How Small Businesses Should Use Social Media During The Coronavirus And Lockdown

Last updated: 06-17-2020

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How Small Businesses Should Use Social Media During The Coronavirus And Lockdown

How do you market your small business on social media through a global pandemic? It's the £10,000,000 question, right? While most of the world is getting used to this new normal,queuing like never before, standing 2 metres apart and wearing masks on public transport, a lot of small businesses have been tweaking, adjusting or in some instances, completely changing their approach, to how they want to be seen on relevant social channels. 

Staying connected has never been more important than ever and rather than hiding away, small businesses should be looking to social media and growing their online presence during this challenging time. 

With social distancing and a version of lockdown due to stay in place for the foreseeable future,your marketing strategy should be geared toward social mediafor the next few months. People areusing social platforms more than ever so now is the perfect time to leverage all this attentionfor the good of your business. In this blog, we'll be looking at how you can do just that.

As a small business owner and one that uses social media, it might feel intimidating or scary to think about how you craft quality content or boost brand awareness during a time which is so unprecedented. ‘Everyone else is doing it, what am I going to add or say that is different from the rest?’ Right? Wrong. Now more than ever, your brand's story, be it humorous, informative, irreverent, is important. Peoples social media usage has sky-rocketed which creates a great opportunity for you to spread a message of solidarity and promote your products or services while remaining aware of the wider picture.

As long as you're not entirely tone-deaf, which if you've managed to set up a small business then you're probably pretty switched on, you can't really go wrong when it comes to a pandemic, your social media presence and online reputation management in general. We'll go into a bit more detail about social media, brand awareness and what sort of relevant content you should be producing in this blog. But the main takeaway is that as long as you're switched on, aware that your product/service may not be the most important thing on some people's minds and communicating authentically using your brand values you're going to be a-okay on social media.

Humans are experiencing this pandemic together, it's not just happening in this country or that country, it's happening everywhere. The universality of it all means you should be working hard to be as human as possible on your small businesses social media channels. Communicate how you're feeling, how this lockdown has impacted your business and what your fears are. Most target audiences and customer bases will appreciate a brand that is sharing its thoughts and feelings.

Current customers and potential ones aren't going to expect you to not at least acknowledge the current situation. Recognise the lockdown with a well thought out, heartfelt and most importantly, genuine, message from your brand. Go further if you like and share relevant information, that's up to you. If you're adapting your process then use this unique opportunity to explain how. Or, if you're not able to sell a product, you can spend this time building relationships with potential customers, so that when things do go back to normal all that brand awareness will have paid off. 

Now is not the time to stop posting,ensure your social media is active, posting great content and responding to customer'sdirect messages. If you're still able to sell your products or services then be sure to communicate with your existing followers how they can do that, people during this time want to help small businesses, leverage this goodwill with effective messaging about how they can enjoy what you do, this clear understanding could be the difference between surviving or not. 

Be kind, offer help and support and understand that this is a really tough time for a lot of people, the online content you create for social media could have a real impact on your audience and potential customers. Park the hard sell and instead opt for a message of hope, care and positivity on social media. Think outside your own situation when doing brand awareness, it'll have the most impact long term, help create strong brand affinity and ideally have a huge impact on your bottom line in the future.

Social channels have rolled out a bunch of new features for small businesses. All of them feature key interactive elements and othergreat features that can help you and your small businesspromote and sell your products.

This new feature will allow businesses to sell their products on Facebook. While a lot of brick and mortar shops have had to close their doors, people are switching to online shopping, even more than usual. This great opportunityallows businesses to create a virtual storefrontpacked with their product. This feature will also appear on Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) and users can discover different shops via stories.

Without a proper budget or the right knowledge, editing video content can be tricky at the best of times. This is why YouTube has acceleratedthe release of it's 'Video Builder Tool' that will allow users to create and customer short videoswhich they can share via the platform or on a Youtube ad campaign. The tool is linked toGoogle Adstoo meaning your content will be aimed at your target market.

This new feature helps businesses make sales by allowing them topost 'stickers' which can link to gift cards, fundraising pages or menus. These key interactive elements can also be shared by users, spreading the message that you're still in business.

Be sure to invest in your social content,digital marketing strategyandlead generation today, while people are on social media more than ever! Putting the work in now will put you in a strong position to succeed now and when all this is over. Look beyond just regular posts and think about expanding intoa cost-effective content strategy like influencer marketingor IGTV. There is such a spike in social media usage right now that you can't afford to not capitalise on it.

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