Social media is your friend during this unprecedented time. For all the knocks it often gets, social media is our new normal, and we turn to it for connecting with loved ones and absorbing the latest news updates.
Staying genuine, transparent and in the moment, you have the power via social media to be there for your customers. Be there with information. Be there in real time. Simply be there.
Your audience is not only your customers. It’s also your employees. Your friends. Your family. Your son’s baseball coach. Your daughter’s science teacher. Suddenly the world is a lot smaller, thanks to social media. Use your power responsibly and effectively.
Be OK being transparent
Be OK saying you don’t have all the answers
Be OK saying you have challenges
Be OK saying we’re figuring this out along with you
Organization leaders are now your influencers. Let the CEOs, VPs, marketing managers use their position to communicate with your audience. Now more than ever, your audience wants to feel that you are truly part of their community. That the distance between the company president and the hourly worker is slim to none. No one will shame you for oversharing; they will turn away from your brand if they feel you left them in the dark.
You have the responsibility to be part of the solution. No, no one can dine in restaurants now, but restaurants can offer takeout. Support those small businesses around you. Lift up those that need a boost. Perhaps you are not in the restaurant field, but you can use your voice for the common good. Be the brand that does not use this international crisis to overtly grow your business. Be the brand that unites your customers, your employees in a common goal. No one will remember you for having an exponential profit during this time. People will remember what you did to help them and those around them. Do not treat this crisis as a “marketing opportunity,” and do not opportunistically link yourselves to the health scare.
But it’s OK to be successful without the bragging rights. People need jobs. People need products. It’s collectively understood that the business world must continue and persevere. It’s how you communicate that need that will show your brand’s promise.
Recently I needed (largely wanted) to order food for my family. Did I go to one restaurant’s website first? No, I went to Facebook to decide where to pick up from. Social groups are forming that share local restaurants’ carryout and delivery options. On another front, people are taking in pets as fosters from local shelters while the shelters must limit visitors. SOCIAL MEDIA IS YOUR FRIEND. Use it.