If you actively manage your business’s social media accounts, the chances are that you are familiar with your customers’ expectations and have a good idea of what to expect and how to respond. However, being in the midst of a global pandemic can throw all of this out of the window. For business owners, this means priorities must shift, and they may need to make changes to the services they are offering or close temporarily. Naturally, with changes happening quickly, customers will have questions, prompting a surge of comments and messages, and with global events and business changes, post content must change as well.
Managing a large volume of customer queries along with a shifting scope of work, all while keeping on top of business changes and global developments, can be exceedingly overwhelming. However, some things can be done to ensure that your social media needs are well-managed, keeping your customers informed, and setting you up for success.
Stay Connected To Your Online Community
In this unprecedented situation, it is critical that you remain as transparent as possible with your customers and keep lines of communication open. The first thing you need to do is update your social media accounts with any changes to your business hours or operations. Keeping your hours up to date and your customers informed of any closures ensures that they know when your products or services are available. Now more than ever, your customers are looking to you, and this presents a unique opportunity to truly be there for them when it counts.
Your customers will remember your actions during this time, so it is important to be responsive and engage with them wherever possible. Make sure to post frequently about any updates such as changes to products, services, or business operations such as offering delivery or curbside pick-up. Now is not the time to keep your customers guessing. One way is to make sure your inbox is configured correctly so that you can answer any questions. Also, consider setting up Chat A.I. so that you can rapidly respond to frequently asked questions on your website.
Make a Communication Plan
While some businesses have been forced to close due to the pandemic, others are staying open but operating differently now. In some cases, such as food delivery services and online product vendors, businesses are seeing a surge in work. As companies are busy trying to survive or serve their customers through new creative channels, customers will still have questions. Changes in business hours or services can create confusion and uncertainty, meaning a massive influx of communication from customers, all while you are trying your best to keep up. Though the situation is ever-changing, you should have a plan in place to manage your social media at this time.
Identify communication strategies tailored to the conditions your business and customers are facing and decide where your efforts are most critical.
Think about your goals at this time. Should you be focusing on reputation, community engagement, or sales? Make sure that your messaging is focused on strategies that will generate success for your business, as this will give you direction and allow you to lead the conversation. What does your business look like going forward? If you think you will need to make changes such as pivoting to online sales or delivery services, you should set this up immediately so that your customers aren’t stuck waiting for your products or services to be available.
Review Scheduled Posts
Typically, social media calendars are planned in advance; however, due to COVID-19, some types of posts may no longer be appropriate. For instance, upcoming events have been canceled, and specific posts involving sensitive topics might not be viewed as empathetic in the current situation. Make sure to look into scheduled posts to ensure that they are still in line with your new social media strategies, and consider pausing scheduled posting altogether.
With your customers staying home, there will be an influx of comments and messages, so you should make sure that you are active in your communication and posting. If you do keep some posts scheduled, make sure to review them for any necessary changes, but also make sure to create new posts for any major updates or breaking information. Your customers are looking to your online presence as the primary source of information about your business right now, so it is crucial that all of your messaging is accurate and that no outdated or inappropriate information is mistakenly posted.
Support Your Social Media Staff
Though employees are working from home, offering some freedom in scheduling, they may need to manage other responsibilities such as caring for children home from school, on top of their social media work. For employees like these, scheduling flexibility is greatly beneficial and appreciated. Still, it is also advantageous for your clients, as adjusted and flexible schedules allow for their social media to be monitored nearly around the clock. Having eyes on accounts for a larger portion of the day allows for proactive posting, ensuring that messaging is on-point, relevant, and empathetic.
At times like these, it is crucial to consider your social media team’s mental health alongside everything else. Consider turning your conference calls into video chats to bring everyone together, and focus on promoting more communication in this manner. Many people feel very isolated and are stuck indoors, so having an opportunity to see their team members’ faces and socialize can go a long way. Overall, prioritize positive communication and support for your social media team – now is the time to be there for each other.
Get Outside Help from V Digital Services
Managing your social media during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging, but don’t let the burden overwhelm you and cause you to lose communication with your customers. Consider bringing on additional help to get through this time. Bringing on additional experts can reduce your stress and help prevent the workload from becoming too much to manage. If you need additional social media resources, our team is available to provide support. We have the skillset and tools to keep your clients moving forward and engaging with their customers. Contact us today to learn more about our social media services or to schedule a consultation.