10 Oct Social media marketing through a natural disaster
As y’all probably know, Hurricane Matthew just came through Charleston, SC, where we are headquartered. During an event this huge where millions of people are evacuating, there is a pull and push effect of what to post on social media. Do you continue posting business updates, or do you post an evacuation notice and not resume posting until after you are back?
The proper answer depends on your followers and your type of business.
If your business is intensely local, you get the easy way out during the storm. A “safe travels” post or a picture of your business boarded up and closed is sufficient. After that no one is looking for business posts about your new fried pies. It’s all about The Weather Channel. When you get back, make sure to post when you will be open for business again.
If you are waiting out the storm, posting pictures or videos of what is happening would certainly provide helpful information and be topical to what is happening in the area. However, don’t go overboard. We have newspapers and weather channels for a reason.
If your customer base is more widespread, while they are probably aware of what is happening in your area it has no impact on them and, well, business is business. If you are leaving the area and will have long periods of time driving when you are unable to check your phone or post, your scheduler will be your best friend.
You can also post a “be safe” wish or board-up picture. Unlike a local business, however, doing more than one of these is excessive and not topical to your customers located elsewhere. For you there is no break from social media. You should continue to post normal business offers and promotions as usual. You should still check for comments, mentions and engagements regularly as well to stay engaged if at all possible.
The most important thing to keep in mind during a time of potential crisis is what your customer may want or need to know from your business. You want to put yourself in their shoes and “post unto them as you would want them to post unto you” in similar circumstances. Even though an event like Hurricane Matthew rightly feels like it’s about you, for your social media it needs to be all about them.
Any tips you have for doing social media during a natural disaster? Enjoyed this post be sure to subscribe to our blog! We would love to hear from you in the comments below!