Trying to assess your marketing during a crisis?
Whether it’s a global crisis like we experienced in 2020, or a smaller-scale local crisis, it’s important to be upfront and open about how you’re handling a difficult situation.
Businesses that make it through crises don’t just shut down and wait for it to blow over. They put plans in place, make adjustments to their marketing strategy, and most importantly, keep communicating with customers and potential customers.
With the right marketing and communication, your business won’t just survive a crisis – it can flourish and grow.
Social media is one of the best tools you can use to do this as it’s the way to quickly and directly engage with your potential customers.
In this article, you’ll learn how to use social to engage and reassure your audience during a crisis.
Adjust your social media plans
The first thing you need to do as soon as a crisis arises is to pause your social media plans. If you’ve got campaigns lined up and posts scheduled to publish, stop them for now.
However much work you’ve put into your current plans, carrying on as if nothing is happening isn’t a good idea. At best it will make you seem out of touch with the world, at worst people will lose trust in your brand or business, and even be offended or upset by your posts.
Once you’ve paused your current social media plans you should spend some time reassessing your strategy and goals. Your priorities as a business have probably changed, so you’ll need some new plans to get through the crisis. And one of the key considerations should be how you’re going to keep potential customers engaged and reassured.
Share useful, supportive, or uplifting content
A crisis doesn’t mean that you have to stop your marketing efforts altogether. Adjust the tone of your posts and focus on sharing content that’s useful, supporting, or uplifting.
You don’t want to seem like you’re taking advantage of the situation, so don’t force your brand into posting about things that aren’t relevant. But think about how your potential customers might be affected by the crisis.
What are they struggling with? What advice or support can your brand or business offer them?
For example, throughout Spring 2020, many brands focused on motivating their audience through the restrictions by talking about mental wellbeing, or offering more practical advice on topics like working from home or homeschooling kids.
Just find a crossover between what potential customers are going through, and whether you can offer tips, inspiration, or motivation to them.
Post what your company is doing
Another way to engage with potential customers is to keep sharing what your company is doing, how you’re responding to the crisis internally.
For example, you could cover the impact on your team and what you’re doing to support them in a difficult situation.
You don’t need to go into detail about your internal workings, but it’s a good idea to acknowledge the impact on your employees.
This is important for building trust with your audience and demonstrating the values of your business. People will connect more on social media with brands that show a human side and demonstrate that they care about the people that work for them, as well as the business and customers.
Keep your details up to date
Alongside communicating with potential customers through your social media posts, it’s also important to keep your account details up to date.
Use your profile to let people know exactly what you’re doing and how — add any changes to opening hours or services through the crisis. Make it clear how and when you’ve adjusted your details so that people know that this information is up to date and relevant.
For example, in addition to updating your profile information on Facebook, you could pin a post to the top of your page that covers your current opening hours or how your business is operating, and what services are available during the crisis.
On Instagram, you could save your latest details on a story highlight so it’s easy to find.
Direct people to more information
While social media is a great way to keep your potential customers up to date quickly, it’s not the place to share in-depth information about how you’re handling a crisis.
When you’ve got more details or lots of possible questions and issues to deal with, use your social posts to direct potential customers to your website.
Use a detailed FAQ page that’s been recently updated and has questions relevant to the crisis at the very top so they’re easy to find. It could be worthwhile to set up a knowledge base that covers everything they might want to know to make your customers more autonomous.
Providing a useful, in-depth resource that covers all the details of your response to a crisis and how you’re going to be operating will help reduce the amount of time spent answering the same questions over and over.
Plus it will give your potential customers an easy way to find out what they need to feel reassured and more likely to convert into signing up or purchasing.
Engage with your followers
Even if your team is under a lot of pressure, it’s important to prioritize actively engaging with your followers on social media. Keep an eye on comments and interactions and respond to them as often as you can. If they have complaints or concerns then direct them to your customer service channels.
It’s important that it appears you are on top of your social media accounts. Continuing to post regular content is a good start, but unanswered questions and lack of engagement will make it seem like you don’t value your followers or you’re not dealing with the situation well.
You can respond when appropriate so that your brand seems engaged and you’re able to build up trust with potential customers. It will also help you to tackle any problems head-on.
Monitor the situation
Crises often evolve or shift over time and the conversation changes. Reassessing your social media strategy at the start isn’t enough – you need to monitor the situation and review your approach on a regular basis.
Track the crisis as much as you can and also look at what your target audience and followers are sharing or talking about. This will help you to create social media content that’s relevant and engaging throughout.
Overall it’s important to use social media marketing to communicate effectively and clearly with potential customers, but also monitor the conversations and concerns that they have. Adjust your plans and keep reviewing them, so that you keep your potential customers engaged, but also provide all the information and details that they might need throughout the crisis.
It’s important to be aware of how to market during a crisis.
The unfortunate truth is that issues will arise in our world and your community – and you don’t want to be one of the companies ridiculed for handling things poorly.
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Have you tried something that worked – or didn’t – when marketing during a crisis?
Let us know in a comment!