In times of crisis, we naturally see changes in consumer behavior. We have a tendency to move with the rhythm of the time, and during this coronavirus pandemic, we are witnessing such a shift. According to data from Facebook, we are seeing a surge of traffic to social channels such as Facebook and Instagram—in some cases with growth of more than 50%! In light of that information, as business owners, we need to take to the streets of social media to be where our customers are and give them they need.
So, here are five tips to revolutionize your social media content during the COVID-19 crisis:
- Be present. This might seem like a no-brainer, but we need to first and foremost simply be present. Wayne Gretzky said you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. If you aren’t where your customers are when they need you, someone else will be. Being present is more than just existing. It’s being an active contributor in your customers’ lives—being with them as they move through this crisis by staying top of mind and being present in their lives on social media.
- Answer questions and concerns. In a time of uncertainty, many people have concerns about what’s happening in their lives. The brands that are going to win in the next five years will be excellent at providing value before and beyond the sales pitch—mark my words. Your customers have questions and concerns that are very personal. Recent studies show that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the top two concerns on social are cleanliness and financial planning/security. Given these concerns, ask yourself, “What does this mean to my business? How can I help alleviate these concerns for my customers? How can I help ease this burden?” Answering these questions for yourself and then putting the answers on social media will create an authentic affirmation for your customers that you have a solution for a problem they are facing. It also eases the barrier of doing business with you.
- Have techs, CSRs, and staff create a running list of the common questions your customers have. This is an extra step that many businesses I have worked with have not considered. There is a saying in the restaurant industry—if you want to know how to save money, look in the trash. The trash for a restaurant answers a number of key questions: What do my customers dislike? Where is my waste? What am I spending money on that I could spend elsewhere? In kind, keeping track of the questions your customers ask can help you understand the quickest way to be their trusted expert and adviser. This also gives you data that provides real value to other customers who have the same questions.
- Produce videos to answer these questions. It's not just about posting a Q and A. Developing a solid brand for your business takes time. It takes vulnerability. It takes authenticity. When someone sees you and your people, they can gauge and answer many of the hovering questions that they have, which might be barriers to doing business with you: Are you my kind of person? Do I like how you present yourself? What is your true objective? Are you authentic? Answering questions via video also fills up the social media feed with video content, which is exactly how many of your customers are consuming their media right now.
- Focus on #stayhome ideas as they pertain to your business. With all of the country under quarantine, everyone is under the Stay Home initiative. In light of that, the hashtag #stayhome has been born! Use it. Knowing your business, what are some challenges that a person who is staying home might have that you can solve? This is a real opportunity to be creative. While it might seem much easier for a home service provider to answer this, as opposed to an attorney or a restaurant, this is an opportunity to think outside the box and provide value in a different way. Build relationships and trust with individuals, and overall, be present. I have even seen real estate agents push Stay Home initiatives to help with grocery pickups. Know your customers, know their needs, and solve their needs.
These are uncertain times. It might be tempting to throw in the towel, but this is not a time to flee. It’s a time to fight. Fight for our businesses, fight for our customers, and fight for our employees. As leaders, we must not focus on the uncertainty but on the transformational opportunity that lies before us. Let’s transform our business culture, together!