The lockdown is not a time to sit back and relax. It is a time to get going if you are running a small business. Small businesses face risk of oblivion in the extended COVID-19 lockdown period.
Climbing back would be a tough challenge. Instead, put in more efforts, not just from the business perspective but also from a social perspective.
Social media is best to keep your presence alive and actually thrive. You can interact, get great exposure and spread your message using these social media marketing tips.
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Move sales to Instagram
You may not find it easy to modify your website or eCommerce site in order to redefine sales strategies for the unique COVID-19 lockdown phenomenon. However, Instagram is a wonderful platform. You can post and sell using your Instagram account.
- Convert your current profile into a business profile
- Link to your website and connect to your Facebook page
- Run ads if possible
- Use Instagram shopping and create shopping posts. When you create this type of post viewers can see name of product and price and when they tap the image they view a product details page. Now they have a choice of ordering through Instagram when your eCommerce presence is of little use.
Exposure and availability matter in these COVID-19 times. Instagram social media for business marketing should be leveraged to gain exposure and sales to keep you going.
If you do not know how to do it get an expert in social media for small business to assist you. However, it is not always about direct route to selling through social media. Exposure and spreading the word are useful activities that will indirectly drive sales if not now then in the future.
Social media to spread the word and offer support
The important thing is to remain visible. Use various social media channels to good effect during the lockdown.
- Twitter lets you interact with thousands of people across the world. You can post interesting tidbits of news and share tips.
- Facebook lets you do more. You can engage current customers, show concern, share information and post proof of something positive that you have done for the community. In any case, customers like to receive attention and be in touch. Facebook is one of the best direct and indirect social media for business marketing. Stay connected on Facebook all the time, especially now.
- YouTube is yet another video channel you can put to good use during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Share videos of not just your products but mostly of videos relating to matters that concern and interest people, such as food services for those affected by the lockdown and others that create an emotional connect and gain valuable exposure for you.
Know what is going on
And that is not just for general social chatter or customer chatter but also, importantly, about competitors. One of the most important social media tips you can put to good use is to track your competitors. What are they doing and in which spheres? Can you learn from their strategies or, if you think these are effective, devise better strategies for social media for small business?
If competitors are important so are your vendors. Your business depends on supplies from vendors in time so you can serve your customers. Facebook is ideal to have different threads running in which you address expectations of customers and provide assistance even as you keep tabs on vendors.
Finger on the pulse of people’s thoughts: To focus only on customers, vendors and competitors is a narrow worldview of all that social media offers. Just keep joining various groups, see what they are talking about. Leave comment. Contribute. Flit from one group to another. You leave a trail. Some might even follow it to your page.
Your page on Facebook (and other social media channels) can be a great platform for social media for business marketing. Here is all you can do to make it assume center stage.
- Explain how you are doing all you can to serve customers and how you are going out of the way.
- Invite suggestions and comments on how you can restructure services to suit the changed times
- Post requests for help from NGOs or public service people and groups. Do a good turn as much as you can—it does not cost much more than an investment of time and effort using these social media marketing tips.
- Create interesting and informative posts on Corona virus infections, health tips, staying safe
- Invite them to join public service organizations and do their bit for those in need.
- Share important telephone numbers and website links
- Invite customers and others to post their experiences.
If you have employees, get them to create their own social media pages linked to company name so they have freedom to work it the way they like and increase exposure.
Of course you must not let the opportunity slip to engage customers for sales:
- Announce short and long term competitions
- Launch a promotion for existing customers and invite new ones to take part
- Offer gifts or reward points, possibly linked to some social service activity
- Show you are always available and helpful. Customers will start to care more about you and for you and do what they can to reciprocate support.
- Hold on to past prices despite all round escalation or even offer discounts while lockdown lasts. You can think up innovative strategies to book future sales today through social media.
Use this mantra for existing customers. Offer rewards for referrals. If it works, as it should, you will surely get more new customers during the lockdown period.
You will want to know how well it is working because most people do not easily fall for promotions and rewards. You could use the social media site’s analytics feature or Google analytics but if it is all beyond you, get social media marketing experts to do it for you.
You see images of people taking it easy during the Coronavirus lockdown but this is when you, as a small business owner must get busy as the proverbial beaver, working the social media dams to your advantage. Do this now and you have a pool of grateful customers in future and pouring in of new customers too.
It is natural psychology for people to come together during times of social distress. Your website or eCommerce site is of little use but social media channels help you to connect and connections are vital in times of crisis. The lockdown may be temporary but COVID-19 impact will be far reaching. Now is a good time to build a solid base, become highly visible and establish a unique brand identity through social media marketing activities.