The situation that we’re all facing in light of COVID-19 is one that we were unprepared for and are still grappling with as we try to understand and acclimate to this new normal. Not only are we having to make huge adjustments personally, but we’re also having to make them in our work-lives and for our brands.
Here at AGAIN, we have had numerous discussions around how each client’s brand strategy should evolve in the wake of what the world is facing today, and those recommendations keep shifting as new information, concerns, and updates come to light.
While each client is unique and therefore necessitates its own specific approach and recommendation, there are a few key items to consider when managing a crisis such as the Coronavirus.
Consider how your business is involved in the industries being impacted by the crisis at hand. Today, we have to consider not only how many different industries are being affected, but also, how customers’ social habits are being changed to fit today’s new normal.
If your company is part of the industries being impacted or your messaging contradicts with how customers are interacting socially (think “social distancing”), it’s important to quickly come up with a plan to pivot your communications.
It is important now more than ever to ensure your content does not come off as tone deaf and socially unaware. Provide support, education, and most importantly, a human element of understanding to help be there for your customers in the face of the crisis at hand.
That being said, consider following Pinterest’s guidance and be mindful of what your brand has authority to speak on, and consider how your content is adding value to consumers who are scared, feeling a sense of loneliness, and dealing with this crisis first-hand.
Social Listening + Monitor and Response
To maintain a “human” presence across your social properties, it is vital to implement or enhance your current monitor and response strategy. We always recommend our clients take advantage of a social listening platform, but now more than ever, it is key to provide timely responses to your customers and understand customer perception of your brand in the wake of a crisis.
This feedback and perception should directly impact how you pivot and develop your new social strategy. When engaging, make sure to keep responses genuine, educational, and supportive. As Khoros, a content management and engagement platform, recommends,
“During a time of crisis, it’s important to understand the conversation surrounding the crisis itself, as well as the conversations surrounding your brand and your competitors in relation to the crisis. Social listening is a quick, easy way to get a pulse on this conversation.”
In regards to content and how you are managing your monitor and response process, consider any steps your company is taking to support those impacted by the current crisis.
In today’s state, can you share updates on how you are transitioning your factory output to better serve medical staff or communities in the fight against COVID-19? Do you have a press release sharing this information?
If so, quell customer concerns by sharing how your company is working towards finding a solution all while keeping employees and staff as safe as possible.
Last, it is important to consider your channel artwork in light of the crisis you or your customers are facing. Consider updating your artwork and/or messaging to align to industry updates and your overall brand strategy in the wake of a company or national crisis.
While brands should always have a crisis mitigation plan in place, there are events such as today’s pandemic that leave us feeling unprepared on many levels.
We here at AGAIN want to help you engage and support your customers in today’s new normal. To discuss crisis management strategy, reach out to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org.