Messaging During a Crisis Part 5: How to Engage
A quick recap:
A crisis has occurred. So far you’ve followed these steps in Recovery mode:
Now it’s time for the last step to Messaging During a Crisis: Engage.
This is the fun part.
Engagement is how you know you’ve been successful in your outreach. It’s the response you get from the message you put forth. It’s the social media “likes,” comments, and shares. Engagement is the email response, phone call, or website visit. It’s the actions people take to demonstrate feelings about your message. It’s the feeling you get when someone RSVPs to your party invite. 🎉
It’s that moment where you realize your message is being heard and received: it works!
While engagement is extremely gratifying, it doesn’t come for free. It takes time and energy on your part. Sometimes, that means a few failed inventions before a working flux capacitor. Most times, all it takes is a good old-fashioned request.
So, how do you encourage engagement?
Ask for it.
Always provide a “CTA” or Call to Action in every communication. Always, always, provide a reason for people to interact with you.
- In a social media post, you pose a question or ask for input to elicit responses.
- Photos of people in action helping or serving others are sure-fire winners.
- Adding a button in email communication sends a clear signal of what you are asking your audience to do.
Remember, if you give people a reason to engage, you must show up to participate in the interaction. In other words, don’t communicate then drop the ball by going silent when they respond. One of the biggest reasons companies lose followers or customers is because they think it’s enough to just post or send out emails or pay for a billboard. That’s the easy part. The part where real engagement begins is when you reply to their responses. Create the dialogue.
Woody Allen once said, “80% of success is showing up.”
Keep showing up.
If you’re going to engage on social media, dedicate time to respond to comments, questions, and private messages. People may not have access to a computer, but they have their phones. Therefore, creating posts that provide information on your business, hours, and services is a great way to stay connected and engage with customers who may have a lot of questions and need reassurance that you’re still around.
It’s also a fabulous place to ask what they need so you can devise solutions to help. Customers often are sources for innovative solutions to help you pivot to a changing environment.
How to Engage
1. Schedule time not only to post or email, but also to respond to messages.
2 Enable your social notifications so you can respond to comments and private messages in a timely manner.
3. Always provide a call-to-action in every communication.
4. Show up and interact in whatever platform of communication you’re using.
5. Ask how you can make your customer’s experience better during this trying time.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat
Navigating a crisis isn’t what any of us wish for, yet nearly every one of us has found ourselves in its midst at one time or another (hello…COVID).
Having a marketing communication plan in place allows you to march through the situation with eyes and ears wide open, ready to listen to your customers’ needs and proactively respond as much as possible. Your goal is to not only survive but thrive during a time of uncertainty.
You can download the entire Marketing During a Crisis guide here.
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