By: Shane Biegnaar, The Bizniz Media
“How do we stay connected to our customers during the COVID-19 pandemic?” that’s the big question being asked by business owners and entrepreneurs all around the world.
COVID-19 has affected businesses globally, doesn’t matter whether they are big or small business, start-ups or corporations. Everyone has been affected to some degree and extent in terms of this global pandemic.
What started as a news story in China and other parts of the world has now landed right on our own doorsteps. Many businesses are now feeling the pinch as well as the pressures that this global pandemic has brought to their customers, suppliers and own business operations.
But it’s times like these where businesses need to adapt and innovate, as well as staying connected and relevant with their customers.
We cover a few points and suggestions of how businesses can stay relevant, stay top of mind as well as continue to communicate with their customers as well as suppliers and staff.
Firstly we need to start with understanding where our customers are spending their time online right now. A lot of people have time on their hands as well as lots of people are on lockdown are at home and they are finding themselves spending more and more time on the internet. Whether it is on news platforms, blogging websites or simply consuming content via social media.
A global report sent out recently discussed how there has been a global increase in consumers using social media platforms during lockdown.
The report mentions one of the big increases were seen in YouTube videos consumption around the world, as well as more and more people joining the TikTok social media platform. So how do brands and businesses tap into those markets in order to stay relevant and connected.
There has also been an increase in the amount of time people spend on Facebook as well as Instagram social media platforms. That is to be able to connect with family and friends around the world.
Once we understand where our customers are spending their time and how we can actually produce content; whether that is in the form of video, audio as well as social media posts to stay relevant and stay connected to our customers.
Secondly we would need to use this time to actually build relationships with our customers; whether that is old customers, whether that is pending new customers or whether that is existing customers. It’s always harder getting new business and acquiring new customers but it’s very important to be connected to your existing customers. So how do you stay in touch with them?
How are you using social media platforms at this time when your customers are online to actually address their current problems that they are facing? A lot of people are at home, a lot of people have time on their hands, and people are looking for forms of entertainment through content.
So how’s your business using these platforms to actually address customers problems during this time? It’s important that businesses should not be involved in hard selling and also aware that businesses are not going to be able to dispatch orders or make physical sales during these times.
Thirdly we would like to touch on the question of “How do you use this time to actually increase and build your social media followers?”
There has been a noticeable number of brands doing online competitions where they allow their customers to enter a competition via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to win online vouchers, hampers and also other prizes such as airtime and data.
And these campaigns have worked quite well as it’s been shared highly across Facebook as well as Twitter and it also gets people engaging and speaking to your brand and business. Brands have seen big increase in their likes, followers and engagements using this method of competitions.
Customers are also sharing these competitions with friends and family and therefore amplifying your social media campaigns through those channels.
Lastly, we should use this time to focus on your strategic marketing plans for the next six or twelve months. But before you look forward, you need to analyze your past marketing efforts. Understand which platforms have been working well for your business.
Which platforms have you seen generate more connections and engagements?
Which platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn have added the most to leads and sales?
Which of your content formats and post have the highest reach?
Which of those marketing campaigns have actually worked well and which can you improve?
Next would be looking at what is your forward view in terms of your advertising and marketing strategy. How do you look at what is happening during this pandemic and how do you plan to innovate and adapt to new social media platforms and add to these new formats of content?
Artists and musicians have been doing live concerts and live streaming events across social media. So how do you get your brand and business to tap into those audiences and into those channels of entertainment but also remaining relevant as a brand?
It’s important to understand which changes are happening and taking place right now. Think about how consumer behavior has changed during these times. How does your business bring peace of mind to your consumer and how does your brand continue to communicate to those consumer during these time and beyond.
Use this time to add value to your consumer, use this time to find ways to entertain them and inform them. But lastly let’s build lasting relationships with our customers whether it’s old, new or existing customers.
About Shane Biegnaar
Shane Biegnaar, founder and entrepreneur of The Bizniz Media, focused on developing small and medium enterprise businesses through their launch, growth and scale phase’s using digital advertising and social media marketing. Currently head of eCommerce at Blue Falcon Group for www.studio-88.co.za
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