With the coronavirus pandemic spreading rapidly throughout the world we are all facing unprecedented uncertainty, fear and anxiety.
Since the UK went on lockdown this week, we must all work from home, juggling childcare and home schooling alongside keeping your business going, supporting clients and co-working with your other half.
There are many questions around what to do right now, how to run your business, communicate with integrity on social media, and whether to carry on marketing and selling at all.
It all feels overwhelming.
You are not alone. Many businesses, from global brands to tiny solopreneurs, have been left unsure what and how to communicate during this current crisis. Many have gone into complete hibernation, halting all social media and online communications since the pandemic started, others have continued to post scheduled content as if nothing has changed, and a few have managed to find the right balance to stay in touch with their clients through this difficult time.
Business must go on, so how can you ensure your comms are in alignment with the current with your audience, providing helpful and useful content and continue to communicate with your clients and followers? Here are my tips on how to communicate on social media during coronavirus;
KEEP IT AUTHENTIC
No-one knows your brand better than you. Now is the time to lean into your brand values and use them to inform your content and messaging.
If your brand voice is usually upbeat and peppy then it is absolutely appropriate to continue to spread uplifting and positive messages. For brands who offer empathy and support use your posts to offer help and understanding. If your feeds are inspirational you can still provide joy and light to your audience visually and ensure your captions are carefully considered to match the mood.
LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE
The situation is fast moving, and people are at different stages of processing the effect on them personally. Be mindful of where your audience is at as they shift towards a new way of life, different financial circumstances, working from home, maintaining physical and mental wellbeing.
Check in with your audience to understand where they are at, and how to respond. You will need to judge carefully before marketing or launching sales promotions to ensure that you do not appear to be taking advantage or using the crisis to profit. Try to match your tone to that of your audience to help them relate, and continue building your know, like and trust factor.
When selling, think about what you can offer that would help and benefit your clients most, think about the challenges and struggles they face and match your messaging to their current needs.
BE THE EXPERT
Your audience already look to you for support and guidance, here is your opportunity to step up and lead them. Keep your content relevant, helpful and beneficial to your audience and use your experience, knowledge and skill to reassure and offer advice (remembering to fact check before sending anything out).
Social proof such as testimonials and reviews from clients you have had great experiences working with you in the past, or current clients you are getting results with right now will help to secure your expert status and build confidence and trust in your brand at the time you need it most.
Whatever message you are ready to share, DO SHARE. You have the chance to strengthen your online brand at a time when everyone is online looking for help and gain the edge over competitors who may be slow to react or not posting at all.
And when this crisis ends, as it will, you will be in the strongest possible position to move forward.