You’ve been working hard to get your customer engagement up on your social media, then bam…disaster strikes. Literally.
COVID-19 is an ever-present force in our lives right now. The constant news updates, changing government mandates, business closures… Rona’s affecting how we do our work, how we spend our free time, and how we talk to or spend time with people. (Except for us introverts.)
It’s probably also affected how your audience engages with your brand. When you run your own biz, sudden radio silence can be pretty scary. The question is, is there anything you can do about it?
Our short answer? Yes. For our long answer, keep reading.
Don’t be rude
We’ll just get this one out of the way first. Don’t be a dick.
The spread of COVID-19 changed a lot. We’re all in shock at the state of things. How do some people act when they’re in shock? They freeze or go mute. Some get loud. Either way, what your audience needs right now is someone who is cool, calm, and collected. They don’t need you begging them to support small business, or raging about the unfairness of shutdowns.
Remember that it’s nothing personal, and your quiet audience is (most likely) not about you. COVID-19 is also not a personal attack on you or your business. Take a deep breath and step away from the internet browser.
Talk to them
Just because your audience is quiet doesn’t mean you have to be. But you do have to understand that many people just don’t want to engage right now. Maybe they’d prefer to hole up at home and talk to their loved ones, or take a break from all the online noise to preserve their mental health. Respect that.
Throw some conversation starters out there, but don’t expect your audience to hold up their end of the conversation like they used to. And you definitely shouldn’t whine and complain that no one wants to talk to you and your engagement is down. (Why? See Tip #1.)
How do you talk to your audience? By “talk,” obviously, we mean engage online through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We all might be stuck at home, but we’re still glued to our phones, that’s for sure. Like people’s posts. Leave a funny or inspiring comment on someone’s page. Ask questions. People will respond as long as you’re genuine.
Want to really up the wow: send someone a personal email or DM. Ask how they’re doing. No sell, no agenda. Just connect.
Cool the sell
Do not rush in, guns blazing, trying to sell your latest product or service.
Cool it. This is the perfect time to demonstrate the value of your biz. It’s not the perfect time to act desperate and beg for people’s financial support.
People are worried about their basic needs right now. They’re worried about their health, and the health of their parents or kids or grandparents. They’re worried about their emergency fund and if they’ll have a job to return to when the pandemic slows down. They’re worried about having to brave the apocalyptic wasteland that is their local grocery store if their supply of food runs out.
The last thing they need is even more worries piled on. Get the picture?
That’s why you need to show how much free value you have to give. Whether it’s a generous discount, gifts, a free membership, a free training, whatever: show people that your products or services benefit them. Once people start feeling more comfortable with their extra cash, it will go your way.
This is something that might feel really painful for those who are feeling the crunch in their business. We get it. But trust us: we’ve seen this work time and time again. If what you offer is of value, people will remember that you gave it to them when they needed it. OK, back to the tough love.
Do some reconnaissance
Anyone else feel like a super spy when they use the word “reconnaissance?”
Anyway, your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to see what your current clients are sharing and enjoying. Also, check out the people you’d love to bag. No, not that kind of bag 😉 Your dream clients.
What are your current clients and dream clients liking and commenting on? What are they posting to their stories and feeds? What are they talking about? If they’re telling you what they want or need, are you listening and taking notes?
If not, you’re missing out on an opportunity to fill a void in their lives. No, not like that. You know what we mean 🤦🏻♀️
Finally, have some patience. The world has pretty much come to a screeching halt in the last few weeks. There’s enough panic, fear, and uncertainty wafting around. Try not to let it infect the way you look at your business. Don’t immediately think about shutting down or having a fire sale because EVERYTHING MUST GO RIGHT NOW!
Instead, breathe. Sell where and when it feels right. Talk to other biz owners who are probably in the same predicament as you. Find support in others and give support. Take things day by day, because the world is changing day by day. You have to be stable and ready to tackle those changes, and you can’t do that if you’re running around in a panic.
TL;DR Relax. Use this time to understand your customers’ needs. Show your value. Start conversations.
And if you have a new product or offer getting ready to launch? Be prepared. Review your launch plans and get ready to hit the ground running when Rona takes a hike.