How Small Business Should Communicate with Their Audience during Pandemic

    This is a tough time for everyone. Even if your business or company is doing fine, this is probably because you either adapted very well or because of the fact that your niche was safe from the consequences of the massive lockdowns.

    Everyday lives of many people have changed drastically; it’s no longer clear what exactly is normal. Hopefully, it is about to change, but still many of us have anxiety and insecurities about our health and financial stability. If you are lucky enough to have your own business, you still must be thinking about the best tactics to use now not to lose contact with your audience. Even if we have limited possibilities physically, there are tons of things we can de online.

    We are going to talk about how small businesses should communicate with their audiences during crises when everyone is especially sensitive. Saying just a single wrong word can make you come across as unsympathetic. Using the outbreak to advertise your products can make you look exploitative. So there are a few things to remember when engaging with your audience during a crisis like this one.

    Discuss the situation but not too much

    Many small business owners have probably thought about it a lot. Should they change the way they engage with their audience? Should they approach marketing differently? Is there a way to keep everything as normal?

     If your industry has been impacted directly, obviously, you cannot avoid addressing the situation. It is necessary both because you need the support of your audience and you want to announce what’s different in your interaction with the customers.

    For example, the coronavirus outbreak has clearly affected restaurant businesses. Restaurant chains cannot be silent about the whole situation, otherwise, they will lose a lot of money. Obviously, they have to announce the delivery, pickup or other options still available during the period of social isolation.

    You may want to pause active marketing plans for later. Maybe you might want to change or postpone sending your marketing emails and wait for a better time for paid ads. Whatever you choose, you still have to address the new reality. But you have to do it with sympathy and honesty.

    It’s essential to have clear communication. And as a small business, you need to have a channel where you communicate all the updates and address issues and changes that you are actively using. One has to clarify what’s different in the way they provide services and how customers can contact them if the physical location isn’t available. Your professional website should contain all the relevant information. Social media is also a great place for that.

    Also, you can use it to share some crisis-related content. You probably shouldn’t overuse this topic, but it’s crucial to respect the public attitude and be mindful of the current climate.

    Provide value

    During the time like this, it’s important to provide content that is valuable.

    If you know the information that can help people cope with the crisis – share it. You can spread a positive message or something that would help to lift up the mood. Practical information and insights can be incredibly valuable both for regular people and other businesses.

    Make sure that your content is useful, relevant, and helps your customers cope with their anxiety. How can your messaging or product address your audience’s pain points during this period? Answering this question can help you to change your strategy in order to make it timelier and thus more effective.

    Open a discussion, share links to helpful resources and positive messages. These are some ways you can bring value to your content. Just try not to be too aggressive with marketing your products even when they have value during the health crisis like this one.  By doing so, you will surely see the increased loyalty of your existing customers and expanded audience.

    Be honest

    Lying to your customers is never good, but during challenging times it is especially important to provide authenticity. Although that may not be the main focus of many social content marketing strategies, right now it is crucial.

    You can use social platforms to share updates with your customers and changes that are taking place. Don’t be afraid to be honest about difficulties, we are all in this together. Transparency helps to build trust, and that is incredibly important in your communication with the audience.

    Ask your audience

    It’s not just you who is struggling. Every person from the audience is going through changes and that’s not often easy.

    Small businesses are by their nature enjoying more trust of their customers. That means that it’s also easier to provide emotional support to your audience. You can create a sense of connectivity through your messaging on social media that is so much needed in this challenging time. Especially if we consider that everyone is social-distancing.

    Sometimes a simple question can help you get rid of a headache. If you are not sure what kind of content would be most appropriate and appreciated by your audience, just ask. This way you avoid spending your time on an idea that may not work. Asking for customer’s opinion is an effective digital brand management tactic both when there is a crisis and when there is none.

    Also, by doing you so, you show your audience that you care and respect them. That’s something that we all as humans want.

    And, of course, be thankful

    During the crisis, every small input is very important. And you are probably feeling it yourself. If so, show your gratefulness. Financial instability made a lot of people insecure, but still, they support and return to your business, and that is beautiful.

    Show how thankful you are and make it in an authentic way.

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