Digital channels are vital to communicate with the world and with your clients these days. Companies that invested in digital communication in the last few years can now benefit from that network and expertise. If you thought that Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram was something for people with too much time on their hands, you’ve probably come to regret that assumption. There is good news, though: even if you didn’t invest in social media or digital marketing before Corona, there are still many opportunities to start using them as of today.
This is a good time to communicate with your customers and your community. The virus is something that none of us can control so let’s focus on the things we can control. Communication with your customers is one of those things. It’s not the goal to go for short term sales with these tactics, try to play the long game. Focus on improving your reputation. I’m sure the following tactics can help you in achieving this strategy.
Here are five digital media tactics that could work perfectly right now.
1. Small and personalized digital conference rooms
This is a good moment to dive into your address book and your customer lists. Maybe you can bring together 5 or 10 customers in a zoom meeting or Google Hangout to discuss the impact of Corona on their life and see how you can offer value in that situation. These small meetings can also be used to share an update on your business and how you are re-inventing yourself. If you are in real estate, maybe you have figured out a way to organize virtual visits to certain properties. A small digital customer meeting could be a good moment to share this. If you own a restaurant, maybe this is the time to talk about the obstacles you had to conquer in turning your business into a takeaway hub. If you are a B2B service company, listen to the challenges people face. It will help you to better understand how you can provide value during these strange times. By sharing your personal story, showing empathy for your clients and sharing your positive, innovate mindset, you will create a positive impact on your personality and your brand.
2. Live stream your business
Millions of people are stuck in their houses and usage of social media is booming. Live streaming can be an interesting opportunity. Here are some examples. Restaurants that sell takeaway menus can share the menu of the day in a short daily live stream. It’s like organising your own virtual news bulletin to share the day’s lunch special. Imagine the impact if hungry people see you prepare a delicious dish in a professional kitchen. Social selling boomed in China when small businesses started offering their products via live streaming. Even farmers showed products they had available and people were buying them online in real time. For many years, TV channels have been running product demonstration programmes. If we like those products we can order them via a telephone number or a website. For centuries, people went to the public market where market vendors promoted their products. Thanks to the live stream of Instagram or LinkedIn, you can now set up your own TV channel or virtual market place.
3. Even if your business is closed you can inspire your customers
Use social media channels to inspire your customers and add value to their lives. This is not the time for promotions or hard selling on social media. Try to understand the fears and hopes of your customers, then ask yourself how you can add value to this process. If your restaurant is closed maybe you can record videos for your customers showing how to prepare a daily lunch, or you can start a ‘cooking class for children’. If you run a garden center that is closed because of the corona restrictions, you can make videos to show people how they can tend their garden. Give them daily tips and tricks. Make a short video and post it on Facebook and Instagram. If you are still able to sell products, this could lead to an increase in sales. If selling your services is not an option right now this content will help you build a stronger brand reputation. Someday, the gates of the world will swing wide again. It’s a matter of being at the top of the list in the minds of your (potential) customers when that day comes. Giving them value even when you are closed increases your chances.
4. Large virtual events
These last few weeks I have given several presentations at large virtual events for my clients. These companies want to inspire their customers in an innovative way, adapted to the current context. I have seen enormous potential to reach a large audience through these virtual events. Many people have more time than before: they no longer get stuck in traffic, their workload may be lower or they are just too bored to take part in yet another zoom meeting. Last week, every event I joined had around 1,000 participants. A physical event offers the advantage of networking with your guests afterwards and creating some cool physical vibes. An online event gives you the opportunity to reach out to a large group of people. The additional cost of adding another guest is zero. I also noticed that afterwards people reach out more than ever to communicate about the event and the content. In a physical event, people stand up, have a drink and a nibble, and then they start to talk about football. After a digital event, they are alone with their thoughts and love to discuss them in a one-on-one setting. So if you’re hosting a virtual event and your account people are on hand then it’s the perfect moment to have a short call with some customers. Just ask them how they feel and if they liked the event.
5. One-on-one communication
Social media channels are great to reach a large audience but don’t underestimate the power of messaging tools like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. One-on-one conversations are a great opportunity to connect with your customers. Reach out to them – for starters, ask if they are healthy – but you can also share some content that you created for your social channels with individual customers. A private message gives you the opportunity to add a personalized note to the content. Imagine a chef who made a video on how to cook a certain recipe. Well, if you know a specific customer who is a big fan of this recipe you can always share the video via a personalized message. It’s not because a certain message is shared on social media that everyone has seen it, plus the power of a personalized message adds a lot of value to the content. This is also the time to congratulate certain people with the work they are doing. Show gratitude via personal messages whenever you have the opportunity. Reaching out to customers and people you know with value added messages, messages of gratitude or just to ask them how they are doing, will generate positive energy for you.