4 social media tips to tackle the business disruption
Updated: Sep 25
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people and businesses around the world. Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives, and millions have been struggling under lockdown. Many small businesses have had to close their doors, leading to job losses and bankruptcies.
The coronavirus has also brought to the fore the key role of social media in today’s world. People around the globe have used social media to voice their struggles with the pandemic and coordinate help to vulnerable people within their communities, and social networks have allowed for the rapid spread of information (and, sometimes, misinformation) about the virus.
The importance of social media and online networks has also become increasingly apparent to business owners and entrepreneurs as the pandemic has spread. When physical contact with your customers, employees, and other stakeholders becomes risky or impossible, moving these interactions online is a natural digital-age remedy.
During the pandemic, many firms have learned how to better benefit from social media, and many more can. Below are four tips for small businesses on how they can make use of their social networks to improve their digital presence in ways that help them protect their bottom line in the face of disruption.
Tip #1: Let your followers know how your firm is doing
The first tip seems simple and obvious, yet it is frequently forgotten by small businesses — tell your customers how the pandemic impacts you! Let them know if you’ve had to close down, and when you are likely to reopen. More importantly, if you’re able to stay open, let them know that too!
It is startling how many firms lose business simply because their prospective customers don’t know if and when they are able to visit you. A simple update on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram may be the difference between a happy customer and a non-existent one.
And don’t forget to keep your business profile (Google My Business) updated across Google as well! Click here, if you want to learn more why you should use Google My Business as a small business owner.
Tip #2: Let your followers know how you are doing
In addition to communicating the situation of your business, you can go a step further — let your customers know how the people behind the scenes in your firm are managing the situation. People like to buy from other people rather than faceless companies, and keeping that personal touch is important especially when physical contact is limited. If you are having a Zoom meeting between colleagues, or the first physical get-together in a while, post about it! Let people see the faces that keep your company running during these difficult times.
Tip #3: Make use of online sales channels
Social media communication is a good start, but to survive, you’ll also need to regain some of that lost revenue. If your business model allows you to serve your customers off-premises, social media may become your primary sales and marketing channel. Many restaurants have survived by moving to a take-away model, and many other types of businesses can benefit from providing home delivery as well.
And if you think your business model doesn’t work online, maybe you can think again! For example, a Cincinnati Zoo used social media to bring their safari tours straight into their customers’ homes, and many gyms are offering streamed home fitness classes. Again, it’s important to let your followers know what you’re offering and how — if they don’t know you have it, they can’t buy it!
Tip #4: Find new ways of serving your customers
Sometimes, social media can be used not only to provide your old offering in a new way, but to find a completely new offering to provide your customers. Here, it is important to understand both your customers and your business: who are your customers, and what can you give them to make them happy? For example, Red Roof hotels compensated for the loss of overnight stays by offering day rates for remote workers, thus tackling a newly emerged customer need. Thus, it’s important to not just talk to your customers, but also listen to them, and social media is one of the best ways to engage your audience and collect targeted feedback from your most loyal customers. So don’t forget to read (and respond to) those comments!
Fundamentally, social media is about keeping the dialogue going with your customers, even in times when face-to-face dialogue may be disrupted. I hope the above tips prove useful in developing your own social media strategy and staying in touch with the people on whom your business depends — your customers.
Good luck, and stay safe!
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