While it might not seem so at the moment, there is another side to our sheltering in place during this pandemic. At some point in the future, we will all be back to some form of normalcy with the ability to hug one another, shake hands, have boring meetings and walk the streets. I don’t know when. I don’t have the slightest idea.
But I’m sure the people in the last pandemic in 1918 also thought that the boredom and shelter wouldn’t end either. But here we are, 100 years later, with virtually no societal memory of the last time the entire world ran for shelter.
The point of this is, we’re still marketing. We’re still telling the stories of our business. And we seem to have more time to pay attention to that messaging.
I’m seeing people on social media whom I haven’t seen there in some time. There are people who are turning to the “crowd” to see what’s going on with others, perhaps to get some idea of what officials are saying or just out of sheer boredom.
According to the New York Times, Facebook use is through the roof. Suddenly Facebook Messenger and it’s ability to do multiple-member video calls has become a popular service. And, of course, the Zoom video conferencing service is the superstar of this whole pandemic thus far. Instagram, Tik-Tok, Twitter and all the social platforms are reporting incredible use numbers.
So the point of this all is, people are talking. And watching. And what you say now may not be forgotten.
I’ve watched businesses absolutely master their messaging during this with a local restaurant doing regular video updates about their newest cocktails and wonderful dinner specials. It’s been great seeing these and they’re incredibly entertaining. Another restaurant is shooting daily to-go specials and doing a daily drawing for a free meal. At that same restaurant you can buy a meal for someone who can’t and there’s a big board outside their to go window where you can take advantage of this if you need to.
In fact this last restaurant made it on the local television news channel their messaging and actions were so positive.
And then, this past week, there was a protest in the community with a parade of people hoping to regain access to our lake, which is a huge asset for recreational boating. While the protest was small, the message was loud and clear.
During this time people aren’t thinking as they normally do. Some people are shrugging off the pandemic like it’s the flu. Others are scared that their lives could be endangered, or that their business won’t be there when things are reopened. Some worry that they may get kicked out of their houses because they’ve been furloughed from their place of work, or that their place of work has already closed. For good.
So the logic and thinking and way of being of people is different right now. That means the way they react is also different right now. So driving your company truck in a parade about recreational boating might not get the reaction you want.
Remember, we’re all still marketing at this time.
Unfortunately some participants in that parade have already received threats to their families and threats to their person. There have been promises to never do business with some participants.
Remember that, we’re always in the business of marketing for our businesses and the things we say and the things we do are also marketing. While I would never suggest that someone not exercise their free speech and ability to express their opinion, just consider that there are consequences to the things we say and the things we do.
This has been true on my own personal page where I know that I post more about beer than most. I am a lover of craft beer so jokes about beer, beer-related messaging and beer images are a part of my social image feed. Some have told me that “this shouldn’t be done because people who want to work with you will see it.”
I fully assume that people know who I am and the things I enjoy. I also post about camping and travel. A lot.
You could argue that this is on my “personal” social media but you have to know that all of this is a public forum. So my posts about beer or camping are all part of my total brand.
My tip in this case is to just consider all the messaging about your business during this crazy time. Be well and the best to you.