The world of business is primed for an unusual period with the impact of Covid-19 currently uncertain. In these unique times, we are all having to adapt our business habits and it may be that social media can provide solutions to some of the hurdles you may have to overcome. We want to help the business community in the best way we know how – sharing our top Introtweet social media tips! Here’s ten ideas you can try today to boost your business.
Missing networking? Do it on social media.
Regular networking is a key element for many businesses, but it is something we may all be doing less of in the coming weeks. The good news is you can enjoy many of the benefits of networking without ever leaving the office! By engaging in elements such as Twitter networking hours (such as #SomersetHour, #DevonHour etc…) and Facebook/LinkedIn Groups, you can engage daily with other local businesses and still work to build your brand awareness.
“There’s no need to feel isolated in the social media world.”
Running events or activities for an audience? Now is the time for Live video!
Everyone we meet seems to hate live video. We are all terrified we are going to fall over or swear by accident, but there is no need to be afraid! In the coming weeks it may be that businesses who are used to being in front of an audience, for example those who run classes for children or business seminars, could consider live streaming through their social media channels as a viable alternative. You can either broadcast live from your main channels, or add privacy controls – such as the creation of private Facebook groups – meaning you can charge people for the right to watch your live stream. If live video is not something you’ve tried before, now is the time!
“Who knows you may discover a viable financial stream for your business?”
Worried about footfall? Promote your products on Facebook and Instagram!
If you sell products, it may be that the new world of social selling could help you tackle any issues with decreased footfall (if that is indeed the case). If you sell online, ensure you have set up your Facebook shop and that you have enabled the shopping features on Instagram. This will help you drive people through to your website and hopefully increase your online commerce.
If you don’t sell online, utilise the power of Facebook albums to showcase all of your products and consider allowing people to call in and buy those products over the phone. This option allows your loyal shoppers to buy or reserve goodies without ever setting foot out of their home. A good example of local companies doing just this would be The Emporium Somerset in Wellington and Rocket and Bird in Taunton – check them out! We also spotted Moonlight Glass, a local fused glass business, offering to post Mother’s day orders directly to the recipient with a note from you if you wish.
“Why not also use the amazing power of Facebook Advertising to promote these new ideas to your local area?”
No more meetings? Let people know!
People are used to popping into offices or arranging meetings to discuss things with you face to face. If this is not currently an option, be transparent and ensure you are using your social channels to promote other ways to get in touch with you. Whether this be by phone, email or video call, make sure people understand that they can still contact you and discuss important elements as normal. Transparency is key and things are changing quickly at the moment so don’t assume people will know about your new developments. It may be that you receive considerably more messages than normal and your channels become more of a customer service element than has previously been the case.
“Be prepared & remain visible to your audience!”
Gone digital? Advertise your new innovation!
In the wake of the current issues many businesses are innovating and introducing new digital versions of their services. For example, we spotted a local estate agent offering digital valuations of homes and a Facebook live streaming option for property viewings should people want them. Use your social channels to advertise these new initiatives to your audience and ensure they know they can still work with you without seeing you in person.
Tone is important
It is extremely important at the moment that the tone of your communications is correct. This is not a time for sarcasm or political commentary, but a time for empathy and when appropriate humour to ensure spirits stay high. Consider this with your activity – can you add some humour and positivity to, at times, a Social Media feed very much filled with doom and gloom. A great example we saw recently was a crafting exhibition suggesting a very novel way to keep ahead of the toilet roll shortage!
Your business may be working on supporting local charities or driving other initiatives on a local or national level. Social media is the perfect avenue to allow you to promote these initiatives and hopefully build considerable interest from those who would like to help. Good examples of this would be the Facebook Group #CoronaKindness – Business Support Collective and also the efforts from local business folk such as Matt Portt who are offering their business premises as a base to collect items for the vulnerable members of our society and support their local community. We also love the work of The Insolvency Company who have produced a support guide to inform their followers with all the key statistics, financial support and preparations bought in to support local businesses at this testing time.
This is the time to support local businesses. If you are doing so, make sure people know about it so they can do the same. Promote your local partners, suppliers, favourite businesses on your channels and let’s all use our accounts to support one another! Likewise, if charities are unable to host many of the events they currently have planned, they may have a tough time ahead. On Facebook and Instagram you can add a donate function to a post and link this through to a charity of your choice. This is a great way your business can help the charities in your area in what could be a tough time for them.
“We are all in this together!”
Self isolating? Go back to School!
If you are unfortunate enough to have to self-isolate, it may give you the opportunity to run that audit of your accounts you’ve been putting off for months! In this period you are unable to access some of your more traditional marketing avenues such as networking; so use the time to give Facebook Advertising a go, or do your first live video. Spend a day joining Facebook groups or spend a week or two engaging with Twitter networking hours. This enforced break may allow you to explore social media in a way that you have not had the time to do previously. The social platforms are doing their best to help, with LinkedIn making certain online courses free and Facebook has launched a ‘Small Business Resource Hub’ for those impacted.
Lastly… Keep Calm and Carry On.
Whatever the current circumstances, we must persevere. As SMEs and local businesses, we do not have the luxury of simply stopping. Therefore, we need to ensure we are as visible and as innovative as possible and social media can help us do exactly this. Reach large numbers of people and engage with your target audience while they are sat in the comfort of their own homes (which they may well be for many weeks).
On a final note, social media can get a bad rep at time such as this for spreading panic and fake news but there are some fantastic initiatives currently taking place that only exist due to the power of social media. Keep an eye on your feeds for the brilliant things people are doing and support others as best you can.
“Let’s spread positivity rather than fear! Please do share this blog and help the local business community get those ideas flowing!”
If you have any feedback on this blog, please let us know. We always want to hear your thoughts!