Social Media: Supporting Your Business In Hectic TimesSocial media has turned out to be a great tool for businesses. People want to be kept informed of changes and opportunities, and social media turns out to be a great way to transmit information and build relationships with customers. But social media can be more than just a way to market your business. You can use social media services to keep customers informed in “need-to-know” circumstances.

Creative ways to use social media

Using social media to announce a sale or promote a special offer is certainly right up social media’s alley, but there are ways to use social media to transmit quick, important information to your customers and interested parties. For example, as we sit in the tight grip of another polar vortex, a heating and cooling company or a plumbing company can use social media to inform its customers in real-time of approximate wait times for emergency service. Under the same circumstances, the company can also use social media to help customers know what to do during temperature extremes to avoid emergency service calls.

This use of social media can also extend to local government – identifying which services are available or unavailable, noting delays in curbside trash pickup, mail delivery, emergency road closures, program cancellations and other “need-to-know” information. Social media can be a quick, painless way to give people important information.

Healthcare providers can also use social media to help inform patients of delays, emergency room wait times, open appointments and the availability of urgent or unscheduled care appointments. Providers can also redirect patients to other nearby providers when their own calendars are full, or they’re coping with unexpected arrivals. Providers can indicate through social media the availability of flu vaccines, or the prevalence of influenza cases (or other contagious diseases) in an area and promote special local health and wellness initiatives.

No-school days sometimes pose a challenge for parents. Childcare providers who have open space can use social media to help inform parents of the number of “drop-in” spaces that are currently available, or alternately indicate that no drop-in care slots are open. This saves parents time when they’re trying to re-arrange their schedules unexpectedly.

There are many creative ways to use social media as part of a planned marketing campaign, in the normal course of business and during unexpected events and emergencies. If you would like more information about how your business can put social media to work, or you would like help developing your social media capabilities, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.

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