These are indeed challenging times for people in all walks of life and business is no different. Many are saying that the way we used to conduct business has now changed and we are now living in the 'new normal'. But what does this 'new normal' look like and are there any best practice examples that we can take from companies and apply to our own? Of course there are and here are some examples I've found.
Here's a neat example from MIT to show that, even in times of a pandemic, what might seem as a huge problem can easily be overcome. Even defending your doctoral thesis can be done online. There's video is compiled nicely and we can learn something from concept, to presentation and to the fact that not even borders act as a barrier.
— MIT MechE (@MITMechE) May 21, 2020
Many people have graduated from your university and, this can provide you with a lot of content ideas. Here, Cornell University invites entrepreneur and ex student Steve Hindy for a talk and live beer tasting. What could be better?
Join us today at 4 p.m. EDT for a talk and live beer tasting with Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner Steve Hindy '71, MAT '73, co-founder of the Brooklyn Brewery. https://t.co/Ny91VVMrll
— Cornell University (@Cornell) May 19, 2020
University of Manchester
During lockdown we have seen a huge increase in the number of people using video platforms like Zoom, Microsoft teams and Google hangouts. The University of Manchester has just started a series of videos titled "lockdown lectures" and the first one is with renowned physicist Brian Cox. Consider how you could be using this idea of lockdown lectures/diaries/exercises for your own organisation.
If the customer can't go the business/university/school, why not take it to the customer? Even though you can't hear Harvard University's bells they decided to put those bells online. This is a great example of where organisations which have venues or locations – think parks, universities, wildlife parks, farms or even entertainment and sporting venues – can film the location and post it up on to the Internet. Some of them, like Harvard, can fall back on digital media assets which they have created in the past.
Social Media tip - hardwire Social Media into your brain and document what happens in your working day. You never know when you might use it.
Since we can’t be on campus to hear the bells of Lowell House ring each Sunday, we are bringing the bells to you.(Video footage was recorded earlier this year.)
Posted by Harvard University on Friday, 24 April 2020
How about giving your followers an insight into what your employees have been up to during this time? Harvard University has selected 40 students from around the world and created 40 'lockdown updates'.
Food and Drink
You might not be able to go to Costa and order one of their lattes but that doesn't stop them promoting their coffee packs so that you can enjoy your it at home. In this example they are teaching you how to make the perfect coffee using your cafetiere. The video series is titled 'From our home to yours' and features (from their homes) top tips from Costa's baristas.
Missing your mid morning break at your local coffee shop? Sit back and relax with our At Home coffee range because you don’t need to leave the house to take a break. Check out the link below for tips on making the most from your Cafetière ?https://t.co/3vKgMDO5oK pic.twitter.com/rB392ZqteX
— Costa Coffee (@CostaCoffee) May 20, 2020
Cotswold Cheese Company
Even though shops and restaurants are largely closed (but starting to slowly reopen) many companies have seen a boom in online sales. However, what is surprising is the number of food and drink companies that have been quite inactive during the lockdown period. Folks, this is precisely the time that they should be more active, especially if they have e-commerce capability. I like this example which announces winners from a recent online competition from Cotswold Cheese Company as 1. the picture is taken in the shop to remind you they are open 2. it shows the hampers which people can buy online. Business continuity is so important in this time.
We were so overwhelmed with giveaway entries that we have decided to pick two winners! The lucky hamper prize will go to...
As many of you will know Riverford is a favourite of mine when delivering social media courses. This simple video highlights all the steps that they are taking to ensure a safe and supportive environment for their staff and customers. I'm sure there are many lessons for all of us in business to learn from this. Boots and B and Q also have some good examples of showing the steps they are putting in place to look after staff and customers.
As an employee-owned business, supporting co-owner wellbeing through Coronavirus is really important to us. These are the steps we have taken to make the Riverford working environment a safe and supportive one...
Posted by Riverford on Friday, 15 May 2020
Waterstones is another of my favourite Social Media favourites. They are SO good on Social Media and though they don't have the budget of Amazon they certainly deliver a far better social media experience. In this example we can see that they have used one of the popular video conferencing applications to record an interview with not just the stars and director of Normal People but also from some Waterstones staff. It's worth watching if you're looking for great tips on how to conduct video interviews or even webinars.
Loving @BBCThree's #NormalPeople? Earlier this month we spoke to Sally Rooney, @DaisyEdgarJones, @mescal_paul & @lennyabrahamson about why it's the story everyone has fallen in love with, and you can now watch the full video here: https://t.co/X6bC1DKcBU pic.twitter.com/yL9EWmTnhz
— Waterstones (@Waterstones) May 25, 2020
Square is a payments company that serves both individual and businesses. More often than not you will come across them when you swipe your card at the local coffee shop. They have always promoted their customers and customer use of their products/services on Social Media and through the pandemic they have sought to highlight customer stories through the use, amongst other techniques, of short podcast stories. I must say I really like the format of these within Twitter.
“We figured out a way to produce sanitizer to donate to the city, and we're working on additional batches for Pittsburgh police, fire, and EMS.”
Support Meredith and Wigle Whiskey by visiting https://t.co/5AxrC5fqi7 to order. pic.twitter.com/dvUMwGdXaR
— Square (@Square) May 26, 2020
Fashion clothing company Joules invite you to see how their staff are coping with lockdown. In this video one of the fashion designers talks about what she gets up to at the weekends - painting plants and flowers from her garden! I do like this approach where people within the company step outside of their working life and show us other aspects of life or even new skills they have learnt during lockdown.
So, as we can see, even though most of us are unable to work from an office this does not mean that our social media efforts have to stop; on the contrary this is especially the time where companies need to double up and think in a different way about how to keep in touch and engage with their customers. The examples above, I hope, will give you inspiration and ideas as to how your company can approach the task of using social media in the 'new normal'.