During SOCi’s recent webinar – A Localized Marketing Response Plan to Address COVID-19 Outbreak, we got a lot of great questions from brand marketers on how they should be communicating to consumers through COVID-19. We’ve compiled all of the questions and their answers, in case you have similar thoughts throughout this pandemic. Over the next few weeks, SOCi will be hosting other webinars around the COVID-19 outbreak and how it affects your localized marketing strategy. As we get more questions, we will continue to add them to this Q&A blog so you can stay up to date with the latest information.
If you’re interested in joining one of our upcoming webinars, check out our schedule here. While we’re all in this time of crisis, it’s important to come together and learn how we can best serve the community and consumers. These questions may answer some of your most burning questions.
1. Should I focus all of my business’s social media posts around COVID-19, or can I post about other things as well? For example, the first day of Spring is coming up. Should I stray away from this?
The focus does not have to be COVID-19, but it is the elephant in the room and needs to be addressed. If it isn’t, you run the risk of sounding either tone-deaf, oblivious, or out-of-touch. All marketing can be amended in light of what is happening, not scuttled, but edited to reflect the new reality we are all facing.
2. What should restaurants or other businesses be doing that are switching to curbside or delivery only?
Whether you are a chain restaurant or a local franchise business, now would be a good time to have curbside and delivery available, if possible. Social media and local listings are the best ways to promote these new changes. For instance, you can video an employee bringing curbside to a customer, and placing the delivery outside of the car to ensure that social distancing is being practiced. Additionally, Google is allowing businesses to include other critical information on the listings, like whether your business is offering take-out or delivery. This is not generally permitted per GMB guidelines, but it will be for the foreseeable future.
During this time, it’s also important to make your consumers feel connected. To highlight that you are still open, you can show images of the food being made, or a manager cleaning the facility to ensure it’s sanitized. If your business is hurting financially, you can also think of promotions that would benefit both your business and the consumer. You could promote gift cards and offer promotions with buying a gift card and reduced prices.
3. As tax preparers how should we message that we are here to help?
Whether you are a tax preparer or work at a grocery store, you have to get the message out that you are here for your consumers. Everyone is facing different struggles during this pandemic, and it’s crucial that your consumers know that they can count on your business.
As a tax preparer, you may want to reassure your consumers that you are dedicated to answering their questions and frequently looking for updates from the government. On the other hand, as a grocery store employee, you can confirm that your business will do its best to remain stocked during this process and provide the safest experience possible for consumers.
4. Are there any ideas to keep senior consumers that are not on social media engaged?
Make sure that you are still posting the kind of signage you need outside of your business. You want to make sure you keep any confusion to a minimum. If you provide takeout and delivery options, make sure that is clearly marked outside your business as well.
On the other hand, if you work at a senior living center – make sure you provide them updates in other more traditional ways, versus just social. You can deliver a note to their door providing them with new updates and regulations, and also include additional signage throughout the facility. To help increase your visibility among seniors, let them know where your business is also visible online, whether it’s an email address or social media page.
5. What kind of content should we be posting on social media?
As mentioned previously, it’s crucial to stay active on social media throughout this time – we’re in a land of unknown. Many consumers have a lot of extra time on their hands right now, and will be spending it on social media. Your brand can connect with its consumers by providing tips on how to stay active during quarantine, or how to keep their kids entertained. Not all of the social media content has to be directly related to your business at this time. As long as you are connecting with consumers and making them feel secure, you are doing your job for the time being.
Check back in soon for more questions that other brand marketers are having during COVID-19! You’re not alone. At SOCi, we are here to help you and provide you with the most up to date information!
Additionally, to serve as a resource for our multi-location business audience, we wanted to share some other relevant industry blogs that we’ve found through our research. We’ll continue to update this list.
- Twitter: Twitter Provides Examples of Positive Brand Communications Amid the COVID-10 Pandemic
- Forbes: Fitness Goes to Social Media During COVID-19 Outbreak
- Current: How to prepare for COVID-19 as a social media manager
- Gartner: CMOs must shift strategies amid coronavirus threat