The Coronavirus and COVID-19, have been dominating the headlines, causing widespread panic all over the world. To help ease it, brands and individuals have taken this opportunity to make a difference in any way they can. I was curious to see what brands were doing to help and came across this NYPost article about Chef José Andrés. The remarkable Chef transformed eight of his restaurants in NYC and Washington DC into gourmet soup kitchens for those who are struggling to make ends meet in the midst of this pandemic.
Chef Andrés isn’t the only one stepping up at this time. The international beauty brand, Sephora, is allowing operations to continue with free shipping until April 3rd, and National Grid, a company operating in the energy industry, is giving $500,000 to families affected by the crisis. I was thrilled to hear all of this – finally some positive news amidst the craziness!
My first thought after reading about these initiatives was to be incredibly appreciative of these brands for doing so much good for their customers, but I also couldn’t help but think that from an ORM perspective, this is a “win-win” situation for them. These actions will leave a long-lasting positive impression on the reputation and search results of those who are making that difference. They are also building trust with their audience and prospective customers, which will make them the brand people will want to turn to during the next big crisis, and even when things are normal.
If your company isn’t in the position to give as much as others, that’s okay. You can still help your customers during this time by giving them frequent online updates about any business changes, including hours of operation, plans for reopening, and other key information. Your customers rely on your business for its services, so when times are uncertain, your updates can be a huge source of relief for them. Additionally, your updates can help build deeper relationships with your audience and contribute to a positive online reputation for your company.
Here are a few helpful steps any brand can take in order to stay connected with its online audience. In each step, there are a few links highlighting organizations that are successfully taking advantage of their platforms online.
- First, gather any crucial information you want to share with the public. Then, either add that information to the homepage of your website and/or write it all down in a blog post that can be featured on your homepage and social profiles. When an individual searches an organization, most of the time, the first result is the company website and that’s where the majority of searchers will look first for any important information.
Examples: Clorox & Georgia Aquarium
- Address your followers on all social media accounts, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and Pinterest, since this is the best way to keep in touch with your audience with quick updates. Consider creating infographics that are easy to read and share so that your audience can retweet any useful information to others in an efficient way. Additionally, listen to the questions your followers are asking and address them to the best of your ability.
Examples: Fast Company & World Health Organization Pinterest
- Update any hours of service and important information on all review websites in order to keep followers informed. Yelp, Google My Business, and TripAdvisor are all examples of popular, convenient, and reliable platforms that customers frequently use to find out additional information about companies and organizations.
Statements: Yelp & Tripadvisor
- Consider posting a press release. This is another great way to communicate relevant information to a bigger audience and has the potential to show up in the search results for your brand.
Examples: Comcast & PVH Corp.
Although these points may seem pretty straightforward, whether you’re a small business, big brand, individual or any other organization, implementing at least some of them might make all the difference during a time of crisis. Our Online Reputation Management team welcomes all questions and comments at this time and always. Feel free to leave us one below!