Topic: Social Media

The Power of Social Media During a Crisis

Social Media Markham - Insiteful Solutions

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 the staff at Insiteful Solutions has been busy helping our clients in Markham and across the GTA ramp up their e-commerce sites and update client websites with the latest news and information related to the virus. The past stressful weeks have taught us more than ever the need to be prepared; we were fortunate that the majority of our staff were already working remotely so we could change our operations seamlessly.

One of the areas we have been most busy is advising clients on their use of social media. In the early days of COVID-19, with everything happening so quickly, social media channels turned out to be the fastest way our clients could communicate effectively with their customers.  To give you some idea of the reach of social media in Canada, it estimated that 64% of Canadians have a social media account and over 50% of Canadians are registered to one or more social media platforms. 70% of social media users said they logged on at least once a month.

The popularity of social media makes it a perfect medium to reach people in a crisis. With many provinces, including Ontario, ordering virtually all public activities to close suddenly to flatten the COVID-19 curve, businesses were left scrambling to figure out their new operations. Many businesses, such as restaurants and certain retailers, were able to transition to curb-side pick-up or delivery. Others were left not knowing how they were going to alter their operations to serve their customers. With all of this confusion it was a comfort for both business owners and their customers that they could keep in touch via social media. At Insiteful Solutions we help clients with all of their digital marketing needs; from building websites to their social media platforms, we make sure our clients are up today with the most recent trends and changes to the industry.

With the unprecedented times we are living in we have found the following to be helpful advice to our clients for their social media platforms. With the news changing almost daily it can be difficult for business owners to strike the right tone: hopeful or somber? Idealistic or realistic? While there is often no ‘right way’ to communicate with your customers via social media we have found that if you post content that is deemed insensitive it can negatively affect your brand. The following can hopefully serve as a guide or refresher on how to approach your clients on social media during a crisis.

Who you are in a Crisis?

Great brands and businesses are a result of great leadership and teamwork. The best businesses understand their customers and how to communicate with them. During a crisis is time to connect with your customers on a personal level; with something as serious as a global pandemic it’s crucial that you reach out and stay connected. The values that built your brand can also be on display. We advised our clients not to ‘sell’ anything to their clients with their early social media posts – no one wants to be sold to during a crisis. While some business people had the instinct to shutter their social media accounts we advised people to keep the lines of communication open. With people suddenly isolated and their worlds upended they need human contact, even if it’s over social media.

Know Your Audience

Many businesses post to their social media channels without fully knowing who their audience is. Fortunately companies like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have done the analytical work for you and you can easily tap into this data to learn more about who is viewing your social media platforms.  Knowing your audience is always important, but especially so during a crisis. Are you catering to the healthcare industry and you have many followers that are frontline workers? Then you would tailor your message to this industry. You want to make sure your social media content is reflective of your audience, that way you can curate your content to grab their attention. During a crisis is a key time to connect with new and old customers.

Be Sensitive to the Times

In 2014 the clothing brand American Apparel created a social media faux pas that is still being talked about. On July 4 of that year a well-meaning person in their social media department posted a July 4 greeting on the company’s social media platforms. The greeting was accompanied by an image of a plume of white cloud against a blue sky. The staffer thought the image was fireworks exploding – it wasn’t. It was actually a photograph of the Challenger Space Shuttle exploding shortly after takeoff – a fatal incident that occurred in 1986. The American Apparel post has been used ever since on what not to do on social media.  With the onset of COVID-19, many businesses began to struggle, while we advised clients to quickly improve their e-commerce offerings and switch to delivery or curbside pick-up we also advised them to understand the humanitarian aspect of these times and do what they could to assist others who may be struggling. Communicating the human side of your company during a crisis will let your customers know that your company cares.

Keep on Top of the Changing Landscape

COVID-19 has been challenging in more ways than one. It seems that daily the news about the virus changes and governments (and businesses!) are left scurrying to keep up. While most companies have a solid social media marketing calendar based on their business plan, times of crisis may have caused their plans to be paused or put on a complete hold. One industry especially hard hit by COVID-19 has been the restaurant and hospitality industry. With guidance from governments constantly updated restaurants have had to keep in touch with their customer. Being fluid in your planning and accurate with your information allows you to continue to control your brand messaging – even during a crisis.

Be Human

A distinct aspect of COVID-19 has been how it has affected everyone globally. While these times of crisis can be extraordinarily stressful it can also be a time to bring people together. While your customers will want to know the core information about your business and its operations, they will also appreciate a human touch to communications during this time. Don’t be afraid to communicate with customers on a more personal level.

At Insiteful Solutions we have worked for nearly 20 years with clients in Markham, the GTA and across Canada on all aspects of digital marketing campaigns including social media. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help your business navigate this current crisis.

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Insiteful Solutions: Our COVID-19 Response

Insiteful Solutions COVID-19

At Insiteful Solutions we, along with so many other Canadian businesses, have had to adjust our operations to the current impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We were fortunate at Insiteful Solutions that our business transitioned fairly seamlessly to working remotely. Many of our designers and programmers were already working off-site and we were able to continue working with clients and address all of their needs promptly. Unfortunately, we have had to move our in-person client meetings to virtual – but this too has worked well and we’ve enjoyed more than ever working with our valued clients to help keep their businesses thriving during these challenging times.

If you need to reach anyone at Insiteful Solutions our phones are still staffed Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm, please give us a call at 905-947-8235 or pop us an email at contact@insitefulweb.com.

At Insiteful Solutions we are sending our thoughts to everyone affected by COVID-19 and wishing that you all stay safe and healthy during this challenging time.

Our People

A strength of Insiteful Solutions is we have a large network of people who work together to create cutting edge websites and online marketing campaigns. Nothing is more important to us than our staff’s well-being. At the very beginning of COVID-19 we have adjusted all of our operations to function remotely; staff are working from home and we check in with them frequently and everyone is following social distancing guidelines. Our staff are available and eager to work with current clients on their existing sites and new clients to create website and online marketing solutions.

Our Clients

At Insiteful Solutions we are fortunate that many of our clients have been with us for a decade or longer. Their well-being is of paramount importance to us and we are dedicated to supporting them throughout this crisis. We want to make sure our clients have the best website possible to weather this current economic crisis and we constantly educate ourselves on current trends and opportunities that we can pass along to our valued clients. While some of our clients already had e-commerce built into their websites we want to make sure all of our clients can re-calibrate their business model to not just survive, but succeed, during the pandemic. At Insiteful Solutions our team of experts are here to help you pivot your business operations and drive as many people as possible to your online presence.

Covid-19 Update March 25th, 2020

Insiteful Solutions COVID-19

To our valued clients,

We hope this email finds you and your families keeping well during these uncertain times. As you know, as of midnight last night the Government of Ontario has closed all non-essential businesses and services.

We realize this is going to affect many of you. If you require any assistance with messaging around how your business is dealing with COVID-19 to share with your clients please let us know how we can help you. We have writers on staff available to help craft your messaging to make sure your clients stay as engaged as possible during this period of time.

Fortunately at Insiteful Solutions many of our employees were already home-based and therefore we are able to provide all of our services to you during these challenging times.

Take care,

The Insiteful Team!