How to Stay Connected to Your Community During COVID-19 LockdownIvy Gutierrez
Many businesses have had to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation is hitting the entertainment and hospitality industries extremely hard, but there are many other industries on the line. If you are usually hands-on with your clients and customers, this sudden shift may have thrown you out of your shoes.
Your business may either be closed, or functioning remotely, but if this was caused by a pandemic, this situation is not natural to you or your customers. And now more than ever, it is important to stay in touch with them. Restaurants or stores need to keep their brand awareness and remind customers that they are available for pickup, delivery, or shipping of their goods. Museums and galleries need to stay in touch with visitors and find alternative ways of getting support and financing they depend on..
Direct Contact via Email or Phone
Depending on whether you are contacting your clients or customers, and what kind of relationship you have with them, consider either giving them a call — or at least — shooting them an email.
It’s a crazy world out there, and even if you have supporters or clientele you can usually rely on, they also have their lives turned upside down. Call them, ask how they are doing, thank them for the support they have shown to your business or organisation in the past years. Ask them what they need. Maybe you can help. Proactive communication is key, and if it is direct, even better.
If you are sending emails, stop for a second to consider what information your organization can provide that is uniquely useful to your consumers. There is no need to email someone to remind them to wash their hands. But, if your business is offering expedited services during the pandemic, or you have a similar change – make that loud and clear in your email.
Update Your Website
Make sure the information on your website is correct, up-to-date and clear. You should comb through it and see if there are any specials or campaigns that need to be placed on hold or replaced with new information.
If your business is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, consider incorporating a call for action in your announcement. Your customers may be interested to know when you will be opening again, so invite them to sign up for updates or stay in touch with you via social media.
Use Social Media
In 2020, there is no way you were able to avoid using social media before. But at this time you can be sure that all of your clients and customers are even more online than they normally would be. Use that to your advantage.
Think about the ways you could reach your clients that you normally don’t use. TikTok, a relatively young social network created for sharing videos, has more engagement per post than Instagram or Twitter. 60% of users are female and 80% of users are between 16 and 34 years old. If that sounds like your audience, perhaps it is time to look for them on TikTok?
If your audience is primarily on Facebook, have you considered using Facebook Groups to communicate with them? Many small businesses have their own chat groups for their customers. This allows the customers to have a look “behind the scenes” and it is also a fantastic way to really get to know your clientele. If you don’t have a group yet, consider making one and invite them to hang out with you virtually there.
Think about ways to spread brand awareness by offering your customers new online content. Consider making a Facebook Frame that shows support for your organization, or sends a message you care about. If your customers are video chatting these days, perhaps you can provide them with some cool chat backgrounds they can use?
If you have visually appealing products that you can sell online, perhaps it is time to start selling them on Instagram. You don’t need professional pictures to show your items. Most smart phones these days can take really good photos, and there’s loads of tutorials online to help you make the best of it. You usually just need good lighting (sunlight is best, but not direct, think mornings and afternoons) and a clear background (you can use a clean table cloth) are enough.