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Remember to Communicate in uncertain times

It’s been a really interesting few weeks looking at how people are communicating with their communities on social media. Some are avoiding the subject of Coronavirus altogether, while others are responding with panic and not considering their customers, staff or business strategy. However, there are some who are doing a great job, sharing a good balance of concise updates and useful information, while still focusing on their core business.

At the moment, it’s a little like we’re in limbo waiting for what is likely to be a few weeks of slowed footfall as we come up to April. Many people we know are taking the necessary precautions for their business, this includes only having face-to-face meetings when absolutely necessary as let’s face it, a lot can be done via Skype or Google Hangouts now.

One of our clients Ebb&Flow – a dedicated Yoga, Pilates and Barre studio, has dealt with it incredibly well. Addressing the matter early on, they have continued to engage their audience via email, in person, on the phone and via social media. They’ve reassured students with regards to the precautions taken in the studio, kept people informed of any changes in line with government guidance and carried out additional deep cleans of the premises.

Founder Jill Simpson commented, “Taking care of the wellbeing of our students and team is of the highest importance to me. Without one the other doesn’t exist so the welfare for all is crucial at this time. We have and will continue to be open with our community and urge them to come forward and ask questions at any time. We have a plan in place and are working closely with Kitch and our internal team to ensure the right messages are delivered. So make a plan and remember to communicate, that’s all people want.”

So don’t sit back and hope for the best, your business will soon be asked what you’re doing to inform and educate your community. Get a plan in place to ensure your customers are reassured and retain confidence in your brand.

Here are our top tips:

1. Take action, put extra precautions in place. Ensure there are clear guidelines for handwashing available, provide additional antibacterial sprays/gel/wipes where relevant and follow government guidelines.
2. Signpost best practice advice around your business to make people feel safe and encourage them to follow the necessary precautions.
3. Talk to your team, they are the first point of contact in your business. Make them aware of what actions you’re taking so they can confidently and concisely communicate this further.
4. Keep your community informed via relevant marketing channels, including mailers and social media posts. Large brands such as Bill’s are already informing customers and are one step ahead in their communications.
5. Ensure you have a plan of action in place in case you need to close your business and consider strategies to diversify your product or service. Prepare a statement that can be uploaded to your website communicating these changes, all enquires from social media can then be directed to this page.
6. Remember to thank your customers for their support, it won’t go unnoticed.

Even if your business is quieter at this time, keep your customers engaged. Humans are social beings and at a time we’re likely to be seeing fewer people, will spend more time on social media. Take advantage of this, by posting regularly and utilise the time to engage online.

Use this opportunity to be more inventive on social media, maximise the tools available on your most engaged platform. Perhaps host a weekly meet-up on Facebook, a quiz on Instagram stories or an online masterclass for people to join. It keeps your brand front of mind, allows people to still be social and builds rapport with both existing and potential customers.

We’re working with our clients to ensure they are informed, taking necessary action and acting in line with their industry peers. While as always bringing creative new ways for them to engage on social media to the table. Internally, as we have the luxury of being able to do our job from anywhere, we have decided to work from home starting from next week. We will also be making the most of the incredible technology available to us, by moving meetings online where possible. We will still be operating normal working hours.

Let’s all work together, be sensible and continue to support our favourite local businesses.

If you need some support and fancy a chat drop us an email to [email protected].

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