Adapting Your Social Media Presence in a Time of Crisis

Your social media platform is important in moments like these, people often go to social media for questions, answers and concerns. Whether it is to take their mind off something bothering them or to know what is happening in the world, especially if someone is a patron of your business, they will look to you for some answers. The way your brand answers these questions is important during a crisis like this. You may want to stay optimistic or you may want to let them know you hear their concerns and fear. Whatever the tone of the post it has to correlate with what is going on in the world. Some followers may want to take all the negative out of their timeline and only see positive things, while other may want to just know straight up what is happening and what the solution is without anything distracting them. You need to know how to appeal to both of these followers.

New Crisis, New Plan

The marketing plan you have used with confidence every day, may come off as detached today. In your new marketing plan, you have to be considerate of the people viewing your content. During crisis’s, no matter what they are, it is more about trying to be helpful rather than trying to make a sale. With restaurants currently closed down, carryout and delivery is a huge thing to keep their revenue up. While many stores already had these options, now more than ever it appeals to the clients, so instead of being shut down completely restaurants have made many special accommodations for their customers. That may be; special prices, delivering out of their normal range, and providing curbside pickup, if delivery is not an option for them. These examples can make people more inclined to choose their store over the other. In these times you have to use the old saying “Think smarter, not harder.” A perfect example is Jimmy Johns, known for their “freaky fast delivery”, this new wave of delivery for many places is their norm. This week they announced that if you are a reward member you get a free bag of chips, and then another free bag of chips when you order any 8” sub, an incentive that anyone who is a reward member would love to hear. In all community’s local restaurants are challenged like never before, in our Rockford community local Franchesco’s Restaurant is an example of how to change your marketing plan for the consumer. They are providing special prices on not only carry out menu items, but on wine and beer as well. Including the specials, they have offered free delivery and are giving a roll of toilet paper to each carryout order. They have rethought how their carryout menu should serve the needs and wants of customers during this time. This is an excellent example on how to respond during a crisis.

How to Respond

This epidemic that the world is going through is making an impact on how people communicate and consume media and marketers need a well thought out way to communicate with people through social media marketing. What you personally may believe right now is maybe not what your costumer believes, and it is crucial to remember that. Everyone lives a different life and has different struggles, how you connect to them means everything and will stick with them when this is over. Benish Shah, from Blog.usejournal.com states: “In fact, if your behavior + brand message does not match, people will remember.” She talks about Reaction Marketing, basically copying what others are doing. Don’t do that. It is like panic buying just because, other people are, is it the right call? No, but since others are doing it makes you want to do it. Respond in a way you know your customers and followers will appreciate and don’t overdo it.

Next Steps

As you contemplate your next steps in rethinking your marketing content, which can become a powerful strategic planning tool for your business. This plan should be simple. Accurately, answer who you are now, what do need to do right now, who needs what you do as you move into the future, and how you plan to attract their attention with relevant content. It’s a combination of a planning process and a completed action plan.

1: Narrow your market focus. Think about the customers you have served in the past. Now describe your ideal customer in the narrowest and most detailed terms possible, as though you’re describing him or her to your best friend. What are their concerns? What are their fears? How can you be responsive to their needs?

2: Position your business. Figure out now what you can do best and what your target market wants and needs. Maybe it’s how you serve a new niche or how to repackage your products. If you don’t know what it is, think about reaching out call up three or four of your customers and ask them why they have done business with you and what do they need now. Craft and wordsmith core content marketing messages that allow you to differentiate your company in this time of crisis quickly.

3: Create knowledge and educational empowered-based marketing materials. Recreate all your marketing materials if need be, including your website, to focus on this concept of educational empowerment. Make sure every word in your marketing materials speaks of your new core messages, and to your target market’s needs.

4:  Provide value. To provide value to a target market needs, you will need to learn how you now can provide a new need value in a way that makes them want to reach for your services or products based on their needs. Ascertain all the ways you can get your educational empowered-based messages in front of your narrowly defined target market.

5: Earn media attention. Think about ways your company can become a reliable resource of up to date information during this time.

6: New marketing mindset. It will be up to you to instill a new marketing mindset into your business’s culture and with your team. Today is a new, day and with it is a new way of doing business.

7: Live by your content marketing calendar. Figure out what you need to do daily and to put them into action. Look at this content as an absolute necessity to move your content marketing plan forward.

 

This new social media plan will assist you in developing and delivering your organization’s social media content. During these times, businesses reach out to media professionals to find answers. We at Multimedia Marketing Group are here to help your business. If you need help finding your new business voice and how to respond to a new way of doing business we are here for you, contact Mr. Arco here for any questions: LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

This article is in collaboration with Mr. Arco and Ms. Serena Ahlquist. We have put this information together for your insight and hope you find it valuable and content rich.

 

 

Joseph Arco

President

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP

President, Multimedia Marketing Group Distinguished 20+ year career introducing Marketing strategies to drive growth within intensively competitive markets, an expert in creating the vision, identifying opportunities, creating high-quality products and services, delivering strong revenues and profits, and positioning start-up and existing businesses for sustainable growth. LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

 

Serena Ahlquist

Multimedia Marketing Administrator

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP

 

 

 

 

 

WHY CRISIS COMMUNICATION IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION

BUSINESS IMPACT BY THE NUMBERS 

In six days, the effect of COVID-19 on small businesses rose from 60% to over 80% in the US. These numbers are based on 60,000 business members who have taken the Weekly Impact Poll.

As you know, the fast-moving and unknown variables of an outbreak like COVID-19 have a wave effect. I am incredibly encouraged by the acts of business creativity, team- spirit, solidarity and support emerging from every sector of the business community, from retailers, manufacturers to the service industry, including our nonprofits.

Businesses are rethinking the way they serve customers in order to endure. Small and large companies are developing their communication contingency plans quickly. Some are adapting existing communication plans to handle this outbreak, while others are starting from scratch.

The still-evolving landscape of the disruption and the lack of hard data for your organization will continue to evolve. Communication through continued outreach is one of the keys to your organization’s future achievements. Reflect on learning or on honoring what was once. But do not get stuck there. There is no better moment in time than the present because now is all we have. The future of any business is promised to no one.

THE PLAN: WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT

New Crisis Communication Plan for branded content is not dissimilar to your very first Business Plan that perhaps you and your CPA presented to your prospective Banker. It projects possible outcomes and is a written description of your business’s future. Like that business plan, it can make or break a small business. It forces you to think through the validity of your business idea and numerous possible scenarios. It was your roadmap through the eye of your very own crystal ball. As Stephen Covey states, “Begin with the end in mind.” It provides the strategies you intend to implement to achieve the possible stated targets.

COMMUNICATION SCENARIOS FOR THIS DIFFICULT TIME

  1. Develop incident management and communication scenario plans that are specific to this crisis.
  2. Focus on factually and effectively communicating with your stakeholders.
  3. Plan on how you need to meet the government mandates in individual markets that you serve and minimize the risk of business disruptions and communicate those plans on an ongoing basis.
  4. Be proactive rather than reactive in your communication.
  5. Consider accelerating social, digital brand transformations as the shift to remote working reveals internal and external communication has altered how your organization is now perceived.
  6. Take the pulse of your market, thinking through longer-term communication considerations around shifts in your core markets or your business model as a result of the outbreak.

As business leaders, what this means is starting each day with purpose. Communicate to your team to create a discipline for themselves and to stop worrying about what they cannot influence and focus on what they can. When you are taking control of what you do and when you do it, you are in a proactive business stance. It means taking ownership of your organization. To work for things to happen. To focus on what communication is and why it is essential. To create a manifest destiny and move forward.

An agile and robust business communication plan will build healthy relationships through transparency and trust.

WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS AND WHERE ARE THE ANSWERS? 

The questions you may want to ask yourself and your team are: What data is essential to know. Where are there communication and marketing content gaps that need to be filled? How can we as a group target and effectively communicate this to clients, customers and other stakeholders we serve? By developing a positive thinking strategy and business communication, you will be far ahead of those who do not.

Reliable data underpins both crisis communication planning and affected social response. It’s essential that your crisis plan outlines how the information will flow to your stakeholders and that everyone has confidence in its veracity. Reliable data also reinforces a central element of crisis communication planning.

Undoubtedly this new communication plan will assist you in developing and delivering your organization’s messaging internally and externally. During these times, businesses reach out to media professionals to find answers. We at Multimedia Marketing Group are here to help your business. If you need help finding your ‘true north’ we are here for you, contact Mr. Arco here for any questions: LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

Joseph Arco

President

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP

President, Multimedia Marketing Group Distinguished 20+ year career introducing Marketing strategies to drive growth within intensively competitive markets, an expert in creating the vision, identifying opportunities, creating high-quality products and services, delivering strong revenues and profits, and positioning start-up and existing businesses for sustainable growth. LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

In RETROSPECT-The Universal Language of Music Today

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

The Universal Language of  Music Today according to our friends at Wikipedia, Music is found in every known culture, past and present, varying widely between times and places. Since all people of the world, including the most isolated tribal groups, have a form of music, it may be concluded that music is likely to have been present in the ancestral population prior to the dispersal of humans around the world. Consequently, the first music may have been invented in Africa and then evolved to become a fundamental constituent of human life.

The language of music is the language we can all understand throughout the globe. No matter what culture we herald from, we don’t even need words to understand what music is saying to us.

Like wisdom, music indeed, knows no borders. It is created in the moment as well as being a continuation of all those who have gone before us and all those who will live into the future. The roots of music are everywhere. In our hearts, our body and in our mind. Music does not know of languages, Music knows no bounds, no walls, like time, it is timeless.

The Oldest Song Ever

The oldest song ever created, a ‘sheet’ of music was discovered in the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit and referenced back to around 3400 years ago. Ugarit, Syria is the birthplace of alphabet and music notation. The interpretation of the music notation of Ugarit has had several “reconstructions” which have been published. Professor Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, who works as the curator at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley, spent fifteen years deciphering the clay tablets which were uncovered and excavated in Syria by French archaeologists in the early 1950s.

This Ugaritic hymn was arranged into a melancholic piano work preserving its rhythmic structure and building a musical bridge to the past. The song of this woman’s marriage was filled with pain at not having children for her husband and her family.  Apparently, the song is a lament, “the plaintive cry of an infertile woman” seeking the answer to her barrenness from the moon goddess

This is one of several arrangements. Syrian composer & pianist Malek Jandali’s album “Echoes from Ugar.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi-nM7j6XUE&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3a3W1yZMx0MD0Rz2I4WjneuTnv2XSAS9KebXv2XLWbzdfkFCxQbzCj4nU

“Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.” ― Sarah Dessen

Music & Visual Syntax Harmoniously Living Together

Before modern films that we see today that have synchronized voices and amazing sound effects, the first films relied on over the top acting and of course music to set the theme, tone, mood and tenor of a film. That music created ambiance for the viewer. It added up to the experience of ‘Suspended Disbelief,’ then, as well as now. A movie in a theater, a YouTube video or social media trailers without music? Probably not.

Music unites not only an audience, but folks viewing on social media and even in your own family living room. How many times have you heard a specific piece of music and immediately associated it with a certain movie? Jaws perhaps? Star Wars? Toy Story? Or what about The Wizard of Oz or Singing in the Rain?

Time has made this a universal message of mood and cognitive reality. It creates emotion and motion right down to our tipping toes, that are perhaps taping out the beats right now. Let’s hear it for Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark! DUN… DUH… DA!

It is scientifically proven that music enhances brain functioning through the element of focus. When a person listens to sounds over and over, especially for something as harmonic or meaningful as music and speech, the appropriate neurons get reinforced in responding preferentially to those sounds compared to other sounds. This neural behavior was examined in a study that looked at the degree of auditory cortex responsiveness to music which you can further investigate at Live Science. (Link) https://www.livescience.com/2953-amazing-power-music-revealed.html

Emotions that are triggered in a Film Presentation

Music effects the brain and changes the viewers mood. Want to make people feel happy, use songs that are happy, surprisingly this works the other way around as well. Believe it or not, sad music can be enjoyable, rather than simply depressing. Sad music can trigger positive memories that can help to elevate our mood. A new study provides insight on what’s going on inside our brains. This study was conducted by researchers at Durham University in the UK and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. The researchers analyzed substantial scaled surveys, covering 2,436 people in total, and found that there was a wide spectrum of responses to wistful songs. Three key responses and components stood out in particular: pleasure, comfort, and pain. There are two reasons for this. One from social psychology, and one from cognitive neuroscience. Psychologist Adrian North from Curtin University in Australia states, “In terms of social psychology, one way of thinking about this is that we feel better about ourselves if we focus on someone who’s doing even worse, a well-known process known as downward social comparison.”

Everything’s going to be okay, because this person is having an even worse day than I am. Adrian North also states that “another hypothesis from social psychology is that people like to listen to music that mirrors the tone of their current life circumstances – the songs act as a sort of tuning fork for our own situations, and they resonate with us.

Through the ‘Art’ of Film

The second group of options, which North thinks is more convincing, is centered on neuroscience and the chemical processes going on inside our minds. “Some scientists think melancholy music is linked to the hormone prolactin, a chemical which helps to curb grief. The body is essentially preparing itself to adapt to a traumatic event, and when that event doesn’t happen, the body is left with a pleasurable mix of opiates with nowhere else to go. Thanks to brain scans, we know that listening to music releases dopamine – a neurotransmitter associated with food, sex, and drugs – at certain emotional peaks, and it’s also possible that this is where we get the pleasure from listening to sad tunes,” concludes North.*

When we watch an emotionally charged scene in a movie, listen to a poignant song, or view a tragic visual as art rather than reality, we can find a melancholy but pleasurable attribute within its context and milieu. This hypothesis suggests sadness is handled differently by our minds when we experience it through the art of film rather than first-hand.

 

“First comes a thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” Napoleon Hill

Confronted with sound stimuli, this powerful medium we call music, can transform static, mundane presentations into rich, engaging user experiences that promote, educate, excite and engage the viewer. As communicators we have the opportunity to integrate those ideas very tightly. We can control exactly what’s shown on the face and what else is present on screen. This in conjunction with the mood of the music, the viewer has much less opportunity to walk away or focus on other things because we have tapped into the viewer’s mindset as music is our tool. We examine each part as a communication tool, to create rich content for a filmed presentation before it can become whole.

Whole-Part-Whole in Transmedia storytelling in 2020

“Whole-Part-Whole” is one method that can be useful and most effective when creating content for your brand that consist of very distinguished parts. Because of music’s impact combined with visual syntax on a viewer of content, Video through filmed presentations is the best, and most salable way of presenting your brand’s complete identity.

Motion Video working hand in hand with music, is the only media that can bring all these elements together. It can show off your company’s full identity to help you make more personal connections with your audience.

Corporate Branding doesn’t work well with video if it is only an afterthought. If you perceive and think that a film presentation is a layer on top of your other digital and conventional marketing, think again. Instead, to be effective, it must come from the very core foundations of the business — the collective ideas, values, and actions of the people within your business. The concept of brand affinity really relies on the importance of “affinity.” According to Psychology Today, Oxytocin is a powerful hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It influences social interaction (compassion, empathy and bonding). Because video is the most direct human-to-human creative medium on the web, it is indeed the medium that can help you create the strongest bonds with your audience. Why do we watch an hour and half to a two-hour movie? The combination of music, imagery, audio, and narrative allows you to say and show a great number of things all at once. Try to do the same thing with a twelve-hundred-page novel. You know exceedingly well that video has shaped the way social media platforms are now operating. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Mashable, TikTok- all have native video platforms targeting an audience.

Music to my Ears

Confused yet? Let me tell you a story. Flash back to when you were a kid. Think of time you were given a brand-new toy. Ok? This toy you got in the box can be used in simple ways. To get the most out of the toy you will have to read the instructions. The first instinct you and most other kids have is to open the box and start using the toy! You start playing with the toy based on how you interpret it. However, suddenly you realize you are having trouble using the toy in a variety of ways or even putting it together. So, what do you do then? Yep. You turn to the instructions.  At this point you take out the instructions and you read them step by step and look at the pictures. You start to fantasize it’s use.

Once you had learned how to put it together or use it appropriately then you went back to using it.  Once you fully understood how to play with it or put it together you had begun to master the enjoyment of the toy.

Corporate branding is just one toy in your toy box. However, your toy box is Transmedia Marketing, and the concept of the “Whole-Part-Whole” marketing philosophy is a filmed presentation. This will put all the pieces of your brand together for your customer, client or viewer and they will never view your brand the same way. They then become the brand ambassadors of the collective ideas, values, and actions of all you do. Music does that. Visuals do that. Story does that. Put them all together and you will have one fine toy in your toy box!

Now that is Music to my ears. 😊

“Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.” ― Ingmar Bergman

 

Joseph Arco

 

 

 

 

 

 

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP

President, Multimedia Marketing Group Distinguished 20+ year career introducing Marketing strategies to drive growth within intensively competitive markets, expert in creating the vision, identifying opportunities, creating high-quality products and services, delivering strong revenues and profits, and positioning start-up and existing businesses for sustainable growth. LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

Further Resources Sighted in this Blog:

*Memorable Experiences with Sad Music—Reasons, Reactions and Mechanisms of Three Types of Experiences. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0157444

*The degree of auditory cortex responsiveness to music which you can further investigate at Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/2953-amazing-power-music-revealed.html

What Is Oxytocin?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/oxytocin

 

My Experience Interning with MMG

It all starts with what you need and what you want, and then you go out and get that. As an intern at MMG I did not know what I wanted to do at first, the guidance and support that MMG has given me over these past months is amazing. I worked alongside Joe and Susan Arco learning the world of media and all the components that go along with it. My main focus was Social Media and Marketing; I learned a lot about the applications that you can use with different social media platforms and how to boost your brand name with Transmedia Storytelling.

What did I do?

The projects I’ve worked on range from blog postings for companies that work with MMG to going to job fairs and working the booths. I’ve had to learn to do thorough research and make sure my work is perfect and exactly the way I want it because when you post something on the internet, it’s out there. I just finished a series of blogs for MMG’s blog explaining how Neuromarketing and transmedia storytelling are marketer’s secret weapon. I worked two booths for MMG, one for internship and job opportunities at Rockford University and set up the interview process. The other booth I worked with MMG was for event planning, we went to Rockford Housing Authority, who happens to be one of their clients, and different people from business around town came in and asked us about what we could do for them as far as event planning goes. It was great to get experience with networking about the company and what they have to offer. I also had professional headshots taken to accompany my blog posts and to take with me for future reference, while taking those photos, Joe took the opportunity to teach me about photography as a little intro, he taught me about the different types of lights and where you want the shadows and highlights to be at with varying styles of photography.

What did I get out of it?

At MMG it defiantly wasn’t what I expected an internship to be at all. It was inclusive, and I was actually learning things instead of being told to do things. I sat in on conference calls and worked those booths, and it was a perfect introduction because I did not have any knowledge of the Marketing world before this experience with MMG. I think that I did great work and matured in my writing and communication abilities. I was involved in the day to day schedule and had a voice. If you go on the MMG website, on their blog page, you can read the blogs I’ve done and taken credit for. It was a great feeling being able to take credit for my work. I was also enrolled through MMG in a Transmedia course with the University of Sydney, Wales. I’ve had a small introduction to Hoot suite, E-blasts, and different ways to work and talk to my audience as well as a little Photoshop and graphic design. From all these little intros of things I’ve learned has helped me along the way catch things, like if we are promoting something I can look at a photo on a brochure and make sure the lighting and colors all flow well. MMG has taught me a lot in such a short amount of time, but it was all excellent information that I am now able to use in my everyday life as well as my professional life. Joe and Susan mentored me through all of these pieces that I had no idea about, my knowledge of Transmedia, Marketing and everything in between, is because of them.

Author: Serena Ahlquist

serena@mmg-1.com

Social Media Marketing Intern