It seems like just yesterday the team were all together, tucked away in our little East Gosford office seemingly a million miles from the concern of a new virus found in Wuhan, China.
Fast forward to now. We are all working from home, locked in our respective houses with pets, plants and little humans as our new co-workers. The entire landscape of the corporate world has changed drastically over the past few weeks, with the miracle of technology making it possible for a fortunate few to continue working throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
Thankfully, we are included in that ever-shrinking group.
The role of ‘corporate storyteller’ has never been more important to a business; and the value of social media know-how has risen to invaluable. With government-imposed restrictions limiting our ways of connecting with each other, social platforms offer critical tools for easing our isolation and connecting with others in new ways.
This is of particular importance to businesses, many of whom have been faced with closing their doors to the public as the economy hints at a possible recession. Survival is top priority, making it increasingly difficult for companies to focus on long-term planning – especially when the reality might be that they have no future post-Coronavirus.
Suffice to say that these are, and will continue to be, trying times. But if we dig a little deeper under the surface, hidden beneath all the chaos are also opportunities for businesses to step up. Adapt or die, as they say.
However, many businesses will find the real challenge lies in ‘going virtual’ and still meeting your audience’s primal need for human connection.
When assessing your online communications strategies, there are a few considerations that might assist you in not only creating cut-through messaging, but also maintaining audience engagement well into the future.
First, it’s a good time to engage your staff in getting your message out. Remember, leadership is key right now, so send regular staff newsletters and create staff online Facebook Groups where staff can come together. Outline your strategies moving forward, and how you’re doing good for not only them, but too the cause and the community. Encourage them to share your posts, and utilise their connections to organically extend your reach beyond the current audience. Through the open sharing of information, you establish a support structure for your staff in these uncertain times and create a safe environment for them to connect with others, both within and outside of the company.
Second, consider how you can make your audience feel good in this challenging time. With majority of news feeds now focused on doom and gloom, try to create content relevant to your business that brightens up their day (even if only for a moment). For example, celebrities are building their following with live-streaming cooking classes, TV Networks are gaining market share by planning fan-favourite movie marathons, and musicians are entertaining fans with live online concerts to keep spirts up during isolation. By aligning your business with ‘feel good’ activities, you can create that much needed connection, improve engagement, extend your reach, and build a goodwill that outlasts this current crisis.
Third, a connected captive audience lends itself to a predicted increase in online service and e-commerce usage. This means that involvement in digital media could help you to lessen the disruption to your business. Many companies have already invested in this likelihood, quickly jumping on the virtual technology bandwagon to provide digital solutions to their consumers.
But how does this satisfy the need for personal connection?
Take my local dance studio, for example, who has moved to live-streamed dance classes where teachers are able to view the progress of students live and students are able to ask real-time questions via comments. By exploring how you can adapt your offering to the virtual world, you might find that online interactions become your new ‘normal’ moving forward.
If you are struggling to make sense of how to get your message out in this new virtual world, you’re not alone. Brilliant Logic’s team of marketing, public relations, graphic design and website development professionals can help you stay connected with your customers and communities throughout this unprecedented situation.