As states and cities across the country plan for re-opening and lockdowns start to lift in different regions, a brand’s social media pages should act as an anchor to communicate with consumers as their physical locations open back up for business amidst the pandemic. In fact, consumers normally visit social media looking for this type of information – more than half of US adults turn to social media for the latest news, and the majority Gen Z shoppers want brands and retailers to share shopping information with them through Instagram vs. other digital channels.
Social media – and the influencers that consumers turn to on these platforms – are particularly critical during and after a crisis, when transparency and trustworthy information are in high demand. Direct communication via owned social pages and trusted partners allows for the flexibility to authentically share the most up-to-date information at a time when the world is constantly in flux, especially as consumers look to the brands and influencers they trust to gauge what to expect and how to behave as the country opens back up again.
A Social Checklist for Successful Re-Openings
Marketers can use this checklist to ensure they are communicating clearly and helpfully with consumers, reassuring them, and providing the information they expect as their physical place of business re-opens to the public.
Make It Easy for Customers to Get What They Need:
- Add business contact information and, if applicable, hours of operation to your social bios.
- Prepare to provide ongoing customer service, answering questions and acknowledging feedback in consumers’ comments and messages to ensure they feel heard.
- Pin updates to the top of Facebook & Twitter feeds so they are easy to find.
Marketers Should Communicate to Customers How the Business is Addressing Safety:
- Post up-to-date information about safety and cleaning procedures.
- Leverage trusted brand ambassadors and existing influencer partners associated with the brand to spread the word about safety efforts as businesses re-open.
- Provide talking points to educate partners so they can educate their followers.
- Invite partners, if they feel comfortable, to create their content in the setting of the physical place of business.
- Re-purpose UGC and influencer assets & stories on owned social pages to integrate authentic perspectives into your content mix.
Let Customer Feedback Guide Marketing Next Steps:
- Engage in social listening to track how consumers are feeling about the brand and reacting to content, and share those learnings with key stakeholders in the organization.
- Use questions, polls, and Instagram Stories to crowdsource information about the types of information and content consumers want from your brand.
- Invite trusted partners to help crowdsource questions and information from their communities about they want to see from your brand.
As more consumers turn to social media during this time looking for information and transparency from brands, marketers can use the tips above to ensure they’re giving people what they need.