Preparing for digital crisis mode might sound daunting, but it might be what helps save your business during a surprise event, like a pandemic or an unforeseen business closure. It’s important that you prepare yourself for anything that might come your way as a business owner, and think about all the different ways you can separate from the businesses like yours, and continue to make an impact.
Engaging with your communities and ensuring proper communication all take time, effort, and planning, it’s imperative that within your digital crisis mode plan that you keep the information accurate, displaying humility, and stay connected. Let’s dive into more tips and tricks and reasons why you should have a digital crisis mode plan in place!
Digital Crisis Mode
Having a digital crisis mode plan at the ready is essential for your businesses or the clients that you work for. During times like these in the given circumstances of COVID-19, everyone, while apart, still wants to feel connected. Businesses have switched operations and now operate in an adapted manner, people have to live, work, and play all in the same living space and must continue going about their daily lives. The world keeps turning, therefore your business needs to as well. A digital crisis mode can protect you and your business for what is to come, allows you to have greater control, and adapt and pivot as necessary. It is a protection to your livelihood.
Why Is It Important?
It’s important to carefully and creatively curate your communication plan in these unprecedented times. You must learn how to listen to your clients, customers, and followers and pivot how you use social media to mitigate your business disruptions. Utilizing a digital crisis communication plan gives you the ability to maintaining business continuity and allows you to not skip a beat. It’s detrimental to your business to be prevalent on digital platforms especially if and when your brick & mortar business is closed down.
If you do not yet have a digital crisis mode plan or communication plan in place, you may spend your time (as more time is free) working on this for your business, and for the future, you can use the findings that you have to protect your business.
The ability to properly communicate during times like these is a very crucial part of your digital crisis mode. You need to ensure that you have proper communications going out that have been looked over by multiple eyes, you should also ensure that your key messaging is considerate and does not lack empathy. You must provide a timely and non-delayed response to questions, comments, and concerns by those engaging with your business.
Within your communication funnels, you mustn’t do anything outside of your brand strategy or values, you must keep the normalcy and show value to your clients, customers, and followers, putting service and standards first before anything. You may be included to show examples of what people can do during the given time, provide free tips & tricks, discounted or online products, and services, and more. It’s important that you communicate your platform properly, and that you do not benefit in any way from the “disaster”, and that you stay current, up-to-date, and on-brand.
When looking at your digital crisis mode from a birds-eye view, and taking into consideration data, analytics, and findings during these times, it’s important to utilize social listening. Whether you’re using a specific platform like Hootsuite, Agorapulse, or just looking at native platform data, it’s important because you can learn more about what’s happening within the sphere of your brand and what clients, customers, and followers are saying. You may feel the need to create reports for your brand or the clients you look after, to keep track of the social listening KPI’s like brand sentiment, conversations, etc. These will allow you to look back and learn from situations that you could have done better in, and allow you to grow and propel your business forward after the scenario is finally over.
Tips & Tricks
Some simple and effective tips and tricks that you may utilize for your business in any given crisis, even without a digital crisis plan in place are as follows:
Review and pause your social media calendar – you mustn’t have any negative content or content that could be deemed in “bad taste” during a time like this.
Create your own social media policy – Whether this pertains to you if you look after social media for your business, whether it’s for the agency you work at, or if you need to delegate specific tasks employees that take care of the social media channels, you must have key measures in place so everyone knows your do’s and don’ts.
Provide content honestly, with openness and compassion – It’s important to in these times humanize all your communication efforts.
Information accuracy – Ensure that if you’re relaying news pieces, articles, specific data points, etc, that you have ensured they are accurate and confirmed by multiple sources.
Listen – Keep a pulse on your brand during these times, in all aspects.
Don’t disappear – Stay present on social media, do not slow down, or ramp up, ensuring normalcy within your online communities.
Help others and give back, if you can! We’re all in this together.
When planning out a digital crisis mode or communication plan, you must go the extra mile. Clients, customers, and followers will remember your business and or brands who react properly, considerably, and who utilize small acts of kindness and giving back. Get a second pair of eyes on everything, making sure there can be no errors, ensure your copy and content has humanity in mind, and bodes empathy and sympathy for everyone affected by what’s going on at the time.