Online Press Can Mean Success or Failure for Business During the Global Pandemic

By Adriaan Brits Monday, July 13, 2020

Remaining relevant in the current economic market can help a business retain new customers and rebuild their online presence.

Millions of business owners have become accustomed to new ways of trading and keeping their doors open amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But, while the US job market has shrunk over the last few months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that employment rose by 4.8 million in June. It’s predicted that the need for employment will see a sharp incline over the coming months, as many businesses and large corporations look for new ways to keep operations going.

Business owners and marketing departments have yet to fall short of innovative methods to keep customers engaged, both domestically and internationally. With restaurants, bars, hotels, entertainment, and real estate among the hardest affected by the current pandemic, many have tried to revive their online presence, and ensure an engaging existence as they await return later this year.

The online press has surged social media channels over the last month. Some businesses have moved to become ecommerce entities to retain monetary income during strict lockdown measures imposed by state governments.

Combating Bad Online Press

Many businesses and brands fail to keep customers satisfied, and, especially during turbulent times, negative press can mean failure for small and mid-sized businesses. For those businesses working with a small team, and an even smaller marketing and advertising budget, it would be ideal to ensure social media channels are fluid and open-ended. Deciding on the best possible way to handle unhappy customers will ultimately depend on the seriousness of the situation and how the business normally interacts with its clients.

Businesses should keep their social media presence up-to-date and relevant as the year progresses. Bad online press, such as not responding to customer complaints, lashing out against political issues, and refusing to assist customer demands, have seen big brands lose a significant portion of their client basis.

Connecting With Customers on Social Media

Business owners and senior management are looking for new ways to lead their businesses in the coming months. Social media and online review platforms such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Reddit have managed to change the way customers engage with their favorite businesses, which has offered owners a valuable source of information on how they can improve certain products and services.

These interactions are key components for any business, as reviews and other commentaries will be open to other viewers and new hopeful customers.

Dealing With Politics and Company Values

Addressing political issues and other social matters can ensure a business or brand remains in touch with current affairs. But, in time, many larger companies have lost customer trust after using social media channels to express their political agenda. One 2019 study reported that 55% of polled consumers said that they would stop supporting brands that don’t align with their own social views.

An example of this is when fast-food giant McDonald’s faced scrutiny after tweeting hate against then-President-Elect Donald Trump in 2017. In return, the company saw an overall decline in online support, and some angry customers started the hashtag #BoycottMcDonalds.

On the other hand, businesses must function on the values they were founded upon. Supporting social issues and political campaigns has become a way for many businesses to reach more clients and build an authentic and trustworthy brand. In fact, the same 2019 study mentioned before reported that 70% of respondents say that it’s important for businesses to take a stand on social issues.

Sociopolitical issues and turbulence in the marketplace can easily displace any business’s role and authenticity. With so much upheaval sweeping the nation, the line between destruction and success is a fine one that businesses need to monitor constantly.

Wrapping Up

Online press in any capacity will help businesses either grow, retain more customers, and become a trusted brand among competitors. In times of disparity, it’s good for business owners to reconsider what’s important and relevant for the current economic market.

Economic trends will quickly change over the coming months, as economists share how the market will make a slow recovery. Still, buyers and shoppers remain anxious to return to a normal life.

About the Author

Headshot of author Adriaan Brits

As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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