Business owners across the globe have been tossed into the unknown as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to change how we do business. For many, their door are closed, their staff numbers are dramatically reduced and links to their customers are severely impacted. How can we make this easier and find opportunities to stay connected to our customers?
Social media has played a key role in keeping us connected during this time of uncertainty, as we connect with family and friends and businesses that can help us through with products and services that can help make life a little easier.
1. Make sure your social media profiles are all up to date with your correct contact details, have you included your telephone number, email address and website? It is vital that we make it as easy as possible for people to reach us and of course when they do, that we are there to respond as quickly as possible. If you know your response time is slower than usual due to the pandemic - make sure to make people aware with a post on your social media profiles, a banner on your website, a message on your voicemail and you can also set up a custom automated reply in your Facebook Messenger.
2. Stay top of mind - keep your audience informed of your availability/opening times. Share what you are up to - show how you are adapting your business to help them and keep everyone safe.
- Are you out doing deliveries?
- Are you packing orders for collection?
- Are you laying out your premises to allow for social distancing in advance of reopening.
- Have you started producing something new to help your community e.g. facemasks, hand sanitiser, care packages?
3. Whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Tik Tok is your chosen social media platform - for many businesses this has become their new 'window display' offering customers an alternative way to keep in touch with current stock and opening times. We need to take every opportunity to utilise this. While many aspects of our lives have slowed down and even stopped in some cases - people are still seeking products and and services which they need.
How best can you bring these to your customers? Take clear photos of your products, use videos and stories to keep your followers informed and up to date on what you have available. Are you a local bricks and mortar business? The local DIY store could put together a package with all you need to paint the garden fence. The garden centre could put together a beginners herb garden pack. Put some time into thinking about how you can make it as easy as possible for people to make a purchase from you, while also sharing your practical tips and advice with them.
4. Setting up a Facebook shop is a really useful stepping stone for small businesses to get their business online. This allows you to add your products to a catalogue which people can browse within Facebook and buy there and then. You can then link this to Instagram where you can also tag products. Even if your business does not have a website, you can make use of these features using platforms such as Shopify and Ecwid. This option is particularly useful for sellers with a smaller portfolio of products that those with a large retail offering.
5. Use social media as part of your customer service solution as for many people it is their chosen medium given its ease of use and they don't want to be redirected to an email address or telephone number. Tools like Facebook Messenger even enable you to select commonly asked questions that it will automatically reply.
If you are finding certain questions being repeated by a number of people then you can help save yourself time answering these by creating some content which address the questions which will free up time which you would otherwise have to spend answering individual queries.
6. Be yourself! We all know it is a very challenging time both personally and as a business. How are you spending your time? What are you missing? How is your lockdown hair looking? Our followers love to feel that connection with the people behind the business and we are very lucky to be able to maintain that link with them via social media whilst we cannot see each other in person so don't be afraid to keep it real and be yourself.
For the foreseeable future, while we continue to adapt to social distancing and our new normal, we can still assure our customers, both new and old, that we will continue to be there for them using our social media to amplify our message.
If you would like help to ensure your social media helps you to go the distance in this pandemic you can get in touch with me to arrange your free 20 minute call with me or to find out more about my services you can pop over to my website www.scealdigital.com
Stay safe x