This post is coming to you from our self-isolation station.
As the Covid-19 virus continues to sweep the country and, indeed, the planet, many of us are now in our own domestic quarantine – advised against engaging in social contact and even running essential errands for who knows how long.
This indefinite period of self-isolation is no doubt troubling for business owners, team managers and innumerable self-employed people across the globe, with the economic impact of the virus already being felt and the demand for many products and services having plummeted in the wake of tightening government regulations.
To play our small but hopefully meaningful part in guiding you through this confusing and concerning time as a business owner and citizen of the world, we’re exploring the many key advantages for your business and your customers that come with having an engaged community around your brand in the face of meaningful change and uncertainty within your sector.
Ensuring mutual stability
In times of uncertainty, maintaining some semblance of stability is crucial. One major advantage of having a brand community is the two-way support system this provides, helping your business and its customers continue to feel connected to something even in these times of isolation.
Knowing you’re still out there providing the product or service they need can reassure your customers that they’re not completely cut off from the world – while being reminded that you have a loyal, engaged customer base who are following updates from you can provide much-needed confidence during an otherwise insecure time.
Keeping your audience informed
As part of this mutual stability, one of your duties to your customers is to keep them fully up to date on disruptions or developments surrounding your product or service – and while this should indeed be considered a duty, having a dedicated community means this can be done easily and in real time.
The current pandemic has cast significant doubt on the short-term stability of many sectors, and means that updates from the businesses concerned are largely dictated by updates from the government – meaning keeping your audience informed may very well have to be reactive. Nonetheless, keeping these lines of communication as open as they can be is essential.
Gaining customer feedback
We can’t stress enough that this active communication should be a two-way street, and these uncertain times can be just as worrying for you as they are for your customers. Not knowing if your business can weather the storm can be frightening, and a lot of this doubt comes from uncertainty as to whether your customer base will stand by you during and beyond this proverbial storm.
With an engaged brand community at your disposal, make use of nifty market research tools like custom polls to ask your members the big questions that are keeping you up at night. Keep them engaged with your brand, while demonstrating that their input holds significant value for you, and you’ll be able to harness these insights in the weeks and months to come.
Driving word of mouth where marketing fails
There are already numerous stories circulating about brands and their marketing teams pausing key traffic-driving campaigns in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak, as decision-makers acknowledge the dwindling demand for so many non-essential products and services. Of course, without the exposure generated by these sorts of active campaigns, it can feel like your brand will simply disappear into the ether.
Thankfully, with a loyal and engaged community behind you, word of mouth marketing can tide you over while other channels come to a temporary standstill. Sure, many of your customers will be practising self-isolation – meaning they’ll be keeping social contact to a minimum – but thanks to the ubiquity of social media, digital communication prevails.
Generating outside-the-box ideas
We’re a resourceful species, which has already become clearly evident in recent days and weeks – as self-employed professionals directly impacted by new government guidelines on self-isolation and social distancing look outside of the box for coping strategies. Particularly in the events space, lively brainstorming sessions are taking place across the world’s leading social platforms surrounding (primarily digital) alternatives to traditional events – giving professionals in event-centric industries (such as sport, music and the wider performing arts) a vital lifeline they may not otherwise have had.
Starting these conversations and sparking these ideas is made infinitely easier with a brand community in your brainstorming arsenal. If your industry is likely to be affected by the implications of self-isolation and social distancing, reach out to your audience for honest feedback and creative input on viable alternatives to your typical service. Two heads are better than one, and an entire customer base worth of creative brain power could prove to be a goldmine.
Planning together for the future
While it’s impossible to know how the current industrial, economic and societal landscape will change in the crucial weeks and months to come, whatever the future holds for your business and its customers, planning for this uncertain future should be a dialogue. Your valued community can let you know how best to support them through the rest of 2020 and beyond.
If you’re already a member of our community and have questions or concerns in this challenging time, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our expert team.
If, however, you’re ready to begin enjoying the benefits of your brand’s own support system, now’s the time to find out what you’ll get by joining the Six Circles platform. Request a live demo of our platform today by calling 0191 917 9697 or emailing us at email@example.com.
Stay safe and stay connected.