Communicating during natural disasters

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The path of destruction that Hurricane Harvey has left over the past week has left many homeless, numerous feeling helpless and others stepping up as heroes.

For many businesses including brokers, banks, and any financial market, closing during inclement weather is not an option. But how do you make a bad situation positive? Social media excels at being both conversational and timely, which is why the weather is often a highly engaging topic on social media. But what role does a financial institution have in talking about the weather?

“Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” -Mark Twain

Improving social engagement involves listening to your customers and talking about things that are immediately relevant to them. Here are a few tips we suggest when talking about these events.

  • Stay community focused. Whether you are located close to a natural disaster or have your roots farther away, there are plenty of ways to help. Show your community that sometimes community involvement means reaching out to surrounding communities in need. Do you have hurricane relief donation boxes located at your branch or fundraisers you are running? Let others know how they can join your effort to get involved
  • Be relatable. One of the most important things for any brand is to make sure to be relatable. Everyone in your community is being affected by the same weather, so start the conversation. Are you having to temporarily close a branch? Show why. Maybe it is because you have loan officers filling sandbags? Or like ValueBank Texas, it is because you too have suffered damage and need time to rebuild.

  • Keep frequency to a minimum. As is the case with all social media, you need to make sure you keep posts to a reasonable volume. Submitting a few pictures at the same time into a Facebook album or making a couple posts in a day is fine, but your customers likely do not need a play-by-play.

As you look to stay current, conversational and relevant, implementing posts for current events will help you relate better to your customers and increase engagement for the other items you market as well.

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