Looking to the future – The next normal

Looking to the future – The next normal

Looking to the future - the next normal blog post.

How do you communicate with your customers as your operations start to re-open?

As restrictions are gradually lifted how do we change our ways of working to accommodate the new normal?  Getting customer communications right is critical to your business’s success in the gradual re-opening of services, as consumers are looking for businesses that make them feel safe and secure.

Communicating a re-opening message tailored to each channel

Do you communicate with your customers? Image of managing director sharing a video with his team.

What strategies can you use to make your message resonate with your customers? You can’t just send an email with the facts. You must communicate with empathy to connect with your customers. For example, instead of an email from the Managing Director, film a short video speaking directly to customers and then this can be to embedded into an email or newsletter to connect directly with them.

Stay Aware – Stay Safe!

We need to be able to empathise with what our customers are going through. If your business involves contact with customers re-assure them that you have measures put into place to protect them and you.

Email & Newsletters

Why this works? Facebook might have over 1.5 billion daily users, but email has over 3.8 billion daily active users.  So,  your audience will also be checking their Inbox. Every single day!

You probably check your email over a dozen times a day… and people do this in all sorts of weird places.

  • 69% check while watching television
  • 54% check while in bed
  • 43% check on the toilet!
  • 34% check while they’re walking
  • 32% check while eating dinner
  • 32% check on their work commute
  • 18% check during the middle of conversations
  • 14% check while they’re driving
  • 6% check at formal events

People like getting emails.  Stay in touch but, not too much, so that people don’t disengage and your messages become just spam!

Social Media – What do you post on social media?

  • Ask questions! Not only do questions create great engagement opportunities, they also create moments for meaningful connection with your followers.
  • Thank your customers for their continued support, for their understanding during this difficult time.
  • Tell your followers how you’re doing business now … if you’re closed, let them know. If you’re online, let them know. If you’re open. Let them know!
  • Tell the story of what’s going on … for the majority of us, we’ve all had to pivot. The way we do business has flipped itself upside down. SHARE what’s going on for you. Be visual and be vocal. Share behind-the-scenes insights at what your day looks like at the moment, do a FB or an IG live

Wrapping Up!

Be positive, supportive and helpful and offer messages for the future.  There is so much circulating and you don’t want to add to the negativity, so try and post the upbeat stuff. Share news articles, blog posts, video clips, or tips. Let us know if Concise can help you during this time.  We are happy to like your page or posts or have a free call with you to give you some creative ideas.  We also have a full range of short social media courses if you have time on your hands and want to learn how to market your business better.

Locked Down but not Locked Out!

Locked Down but not Locked Out!

How do you market your business during COVID-19?  This is a big question! and not all the answers are available because we have never faced a situation like this before in our lifetime.

The last example of this was the Spanish Flu in 1918. Over 100 years ago they would have faced different challenges but at least now we have the internet to stay connected to our customers, followers, friends and family.

Businesses are coming up with new ways to market their businesses, Social Media Managers are adjusting their content calendars and coming up with new creative campaigns to promote their products and services. Staying connected is more important than ever, with businesses relying on social media and working from home tools such as Zoom and Skype for meetings or content sharing tools such as Dropbox.

In fact, overall, Facebook usage has increased by 37% and across the messaging platforms, Facebook and Instagram saw a 40%+ increase in the 18-34 age group.

So how should you be using social media for business during COVID-19?

Let your followers know you are listening and acknowledge the new normal. 

Celebrity Instagram business owner Kristen Cavallari is a good example of this, she acknowledged that this was a very unusual time for everybody but she was having a 20% off sale to try and keep her 100 staff employed and by doing so not appearing to be capitalising on the current situation.

Keep Posting

People are spending more time than ever online and you should stay connected to them. Even if you are unable to sell your services right now share content that offers help and support in a way that keeps your brand ‘in front of mind’.  For example, a travel company could suggest places to visit (perhaps UK based) once lockdown is finished or a restaurant could share recipes of their food to cook at home. Think of ways your business can help now so people remember you in their future.  Look at how Body Shop has been posting positive messages and images of their products being used at home including repurposing their packaging as plant pots! Get creative with your posts!

Be Empathic – Feel Their Pain!

Remember that some of your followers may have lost their jobs or have had to put their businesses on hold. You don’t have to mention COVID-19 in your posts but acknowledge the difficulty they may be in. They may not be able to purchase goods or services right now but by empathising with them the aim is to stay connected with your followers when we come out the other side.

Engage, Engage, Engage!

Focus on engagement by providing extra education through videos, carousel posts, or captions share your story, and clearly communicate how your followers can support your business right now. With online video tools, you are able to connect directly to your audience.  So many services are now operating remotely but still staying in touch.  Even hairdressers are offering video tips to trim your own hair if you’re brave enough!  But the point is that whatever your business there are ways to stay in touch with your followers and the ultimate goal is retention of your followers.

Joe Wicks The Body Coach is a good example of this offering free online daily 30 minute classes for all ages.  Staying connected and providing a service people can do from home.

 Top Tips for the next few weeks

Share Videos – Educational, informative, what you’re working on from home and tips.  It may be on Facebook Live or Instagram Live. if you haven’t used video before it’s a good time to start learning – particularly if it is not the most comfortable media for you!  Mary has been experimenting with Facebook Live within the safety of the Concise Support Group.  If you are a member of the group, join her at 2pm every Tuesday to share top tips.

Create Good Habits – Now is a good time to establish good social media habits that you can use throughout the year. Whether it is scheduling regular posts, doing a spring clean on your channels or setting time aside each day to engage with your followers.

Get Creative – Virtual classes, how-to videos, virtual tours, challenges from home (post the results) free service/advice for when the lockdown ends.

Share your thoughts – We are all in the same storm but not all in the same boat! Share your story, and clearly communicate how your followers can support your business right now.

Use Images – Images are a good way to highlight your topic and grab attention.  Only use your own images or images from stock sites or free stock sites such as Pexels, or Unsplash

Let us know if Concise can help you during this time.  We are happy to like your page or posts or have a free call with you to give you some creative ideas.  We also have a full range of short social media courses if you have time on your hands and want to learn how to market your business better.

Can I use Pokémon Go to market my shop / museum?

Can I use Pokémon Go to market my shop / museum?

Using Pokemon Go as a marketing toolEven if you are not a player yourself, you can’t have missed the amazing numbers around the recent Pokémon: Go release.  After the initial launch on July 6th in Australia, New Zealand and the US, it launched last week in Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy and is now available in 34 countries. Survey Monkey estimated on July 15th that just under 26 million American played Pokémon Go (a top 10 app by daily active users).  Numbers aren’t available yet for the UK – but I’m sure they will be similarly impressive – I know I’ve seen an increase in people walking around looking at their phones in my local area.

What is Pokémon Go?

At a very basic level, it is a sophisticated Sticker Album.  Once you have downloaded and set up the app, you need to walk around your local area and catch Pokémon (Cute little monsters).  There are initially 250 different Pokémon to find which appear as you walk around.  Free to use – and don’t we all love collecting things! 

A screenshot showing the Pokémon that are available to collect.

Once you find a Pokémon, you have to catch them by firing a ball at them.

This image shows a Pokémon that you are trying to catch. To catch a Pokémon you have to fire a ball at it.

Clearly, some of the 250 will be rarer than others and some will appear frequently.  As you capture more Pokémon, you more up gaming levels.  This will allow you to encounter Pokémon that are harder to catch.  

PokéStops are places to visit to get items (to help you catch Pokémon) and Eggs (which will hatch into Pokémon after you have walked a certain distance).  PokéStops are important places in your area – my local area has PokéStops that are maps, statues, etc.  When you get to a PokéStop, you can collect items for free to assist in the capture of more Pokémon.  You can purchase these items with real world currency – but you don’t need to.

When you achieve level 5 (by catching duplicates of the same Pokémon) you can join a Gym. Again gyms will be available around your local area and may be landmarks, museums, status etc.  Joining a gym allows you to train your Pokémon, take part in battles with other Pokémon players and will allow you to collect rarer Pokémon.

As a business owner, why would I care?

Well, the jury is still out – but at the moment this game is popular and it might be an opportunity to take advantage.  

  1. At the very least it is worth finding out whether there is a PokéStop or Gym nearer your place of business and telling people about it.  They have been allocated seemingly randomly at the moment, though I’m sure there will come a time when you can apply (and pay) to be one.  This will cause more people to appear at your shop / museum – why not ensure your store front will catch their attention.
  1. A lure is an item that you can get to ‘attract’ more Pokémon than usual for 30 minutes.  They will appear on player’s game maps so they might travel to your store / museum to get more Pokémon – why not have a special offer to coincide?  This is what L’Inizio Pizza Bar did to see a 75% increase in business.  This picture is from NBC Los Angeles illustrating the interest in a lure to a separate business!

This picture showing Pokémon Go players, is from NBC Los Angeles illustrating the interest in a lure to a separate business!

  1. When Pokémon users, join a gym, you need to pick one of three teams to join.  How about offering people on your team a discount.
  1. If you have a gym near you, encourage your staff to join your team and ‘own’ the gym. Challenge customers to take it over and battle them.  Alternatively, offer discounts to any trainer that walks in your store.
  1. Use social media to tell people about the Pokémon you have found in your shop / museum. This is what the Children’s Museum have done in the Indy in the US.
  1. Reward users who share pictures of the Pokémon they have found in your store on social media.
  1. In time, there is bound to be an opportunity to sponsor locations.   

As an aside, remember, to catch Pokémon, people have to walk around.  Charity Miles is an app that will allow you to earn money for American based charities while you are walking.  A number of organisations have pledged to donate money depending on the amount of miles achieved by individuals.  I really like this idea and would like to see something similar in the UK.

What do you think? Let me know if you use Pokémon Go as a marketing tool.

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