Consider this a quick crash course in improving engagement and increasing social presence. And a word of advice: do it soon!
Before it was okay to contract community managers to manage your online holdings for a few hours a day, now you would be better served by making sure you have someone online at every hour your business is open. Customers are worried, anxious, and sometimes just plain bored, so you want someone to be there for them when they come looking for help or reassurance.
If ever there was a time to upskill your community management workforce, lockdown is it. Until just the other day, community managers could get away with relatively scant knowledge of your company, products and brand, but that’s not appropriate now that your call centre workers and resident experts are not as readily available as before.
All your community managers need to understand the products and services they’re working with. They need to read your entire website, and particularly the FAQs, and they need someone to field any questions they need answering to improve their understanding.
While most community managers can deal with general queries, they need to know their limits. Unless they’re experts, they need an escalation path for the tricky stuff like deeply technical, legal and medical questions.
Your communication represents your brand image so you need to be sure it looks and sounds the same across all platforms and through all engagements, from your head office through your branches and in all online encounters.
Is yours the kind of brand that can get away with slang or a response in emoji form, or is it a more formal brand that needs to be treated conservatively?
Above all, school your community managers in how not to be tone-deaf right now. No matter how easy-going and informal your brand, everyone is a bit more emotional and sensitive right now so make sure your people tread gently.
You may not like Twitter but if your customers are on it, best you get on it too. You need to meet them where they are rather than expecting them to come looking for you. At the very least I recommend that you’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
There are so many benefits to increasing your community presence and the sooner you engage the better.
Now is not the time to socially isolate – online that is.