5 Tips to Communicate Effectively on Social Media During COVID-19

In the wake of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to communicate well and often with customers and community members. Social media is a low- or no-cost method for keeping the lines of communication open, even during a crisis.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when communicating with customers via social media while navigating the impact of COVID-19:

  1. Engage as often as you can. Although you are likely very busy, it is still crucial to find the time to connect with customers. Updates on local news, ways your business is adapting to the crisis, well wishes for the community and advice for other businesses or customers, especially as it relates to your industry, is excellent content to keep your social media pages active.
  2. Respond to comments. Ensure that you are responding to every customer comment, post and inquiry you receive through your social channels. Especially if there are questions about how your business is handling safety and health requirements, be as reassuring and communicative as possible.
  3. Show your support for your community. In your messaging, express that your business is there for the community, providing helpful resources and support for individuals or businesses. Access the human side of your business and show you care.
  4. Avoid controversy. In times of crisis, emotions are running high. Your business may be struggling and your livelihood may feel like it is on the line. Despite this, it is vital to maintain your calm on social media, and avoid blame, anger or getting drawn into arguments, even on your personal pages. Avoid any language that can be perceived as political or insensitive.
  5. Act as an outlet for information. Encourage your customers to ask questions and stay in contact.  For example, if a customer leaves a question via comment on a Facebook post, you can continue the conversation by saying, “Thank you for letting us know, we always appreciate your questions and we’d like to discuss this with you further. Here is our contact info so we can connect with you further.”

As a business owner, you need to be compassionate, mindful and sensitive on social media. You also need to be accessible and responsive as customers reach out with concerns, and proactive about sharing ways your business is responding and adapting to the situation.

The more your nurture those existing relationships, the easier it will be to leverage them in the future when things stabilize. Count on Allegra for more effective ways to communicate with customers.

 

Tips to Focus on Existing Customer-Partners During COVID-19

One thing our current situation has done is make the first principle of marketing clearer than ever: focus on your existing customers.

When small businesses think about marketing, they often think of it as a tool to attract new customers. But as we grapple with a pandemic and a turbulent economy, in many ways existing customers are much more valuable.

How can you use marketing to enhance your relationships with your current customers? What else can you offer them as an additional product or service? Can you speed up your processes or sell more with a bulk discount? Can you encourage them to plan ahead and commit to services in the longer term, when wallets might be less tight?

Analyze your current customers

If you haven’t spent time digging into the makeup of your core customer base, your repeat clients and higher spenders, take the time now to gather data.  What do they buy and when? How much do they spend? Are they motivated by discounts? Do they willingly pay full price or a combination of both? Use what you learn to inform your COVID-19 marketing efforts to your existing customers.

Make them feel special

Check in personally with your customers and ask how they are holding up. See if there is anything you can do to support their business, and find a way to show how much you value them. This can include useable tips for other businesses also struggling through the impact of COVID-19, or just an update on what’s been useful for your business and an offer to share any strategies.

Stay top of mind

This can be an electronic or print newsletter, or a short email or call checking in. No need to be too promotional or push hard for a sale; aim to be clear, genuine and concise. Thank them for their continued support. Give an example of strategies you’ve seen working for other businesses. Share what is giving you inspiration during these challenging times. Share anything you or others are doing to support the community or individuals in need.

Connect on social media

Now is the time to use your social media presence to connect with your existing customers. Connect with them on LinkedIn and engage on their social channels. Ask for their opinions and questions on posts. At a time when so many people are cooped up at home, social media is an outlet not only for personal connections, but for businesses to continue to maintain relationships with local partners.

Take this opportunity to put a human face on your business however you can, and that starts with marketing to the people who know your business best – your existing customers. If you’re looking for more ways to reach out to existing customers, count on Allegra for helpful tips and ideas.