Many businesses now understand the benefit of using social media to market their company, build their brand, and increase customer loyalty. The recent Hurricane Sandy that struck the east coast reminds us that social media is also a vital tool in communicating with both our customers and our employees during a crisis.
When Sandy hit, and in the storm’s aftermath, many businesses and individuals lost power, telephone, and Internet access. Without these essential services, how can a business get word out to its clients, respond to their needs, or even communicate with its own employees about whether or not to come to work?
Social media is the answer — and Facebook and Twitter are the two best tools to use. Hosted in the cloud and impervious to localized outages, these two behemoths belong in every business’ arsenal, and both can be used even if you lose Internet access (most people don’t realize that they can use text messages to connect with social media).
Use Facebook to post announcements; use Twitter to post updates.
Your business’ Facebook page is the place you would post an announcement, such as: “Dr. Smith’s office is closed today because of a power outage in our area.” Your business’ Twitter feed is the place you would post an update, such as: “Power has just been restored and the office is now open.” The concept of announcements and updates can be tailored to any type of business.
Both Facebook and Twitter can also be used to enable clients to get messages through to you, for example if your business’ telephone service is down; when customers “Like” your page on Facebook, they can post messages that you and your staff will see.
Tips for Using Facebook:
- Encourage all clients and employees to “Like” your page – this will enable them to see information you post more easily, and allow them to post information back to you.
- Assign one or more employees the responsibility of monitoring your page and responding promptly to all messages that are sent to you.
Tips for Using Twitter:
- Encourage all clients and employees to “Follow” you on Twitter – this will enable them to receive your Twitter updates.
- Assign one or more employees the responsibility of monitoring your account and responding promptly to all messages that are sent to you.
It is important to set-up these tools before disaster strikes. This article explains how to use Facebook and Twitter without Internet access:
Remember to publish social media icons correctly on your website so that visitors can find your business on a variety of social media platforms.