COVID-19: Your Questions + Our Answers
Unsure how to approach business and brand stuff during a worldwide pandemic? Fair enough, it’s wild and woolly out there. In the wake of the spread of COVID-19 we’ve put together some answers to some common questions we’ve been asked. Need a little more help? Buffet offers expert strategy. Enquire about how we can assist by emailing us here. Godspeed.By Buffet
Should I still post on my social media channels when my venue is closed?
Yes! It’s important not to lose touch with your audience, this is the time to forge even deeper connections with your customers, so you and your brand are front of mind when the world corrects itself. Don't be afraid to open up and be real - vulnerability creates connection.
It feels weird to post about food and drink when the current situation is so dire, what should my messaging be?
Food and drink can be a welcome distraction to the news cycle, and people still need and want to eat good food. The main point is to be clear and direct and consistent. If you're selling something at the moment, draw up a clear schedule of posting. If you've decided to put recipes out there, plan on doing them every week. Routine! Routine!
How can I keep my community engaged while I'm at home?
Ask them questions and ask them to weigh in on your decisions. We’re all going through a similar thing here, so why not talk about it? Think about what your community might want from you during these times – recipes? Thow-backs? Educational snippets on how you do what you do? Staff profiles? Videos of what you're up to while working from home? Why not branch out and try something new.
Is it dumb to make jokes, should I be more serious in my communications?
There are times to be earnest, and there are times when everyone just needs a laff. Any relief from the news cycle is a breath of fresh air, so why not crack a few or poke fun at yourself? Start with terrible ones.
Is it weird to post old imagery, if it’s still relevant?
The combo of the algorithm and your (hopefully) growing audience number means only a small per cent will have seen every post you’ve ever set live. If you have a great piece of published content you feel would re-perform well in this climate, why not find a new angle for it.
Is community management still important if I'm not operating?
Community management is always important if you’re to maintain a connection with your audience. If people are messaging you or commenting on your posts, write back! Engage them. Make an effort to be active in your community too, like other people’s stuff that you enjoy, reach out to like-minded businesses, people and brands, pay some compliments. We have an entire guide about how to nail this side of social media, in this here link.
Should I start planning content for after this bloody COVID situation?
No one knows how long this will last – it’s best to focus on what you can do right now, in the situation we’re in at the moment. What are the most effective messages you can send while people are in this crisis? When it comes time to think about recovery, we can plan content accordingly to the lay of the land.
Should I promote what other businesses are offering during the lockdown? (While my business is closed?)
Supporting your industry and community is never a bad idea. Now isn’t the time for competition, it’s a time for collaboration. The more we lift each other up, the more we all rise.
What are the basic requirements for a sound online presence for my brand to stay relevant?
Consistency is key. Make a schedule and stick to it. If you’re posting a cocktail recipe every Friday night, don’t let it slip! Remember, also, to be authentic. People want to feel connected to the real people behind the brands they love, there’s room for vulnerability here. If you need help with polished photography, copywriting or a strategy, we can help.
As a customer, how can I help my favourite restaurants and brands right now?
Buy a gift voucher to use later! Buy some merch! Order some takeaway directly from your favourite restaurants. Share their content. Do you have skills you could donate to their cause? Why not reach out? A nice note of encouragement in their DMs never goes astray either.
How can I spend this downtime in a way that’s productive for my brand?
This could be a moment of pause to take stock of those items on your list you’ve been putting off in favour of chasing business. Perhaps your content strategy needs a makeover, or your website could be polished up? (We can help!). Why not finally design that merch range you’ve been dreaming of, or plan a digital collaborative event with that cool brand you admire? You could also learn to knit, or roast the perfect chicken. The time is now. However, don't feel the need to hustle too hard 24/7, remember to take breaks and rest, this is a stressful time for all.
How many days in a row is appropriate to wear the same outfit?
Look, after three days it might be time to really take a hard look at yourself. Times are tough, but do you have a different pair of pants you could try?
Let’s talk snackz. What kind of snacks are good for right now?
If you have a pack of tortillas in the freezer, you can do anything! Anything can become a taco or quesadilla! We’re loving this account for tasty ideas.
Are there any food people or restaurants streaming good stuff on IGTV and Instagram live I should tap into?
Maggie Beer has launched some very Maggie cooking videos! Why not try Massimo Bottura’s ragu recipe on IGTV, make carbonara the Mitch Orr way, or learn how to pickle and preserve by signing up to the online school we produced for Cornersmith a while back.
Any cool activities or new skills I could learn online while in self-isolation?
Learn how to use Photoshop using Adobe’s free trial period! Master the art of sourdough, everyone’s doing it and for good reason. Learn how to edit audio and appreciate the time that goes into creating the podcasts you listen to. Knock off a few of those books on your bedside table. If you’re planning on starting a business or opening a venue post-COVID-19, nail down your brand. Consolidate your super – being money-savvy is cool!
My brand-new venue was just about to launch before COVID-19 happened and is now pushed back, how should I approach my social media?
There are two options here. If you already started teasing content on your channels you’ll need to let your audience know what’s going on – things are on hold because of the current climate and stay tuned for updates. If you hadn’t published anything on socials yet that’s totally fine, maybe better. Use this time to really nail your brand’s tone of voice and look and feel. If you can, maybe pop up a placeholder grid telling followers you’re launching soon. For a how-to on launching your venue on social media head here. If it’s all a bit much, we can help you out. Email us.
How can I look after my mental health during this time?
Look we’re not doctors or health experts. But we’re taking baths, reading, going on walks and exercising, eating well (well doesn’t always mean healthily, btw. Some supermarket garlic bread has definitely been spotted in Buffet households). Something we’re trying to remind ourselves is that we’re not saving lives, we're leaving that to the experts (thank you, experts!) and our health, family, friends and the wider community are most important. We’re incredibly grateful and thankful for the amazing people who can’t isolate and who have to leave they safety of their homes to work, so we stay home for them. A little perspective and gratitude goes a long way for positive vibes. It’s also very fine to feel your feels, not everyone will come out of isolation an expert at something.
How is Buffet assisting your clients during this time?
In anyway possible. Last-minute eDMs, social plans, graphics, strategies for the next few months, you name it. When things were getting testy a few weeks back we ensured our clients felt supported and got their messages out to their audiences. As things have settled down we’ve worked to keep messaging consistent and clear.
What’s the best cheap (or free) photo editing app for my smartphone?
So many good ones! We like ImgPlay for GIFs and cropping (free or pay around $8 to lose the watermark), Unfold for Stories (free), good old VSCO (free), even the editing tools in iPhone photos are pretty legit. Head here for our round-up of must-have apps.
Does working from home mean I can work from bed? Bath? Lounge? Where does it end!?
Bed, sure. Lounge, yes. We think it ends in the bath, not very OH&S friendly. Keep baths to post-work, pre-dins.
Does your brand need a hand navigating COVID-19, or how to formulate your strategy during this time? Get in touch to find out how we can help with your communications strategy and content creation needs.
For more tips on how to nail online content, click this very link.