone: Listening to what people, and your customers, are saying — and reflecting that in your copy and tone appropriately. Right now might not be the best time to be snarky or sarcastic, while empathy, understanding, and even certain types of humor may go a long way.
- Anticipate changes in your customer’s behavior: As people are potentially asked to self-isolate, or stay home, there will be a number of behavior changes that might impact their needs as well as how they interact with your business.
- Provide accurate & reliable information: If you have useful and reliable information that might help people navigate the uncertainty, or keep people safe and calm, you should share it. For example, retail/e-commerce brands can keep the public updated on stock to help mitigate panic buying.
- Prioritize customer service & support: In uncertain times, demonstrating you’re doing your best can go a long way. Whether your business is directly affected or not, find something meaningful to offer. It’s important to listen and understand the concerns your customers have, and to address them as best you can. Interact 1:1 with your customers and support them, broadcast any initiatives you’re launching that widely address the issue.
- Entertain and educate: In times like this, the news cycle can be overwhelming. Light distraction, levity, and clarity can go a long way.
- Pause and review campaigns: A common consideration for marketing heads during times of uncertainty is whether to continue with scheduled campaigns. One good option is to pause all regularly scheduled social content for the moment. At a minimum, it’s important to review your communication strategy and previously scheduled content to make sure it still feels relevant given the situation your community is facing right now.
- Collaborate: Effective collaboration is critical at this time. Reach out to potential partners and encourage employees to work together, even if you are going remote for the first time this week. Collaborative tools will help you prioritize, respond to your customers, and build your community more efficiently.
- Use chatbots to manage message volume and respond swiftly: This is a great way to manage a high volume of inbound private messages and begin conversations about common issues. Right now, this could be a helpful way to immediately route customers reaching out in Twitter DMs or Messenger to your cancellation or rescheduling policies, or perhaps to direct them to your organization’s newsroom or updates website. Chatbots aren’t a substitute for human connection, but they do provide automation tools to help streamline and expedite more common and transactional inquiries. This, in turn, frees up your team to spend time on more nuanced and complex customer issues.
- Pay attention: One of the most challenging things we are all facing right now is that there’s no established playbook for the role of brands when it’s the world in crisis. Most crisis playbooks focus on what happens when your brand is in crisis—whether it’s centered around your reputation, operations, leadership, or employees. This is unprecedented and things are changing all the time. Our collective creativity, compassion, and calm will be key during this time, as we navigate these unchartered times.
- Take care of yourself: As marketers, extending empathy and connecting with people is part of our DNA—but it’s important to know when to take a quick break, log off for the night, or practice self-care, especially during a difficult situation.
We’re at home these days but staying productive while creating cutting-edge solutions remotely. We’re in this together.
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