Businesses are facing tough times following the COVID-19 outbreak. Under normal circumstances, around 40% of small businesses turn a profit, but the pandemic has sent shockwaves through even the most successful start-ups and established enterprises. Businesses are now staring down the dark path of losses and cutbacks, leaving a lot of business owners in limbo.
There is a sliver of hope, though. Given the astronomical rise of social media in the last decade, businesses now have a huge platform to connect with their customers. Nearly 96% of organizations utilize cloud technology in some way, meaning moving to remote work may not prove such a huge adjustment. You will, however, need to adjust your social media strategy to reflect current world events.
Today, approximately 40% of consumers prefer businesses that engage with customers on social media. And with so many people on lockdown following government orders, a lot of customers are spending tons of time online. This makes now a great time to meet and engage with them. There are a few tips and ideas you should keep in mind when doing so.
Have a Grasp of What Your Audience Wants
Every business has a target audience. Understanding what they want is paramount to success. When taking the digital marketing route, you have to ensure that your content remains relevant to your customers. Social media is a great place to learn what applies to your business. You could use your Facebook page, for instance, to start up a live chat or run polls on your social community to gauge what your customers want during this time.
Create a Digital Event
Digital events have quickly become a staple of business marketing plans and it’s easy to see why. These events create an opportunity for you to get face-to-face interaction with priority customers. The whole essence of digital events is enhancing contact via virtual engagement. The more digital platforms you have on board, the better. Encouraging audience feedback generates the sort of buzz that could potentially reach millions. At a time when so many physical events are being canceled, this presents a great opportunity to connect and differentiate your brand.
Steer Conversations to Your Social Media Channels
Social media is an excellent base for interaction and participation. Think of a platform such as Twitter and how you could use a hashtag to direct conversations towards your business. You could also have people submit any queries and have a team on standby to answer their questions. Real-time interaction is a fantastic way to promote your community of customers to come together and feel a sense of connection to each other and the business.
Show Your Business’s Relevance in Fulfilling a Current Need
After doing a bit of consumer research, you should have a decent amount of knowledge of what your customers need. Currently, a lot of people are going through adjustments and trying to cope with spending entire days indoors. Considering this need, how can your business help them live a more relaxing life? Use platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to serve up content focused on how customers can interact with your products from the comfort of their homes.
Showcase Your Brand’s Efforts in Staying Clean and Safe
The mantra right now is all about maintaining high levels of hygiene while also practicing measures such as social distancing to minimize human interaction. Customers are aware of the need to exercise the right conduct to reduce the spread of the disease, and they hope to see the same level of awareness from your brand.
Keep Things Positive
Right now, all people hear and see is bad news that gets worse each day. The last thing you want is to propagate the negativity. Shift your content towards a more positive trajectory. Come up with ways to offer customers an escape from the gloomy reality of life’s current state.
When done correctly, your social media accounts can help boost your business’s image and performance. The opposite is also true. Here a few things you want to avoid.
Don’t Dismiss Any of Your Social Media Accounts
Perhaps your business has a Facebook page, an Instagram handle, a Twitter account, and a LinkedIn page. This type of diversification is a great way to reach lots of customers since it guarantees more eyeballs viewing your content. Having a dormant account beats the sense of starting it in the first place and could harm your business’s reputation. If potential clients try to reach out on one of the accounts and receive zero feedback, they will likely feel abandoned, and you might end up losing them.
Don’t Ignore Comments and Suggestions
Customers are the essence of any business and their input matters. You will likely notice a stream of incoming questions or comments on your social media pages. You might not have the time or energy to respond to every query but try to respond to at least a couple of questions and comments. Ideally, identify and respond to negative comments first to address customer concerns.
Don’t Forget Links
The goal of social media isn’t solely to connect with customers but also to bring them over to your side. Therefore, always include a link or two to your business’s website. If a customer has to go back and loop through to your bio again, chances are you’ll lose them. With Instagram stories, for instance, there’s a “swipe up” feature that allows users to gain quick access to your business’s website so use it.
COVID-19 seems almost surreal, but the fact is it’s here. Like a vine with its tendrils wrapped around the world’s neck, the pandemic appears to be choking the life out of businesses everywhere. Traditional advertising methods might not cut it currently, so your best bet is social media marketing. Now is the best time to maximize the use of social media platforms not only to sell but more significantly, to show your customers your business is there for them.