This week the White House released Coronavirus Guidelines for all Americans aimed at slowing the spread of the virus throughout the country. The guidelines include “social distancing” practices, such as staying home whenever possible, avoiding social gatherings of more than 10 people, and maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others.
For consumers and businesses, social distancing may seem intimidating, but the reality is that we are more prepared to handle this situation than we realize in the age of social media. Here are four ways we’re already equipped to overcome social distancing.
1. Use Owned Social Media Channels
If you’re a business, make sure all your channels are current and include details on how you’re adapting to the current environment. Try sharing hyper-timely updates that are helpful to users and sensitive to their current mindset, and take part in the conversations happening on your channels.
As a consumer, if there are brands you love or stores you’ve been meaning to explore, check out their social media channels to get new updates and engage with them in ways you haven’t tried before. Perhaps a business has an entertaining Twitter account or an interactive website to explore that you would have never discovered.
2. Virtually Network to Build New Relationships
It’s hard to physically shake hands with someone if they are six feet away. Lucky for us, we have many resources that allow us to shake hands virtually. In a time when we are limiting in-person meetings and canceling events for businesses and consumers, websites like LinkedIn allow us to continue conversations without missing a beat. Online networking can be done from anywhere, so it doesn’t matter if you are stuck at home for a few weeks.
3. Engage in Online Community Conversations
Businesses can do their part here by creating communities for customers to join. Twitter chats, IGTV, YouTube channels, and Facebook groups offer a sense of community and allow you to have meaningful interactions with customers, who can follow hashtags that align with their interests. These could be cooking groups or book clubs or anything that is relevant and keeps people engaged with others.
4. Tackle Your Online Reviews and Spread the Love
When it comes to managing business reviews, it’s easy to fall behind. Now is a great time to respond to reviews you’ve been too busy to address and thank customers for their feedback. Any problems that have been festering online can now be handled appropriately.
Consumers can take advantage of reviews by sharing past experiences that will keep us engaged and spread ideas for things to do when social distancing restrictions are lifted. You may not be able to try the new restaurant in town, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tell people about a different business you visited before the pandemic.
We are more connected than ever. Social distancing, while inconvenient, is not going to stop us from communicating with one another. All we need to do is keep doing what we’ve been doing, and do it efficiently.