We’re in a weird space right now.

It feels like there are only two types of businesses anymore:

a) Those making zero revenue or sales
b) Those doing incredibly well from coronavirus.

Ride out the storm.  Together.

Keeping your community engaged while we’re riding out the storm (whether you’ve put your company on ice or you’re thriving from high demand) should be a non-negotiable.

Engagement shouldn’t be about sales, it should be about connection with your audience and authenticity. And there are so many zero-cost things you can do that’ll pique interest and keep eyes on your brand during coronavirus.

Use this period to make sure the right messages are getting across to your target market and make sure they are connecting with your brand on a personal and positive level.

At ERIC, we have a number of things we are doing to keep our community of Gen Zers engaged and in the spirit of sharing, we thought we’d outline what’s helping us stay connected with our 20,000 member community and some of the rules we’re following.

#1 Get engaged

 

a) Create new content

Obvious but important. You don’t have to release it now, maybe start banking things up for when we go back to normal.

This can be anything – videos, podcasts, one-off audio projects, articles, regular recommendations of other people’s content… it’s up to you.

We’ve been focusing on our own personal projects that overlap with ERIC’s aims (Mae has a podcast called Phenomenal & Asian, Sam has a podcast called What The World Thinks – both have cost us nothing to make) and guest writing, like we’re doing for HR rewired, is a great way to get in front of new audiences.

b) Rehash old content

Cut up stuff you already have and release it.

Everyone has a backlog of content so take a look at the stuff you’ve previously published and see what you can do with it.

It might even be tweets you sent out from your brand’s twitter account that you can give an update on, or regular photos of the team from the past that you can make into meme’s. Anything goes.

We’ve been looking through our Instagram at previous polls we’ve done and seeing if we can redo some of them to do some ‘before and after’ content.  There’s no such thing as wasted content.

c) Temporary rebranding / pivoting

Launch something new, it doesn’t have to be crazy serious, but show that you’re responding to this weird time we’re in and you’re an adaptable company. We’ve just launched a new side of ERIC called ERICA that we’ve been meaning to make public for a while. Now is the perfect time to soft test.

d) Research & development

There’s no better time to find out about your community.

They are responsive, passionate, opinionated and interested in the world.

They will tell you what they think and how they feel about you with less prompting than normal. Use this time to improve your product, messaging and overall look. Include your audience in the research, talk to them.

Remember a lot of people have more free time than normal so will be happy to talk to you and offer their opinion.

We’ve been conducting Instagram polls regularly to find out more about how our community feel about their job prospects after Covid-19 and we just found out that 50% of Gen Z feel that Coronavirus has made them rethink their career choices.  This information is invaluable in helping us find different ways to support them.

#2 Rules of engagement

 

a) Be authentic

Think about the psychology behind authenticity. People are nervous, they want to feel like they aren’t the only ones blindly wandering through this period. No one wants polished stuff right now, they want real. If it’s scrappy, it’s fine – now is not the time to be obsessing over the details.

b) Talk to your community on a personal level

Humanise your brand. Show them who you are and they’ll trust you more.

One of the most interesting bits of feedback we’ve had from people talking about the effect coronavirus has had on personal levels is that people seem to be loving the idea of seeing the environment someone is talking from on Zoom. It makes them more 3D, rather than just a face in a meeting in an office room.

Never underestimate the power of context and how much more appealing it can make people.

c) Assess priorities

Don’t be tone deaf. Think about how people are responding to certain messaging right now. Trust your instincts – if you’re tired of coronavirus negativity on Linkedin, then it’s likely everyone else is too. What kind of things are capturing your attention? How do you feel when a brand reaches out to you with this messaging? What can you learn from what other brands are doing?

d) Test stuff out

The digisphere is saturated right now, so it’s the perfect time for experimentation. Why? Because if it doesn’t go well, no one will remember it tomorrow as something else has already grabbed their attention and they’ve forgotten it even happened.

As long as you aren’t being offensive or stupid, you can give stuff a go and see what sticks.

 

Sam Hornsby & Mae Yip, co-founders, ERIC

About the authors

Sam & Mae are co-founders of ERIC, a community empowering Gen Z creatives into the working world. Through engaging with the ERIC community, there’s a clear advantage for employers when they have access to – and genuinely understand – diverse Gen Z talent and so earlier this year they launched, ERICA. ERICA makes it easier for brands to access diverse Gen Z talent.

You can get in touch with Sam & Mae using any of the social channels below.

➡️ LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/eric-festival

➡️ Website – www.meet-eric.co

➡️ Instagram – www.instagram.com/ericfestival

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