5 Tips for Connecting with Your Online Community.

The new normal is changing people’s behavior. Now is an excellent time for brands to stay connected and offer support to their audience. Here are five tips to help you do just that.
Veena Ramakrishnan
April 3, 2020 - 5 min. read

How can you connect with your online community now that they can’t physically connect with you?

It makes you think, doesn’t it?

People may be physically distancing themselves, but by no means are they going to distance themselves from communicating on social media. Everybody is constantly looking for ways to occupy themselves and connect with each other during the lockdown period. And the one place they bank on, more than any other, is social media.

Which brings us to the question: How are you as a brand going to connect with your audience on social during the COVID-19 crisis…or any crisis for that matter?

If you think you can just go AWOL on social and resurrect when this whole pandemic situation subsides; think again. In fact, we wrote an entire article on why brands shouldn’t stop posting on social during the COVID 19 lockdowns.

To prevent you from being that one brand who ghosted its audience at such an unprecedented time, here are five tips to help you connect better with your online community.

1. Translate your brand’s USPs into good content.

You already know what your brand’s unique selling points (USPs) are. There’s no time like the present to translate those into good content. Your USPs are what sets you apart from your competitors. Find out how you can communicate that to your audience in a way that truly resonates with them.

Here are some examples of brands with great unique selling points:

FedEx: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

M&Ms: The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

You can also draw inspiration from influencers who do this daily. Identify the top influencers from your industry and see how they engage with their audience on social media.

2. Show your community how to use your products.

According to Google, the search volume for “bored” has spiked significantly in the past seven days. We’re apparently all searching for ideas on what to do with our time. Searches for “games”, “puzzles”, and “coloring books” have also increased significantly.

5 tips to connecting with your online community

Now is the perfect time to use this insight to your advantage and show your community how they can use your products. Rethink the way you are promoting your products and start thinking about how you’re going to position your brand.

For example, Filson shows a step by step guide on how to rewax their oilskin jackets and bags.

SATS fitness center is offering online workouts now that people can’t go to their local fitness centers.

Flying tiger shows good products to spend time with.

If your company sells a service rather than a product, there is no better time than now to make a master class on social.

3. Choose the right channel.

You know who your target audience is and where they spend their time. You also have a few new ideas for magnificent content, so now it’s time to think of the way you’re going to distribute it.

The new normal is changing people’s behavior. Now might be a good time for brands to rethink (or redo) the analysis of where best to target potential customers.

Being forced to stay home means that people are trying new things. The video app TikTok saw an 18% increase in downloads and was downloaded 2 million times between March 16 and 22. Instagram and Facebook live videos have doubled in a week’s time.

If you’re active on several social media channels, consider if the content is suitable for all your channels or if it makes sense to keep it at one channel.

4. Don’t forget to engage with your community.

This is a cardinal rule that needs to be followed on social regardless of the presence of a global pandemic.

Engaging with your audience during a time like this is quite different from your average Tuesday. This is uncharted waters for us all, but you need to ensure that you keep communicating (the right way) with your audience.

The key to nursing your online community is community management. Don’t forget to comment, like, and respond to the comments and feedback you’re getting on your content. Ghosting followers is not an option.

5. Evaluate your performance.

So, how did it go? What response did you get from your audience? How was the engagement? Could you tweak some of your upcoming content?

These are the questions you need to ask yourself.

Assess your performance across each channel. Find out how many people engaged with your content, the number of unique views received, and so on. These metrics will help you identify your core channel that performed best compared to others.

Final Thoughts.

As marketers and business owners, we are all faced with the struggle of understanding the complications and severity of COVID 19.

This new normal is leaving people anxious and stressed out, and self-isolation makes people long for connections now, more than ever.

As a community, we need to stay positive, connected, and — most importantly — we need to lift each other up to weather the storm. With advanced technology at our disposal, businesses have every chance to stay connected and offer support to their audience at this time.