The following information should be taken as recommendations only, and never be used in place of medical advice from professionals. We encourage you to defer to your human resources department, health professionals and CDC.gov for information. Our thoughts are with anyone currently dealing with the Coronavirus.

If you’re like most business owners, you’re beginning to see the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in your business, whether you’re in an area that has been directly impacted or not. Perhaps foot traffic has slowed down, or maybe you’re hearing crickets from your lead channels.

While it’s an uncertain time for the economy and there are many unknowns, it also brings an opportunity for you to reinforce your relationships through your digital presence while working from home. Here are some tips to do just that.

Meet your customers where they are: As more consumers opt to stay in, they are also spending more time online researching and on social media channels. Meet them where they are spending their time and devise a digital communication strategy that supports your business goals. If you haven’t yet established a social media presence, now is the time.

Conduct business online: Mass event cancellations can make it tough to network, hold meetings or conduct in-person business that is so important to your success. Even coffee shop meetings are dwindling in popularity. The great news is that you have an entire suite of digital tools that provide a direct communication channel to your customer base. Tap into online alternatives like Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, IGTV and Facebook to communicate with your network and customers.

Stay active in the conversation: Social media is a two-way street. That means listening is just as important as talking, just as it is in “real life.” Prioritize time to monitor the online conversation taking place about your business and news specific to your industry so you can proactively address any potential concerns.

Transparency is key: We are in unknown territory, and that means the implications of this global issue aren’t yet fully known. That means we are all in this together, businesses and consumers alike, and figuring it out one day at a time. Address concerns specific to your business with transparency to let your customers know what is being done to keep them and your workforce safe and healthy.

Shift your business online: Whether you think so or not, your business has an online component. If you’re experiencing a sudden slowdown of business, shift your focus to the services and product offerings that you can extend online; there are probably more than you think. Now is a great time to offer webinars and educational online resources, bolster your eCommerce business or offer online gift cards so consumers can frequent your business later on.

Express your gratitude: Unfortunately, gratitude often falls to the wayside when it comes to social media conversations, and it’s not uncommon for businesses to use their digital marketing channels as a one-way megaphone. Don’t forget to use your digital voice to express your sincere gratitude to the customers keeping you afloat and supporting your business.

Connect your team: If you’re one of the many businesses that have temporarily asked your employees to work from home, you may be searching for more effective ways of communicating with them. It may be time to consider a reputable internal communication channel such as Slack, Yammer or Workplace from Facebook. There are internal social media platforms for all industries and business sizes.

At the end of the day, digital marketing is about human connection. When you invest your time into fostering solid and authentic relationships, both online and off, your business can weather any storm.

Stay safe out there.

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