Hurricanes, floods, and fires are prevalent in the news right now. We have family and friends across the globe and it seems that no matter what the time of year, someone somewhere is in danger. That means your clients are more anxious and sensitive because it’s a period of crisis.
Business owners need to stay visible always; even during times of crisis, but how do you continue to put out content without looking like an opportunist?
The best way is to look at disasters as a way to grow closer to your clients. As with any marketing, its about communicating with your clients. Keep the information coming. In times of need, people have exceptionally good memories. They will remember who helps them, and they’ll never forget an opportunist.
Here are three mistakes to avoid when posting content during a crisis:
Don’t: let software auto post content for you. People are glued to their screens and want to know what is happening inside the trama. Auto posts can look insensitive, careless, and opportunistic.
Instead: Turn off the auto responders. Find quality content that your customers want to know about. Remember this may have NOTHING to do with you or your company.
Don’t: Make your content all about you and your business..unless you are directly affected by the current crisis, stay away from words like “we, my, and our.”
Instead: Remember the victims and your current audience. Empathize with those immediately impacted as well as your customers who have loved ones impacted. Start your content with that concern.
Don’t: hold a disaster sale. Mistakes like this were rapid during Hurricane Sandy and several brands took a big hit when they posted Hurricane sales which looked opportunistic. People were offended by hurricane sales and promo-codes
Instead: Find ways you and your business can make a real impact. Can you offer things in-kind? Can you donate a portion of sales to a helpful non-profit? Can you offer assistance with your goods or services?
Here are some quiet examples of companies who made a difference in Houston during Hurricane Harvey:
Planet Fitness opened their doors as soon as it was safe and allowed anyone to use the showers.
Amazon waived September fees for Audible users.
Lyft waived fees for a week in Houston
Gallery Furniture opened their doors as a shelter and offered food and water.
These companies helped the community without great fanfare. It was genuine, and it made a real impact.
In Florida, Norwegian cruise lines helped evacuate people and Xfinity offered free wifi to anyone in the state. The news media took a hold of these efforts of larger companies to help.
Let your clients know you care.
If you are a solo-preneur you might not have a large amounts of resources to help in this type of situation..but you probably have some time.
Ask: Reach out to your clients and staff. Do any of them need help? You can post the question on social media and ask for comments. Also send out an email and ask them to respond.
Ask: If no one was impacted, who is making an impact? Find out who is making an impression on your customers. You’ll better understand how you too can make an impact.
Organize: Can you and your clients volunteer together? (Use the information from the previous question to choose a place to make a difference.)
Share: Find the good stories and share them. During a crisis the news is covered with doom and gloom. Find those stories of local heroes, near misses and big impacts to share with people. It can really pay to be the bearer of good news.
Share: Is your business and your employees impacted? Let others know how you are doing during the crisis.
Share: Do you have a resource to offer others? Let your clients know!
Share: Whatever resources come your way, share them. How to apply to FEMA, resources others are offering (even your competitors as it shows good will in a time of crisis.) Don’t worry about people already having information. Just keep sharing.
Remember to keep your messages coming. That is a way to market with empathy and tact. If you can be relevant and alleviate any need or worry, you are doing the right thing.