A Basic Social Media Strategy For Small Businesses During The Pandemic
How does a small business sustain itself during the COVID-19 Pandemic? You read about the number of businesses closing and wonder how you can make the best of a bad situation. So how do you intelligently and economically market your small business during these challenging times? If these questions are keeping you up at night, you’re not the only one.
So many people are sequestered in their homes that the demand for online content has soared. Here are some basic social strategy techniques that any small business can deploy during the pandemic:
Focus on building a following
When consumer spending is down and limited to necessities, expecting your online marketing to boost sales may not be practical. However, it is a great time to build your online following by putting out valuable and relevant content for your followers.
How-to videos, informational podcasts and blog posts can be incredibly powerful ways to engage your audience and build followers. Show what value you can provide for people during the pandemic. One caution: Revise your messaging to a softer tone if you believe it could be considered insensitive or tone deaf. You want to inform and engage, not alienate or anger potential customers.
While future budgets for marketing may be uncertain, avoid the temptation to stop marketing altogether for the time being. If you do, you’re cutting your message off to potential followers before it has the chance to reach them. Now more than ever, it’s time to invest in building your online presence, expertise, authority and trust to make sure your business is still standing when the pandemic subsides.
Listen to your audience before you create content
Are you checking the social feeds of your existing and potential customers to see what they’re posting about COVID-19? You need to know how they are responding to the crisis in order to provide your value in the appropriate manner. See what issues they are discussing and determine what answers and value your business can provide to help.
Some small business owners are deeply discounting certain products and services (or giving them away entirely) to show support for customers. This is a longer term strategy but one you may want to consider if appropriate in your market niche and location.
Post Consistently and Sincerely
There’s such a thing as “posting too much” on social media. With people’s sensitivities high these days, be cognizant of the frequency of your postings regardless of the particular social channel. There are no hard and fast rules as to how much to post during a crisis, so try to maintain the frequency you were posting prior to the pandemic as a guideline.
Be wary of your message, especially in hard hit industries. When it comes to social media in this time of COVID-19, the kind thing will often be the right thing. Be sensitive and sincere when posting. If appropriate, a little levity can also go a long way to putting a smile on your followers faces.
Measure Your Success
Regardless of the times, it is critical that you track how your content is performing to optimize future content, gain insight into what is working and what is not, and further massage your messaging to build engagement with your audience.
Your social media marketing professional should provide you with metrics to help evaluate your performance at least once a month. They can help you reevaluate planned campaigns and content, assess evolving customer needs and identify what parts of your strategy to salvage or scrap.
We are all adjusting to this new normal together; it is a complex puzzle with moving pieces that each small business owner must wrestle with. You can continue to market your business on social media during these times if you are sensible about the realities in which we are all living while still growing your audience.
Be part of your community. Try to do good and make people feel good. No one will fault you for that.