In case you haven’t been paying attention the last few weeks, there’s a bit of a global crisis going on. Cities, states…entire countries are limiting physical interactions like no living generation has ever seen. For businesses – especially brick-and-mortar businesses – social distancing requirements have changed the way we interact with our customers, clients, and local businesses. And what does a small business do when, in some cases, you literally CANNOT do business? You take to the virtual, digital world. Usage of social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp has increased like never before. All previous best-practices and trends are out the window as we learn to handle social media in a pandemic.
So, in a world where every business is SHOUTING for attention on social media, how does a small business really stand out? Or worse – how does a small business stay ALIVE in a new digital age, especially when they haven’t harnessed the power of social media before?
Check out our 7 steps to keep rolling with your social media in a pandemic (or get started!):
- Stay Consistent. Growth in a digital world takes time – even with paid ads. Consistent posting – and consistent interactions with followers – will go a long way in terms of organic growth. Creating a posting plan of 2-3 times a week is a great way to start – not overloading your followers with content, but still engaging them on multiple levels.
- Remain your true authentic self. I know, I know – “authentic” is the new buzzword. But it’s never been more true than today. If your brand is funny, be funny. Serious – be serious. Stay true to your brand voice. Creating original, true-to-you content is all the rage. Your followers have come to expect something from you – something that feels like your brand. If you have a serious brand that all of a sudden is posting constant memes with Netflix’s The Tiger King references, your followers won’t know quite who they’re dealing with anymore. Your brand matters – and should be consistent, no matter what the world is doing.
- Original content is key. Sharing posts has a place in social media – absolutely. But about the 8th time you’ve seen the same post or question or meme, you start to ignore it. Or worse – be annoyed by it. Branded images and unique content can set you apart from all the other noise your followers are being inundated with on social media.
- Embrace the Change. Accept it. Talk about it. Talk about what your business is doing. Talk about what changes have taken place. And TELL YOUR CUSTOMERS HOW THEY CAN CONTINUE TO DO BUSINESS WITH YOU. Have gift cards? Facebook can help you sell them. Offering curb-side delivery or porch-pickups? Tell the world. Talk about new products you’re developing. Talk about your plans for the coming year. Talk about how you’re helping your community. This time is scary and dark for many – but talking about it can be the key to a customer staying loyal and believing you’ll be here after the world starts spinning again.
- Find new leads and build your email marketing lists. Whether you’re doing this through Facebook lead ads, building a viral blog, or gathering referrals and reviews from your existing clients, this is a time you can focus on your reputation – and gather connections you’ll want post-quarantine.
- Try Videos. Yes, this is typically something I recommend outside of a pandemic situation. However, now more than ever, video matters. Your followers and potential followers are struggling with boredom (at best) and anxiety (at worst). Being a gentle distraction is welcome to many – and I mean MANY. Verizon recently reported a 20% week-over-week increase in web traffic. That means you have more people spending more time on the web than ever before. They’re spending longer periods of time surfing and scrolling, outside of their normal usage hours – there’s really no bad time to post. And attention-grabbing videos can mean those potential customers spending more time interacting with your brand than posting just words or a simple image.
- Get help if you need it. Social media professionals are still at work – even if it’s in yoga pants from our home offices. Getting some coaching – or even having a professional handle your social media for the time being – may be just what your business needs to stay afloat during this pandemic. As always, you can reach out to Flamingo Consulting – whether you need a quick coaching session or you need help carrying the social media load. We’re here to help!
Want to learn more? Check out our FREE Discovery Sessions – we’d love to chat about how YOU can grow during this crazy time!