With the recent turn of events, it can be difficult to maintain a solid bond between your business and your customers and supporters.
In hopes of finding inspiration, we asked 14 thought leaders, “How are you building a stronger connection with your community during the new normal?”
Check out what they had to say, below.
Show Your Love
During these unforeseen times, we are using social media as a way to keep in touch with our lash community. We have focused our time on creating content that answers our customers’ questions about how to navigate their own beauty business during the pandemic. It is also important to show your community that you are thinking of them. We have tried to show our love and support for our clients with product giveaways on our social media platforms. It is all about making sure your customers know that you are thinking of them and willing to help where you can.
Make Client-Only Content Public
Engage on social media a lot more. By posting content that we originally only shared with clients, we’ve opened our insights up to more people following our industry.
Determine the Correct Content
I micro-influence on Instagram and TikTok. The way I’m building a stronger connection with my followers is continuing authenticity in a time where authenticity is essential. Right now, influencers are challenged with creating content that either leans into COVID-19 or distracts their community from the pandemic. Figure out what your followers actually want from you to strengthen your connection. There are more eyes on social media than ever, and users won’t hesitate to disengage with brands that aren’t helping them get through this tough time.
Kate Makowski, Social Media Strategist
Send Personalized Check-In Messages
We have upped our customer touchpoints, sending more upbeat educational messaging through e-blasts and sending out individual check-in messages after a customer has been with us for 30 days. Doing this has resulted in quite a few positive reviews and client-driven content that we’ve been able to re-purpose on social media. As such, our social presence is up and our engagement is through the roof.
Don’t Wait for a Community…Build One
Anthony Basuil and I were both laid-off during this crisis. This left us in a funny position. We knew the market wasn’t strong for our skillset. So, we decided to help everyone else out until this passes. We have made ourselves personally available to anyone in need. We have a live list of individuals looking for work. We send the list to employers and post it weekly to get more eyes on it. It started with our ex co-workers and evolved as we started making progress. We have people on the list all over the United States, India, and even the UK. We made it our mission to “flatten the unemployment curve.”
Nicholas Kakaris, Recruiter
Don’t Conduct Business as Usual
I think it is important during this time to just listen. So many people are trying to conduct business as usual when in fact it is not business as usual. As a sales rep, it is easy to push your agenda to get meetings and hit your quota, but in times like this, I am offering resources (like helpful webinars) to small businesses on how to handle employee-related issues and situations that they may not be well-versed in. I am also using this time to just check in and see how everyone is doing, without asking for anything.
Ensure Your Customers Are in the Loop
Communication is the biggest factor in building and maintaining a connection with your community. It is imperative that you take the time to talk with your customers to see what they need. Likewise, it is just as important for you as a business to let them know what is going on from your side. Ensuring that your community feels in the loop will break any barriers of fear or uncertainty. Make those calls and let them know they are important.
Survey Your Audience
I’ve surveyed my audience to make sure I understand how COVID is affecting them, and how I can best help. This has allowed me to provide even better, on-point value — whether through a weeklong “COVID & Your Career” mini-series or through masterclasses and more casual lives in my Facebook community. I’ve also partnered with others in the community, like our local Chamber of Commerce, to host online events geared towards leaders and businesswomen and the issues they’re facing at this time.
Look to Improve Your Business Model
We are offering most of our products for free to our community and customers. Rapidly changing our business model enables us to prioritize our customer needs and to offer new models such as outsourcing. This will help our clients transition through this crisis.
Keep Conversations Genuine
We often think of networking as a chore, but it’s not and should be done all the time. Building stronger relationships and fostering new connections during COVID is important. The easiest way to connect with people who are already in your community while social distancing is exactly what you think – reach out to them. Write them a brief note on LinkedIn, email or even pick up the phone to say hello. Be sure to make the conversation genuine.
Kendal Prosack, Community Relations Manager
Let Your Audience Know You Care
The best way that I have found to build an even stronger connection with my community has been to personally and authentically check-in periodically. I have shared videos of myself telling them what I’ve been up to and, in turn, asking them to share how they have been spending their time. I have sent emails and texts sharing new features and content that can be supportive during this time. I have followed their successes and heartbreaks on social media in order to understand the pulse of their world. In short, I just let them know that I care.
Make Yourself Available
We developed an email for a one-stop-shop for HR questions related to COVID-19 and the new paid leaves. We have also shared articles on a number of topics, including wellness, to help employees stay engaged and find balance in these times. In the smaller conference meetings I have had with groups, I leave a few moments in the end to talk about how everyone is doing so we’re sure to care for our team members who are caring for so many others in our organizations.
Colleen J. McManus, Senior HR Consultant
Increase LinkedIn Activity
I’m more active and present on LinkedIn. I share and comment on posts of those looking for work to help them have more of a presence in my network. I’m also assisting others in resume writing and LinkedIn updating. I’ve had a few chats with others just to be a listening ear and provide moral support during this time.
Jessica Schocker, Recruitment Consultant
Prioritize Timely Communication
We are focused on timely communication with candidates. Whether it’s responding to an email quickly or updating them on their application status. With the current state of our economy, we want to be respectful of our candidates’ time, even if they are not a current fit for our organization. It can be especially frustrating to send what feels like countless resumes and applications out and hear nothing.