Rumors and misinformation spread fast in normal times and even faster, during times of crisis. And now with a raging global pandemic, people are reading anything and believing everything. Everyone is in panic mode and fear seems to have gripped most of us. Businesses have had to reassess their priorities and workflow patterns. And this is also the time for them to practice the utmost vigilance. The whole world is depending on online communication. It is also the space where misinformation spreads very quickly too. Brands have to find ways to effectively defend their brand reputation during this COVID19 crisis.
Here are 3 ways to manage online brand reputation during the COVI-19 crisis:
Monitor Brand Mentions
With everyone stuck at home, your followers would be more active on social media. And there will be customers talking about your brand. They might be asking questions, posting reviews, or even advocating for you. No matter what, keep tracking for all mentions, and derive insights. These would help you to figure out the need to re-design your operations and processes during this time. You can also hone your communication skills to decide how to communicate and what to communicate. These are the key steps to manage and maintain your brand reputation online.
For instance, someone might be worried about the delivery of an order they placed. You need to reach out to them giving them the details of their order. If you are in the process of having it delivered, provide the customer with the tracking information and if possible, the expected date of delivery. Align your operations to ensure the item reaches them.
It would be unwise to ignore these mentions and reviews as you would be risking your brand’s credibility. This is the time when you would want to build stronger connections with your customers.
Do Not Shy away from COVID-19 Conversations
Your brand has been doing social media marketing but does that include a plan for crisis communication? During the time of a crisis, do not abandon your customers. They obviously expect to hear from you. Establish an official communication channel and be prepared to send out messages or respond to incoming messages.
If your industry is directly being affected by COVID-19, it is important that you pin an official announcement on all your business pages. Try and communicate, engage with your customers. Your brand is also run by humans, so humanize your operations and tell your customers about it. They would definitely understand. You only need to keep them in the loop.
Engage with Customers
Engaging with your customers during this time will not only make them remember your brand after the pandemic is over but also build trust. This will serve to improve your overall reputation. Amidst the crisis, your brand is sure to be receiving an increased influx of questions. Prepare answers to these questions using Google Q&A.
Send out email alerts to your client base if you have stores which would remain closed, or would be working at limited capacity et cetera. Social media monitoring helps you understand your customers’ concerns. Address these in your newsletters or social media posts.
Remember, the crisis situation won’t last forever, but the relationships you forge now could decide the future of your business. It is absolutely essential that you keep your social media profiles active, keep listening to the chatter, and keep responding in time.