How Small Businesses Can Utilize Social Media to Foster Connections During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Social distancing has compromised the financial health of many small businesses. Accustomed to daily, in-person interactions with their customers, many small-business owners have had to look for other ways to connect with consumers.
Social media can be a great way for businesses to maintain a connection with their customers, even while social distancing. Businesses unaccustomed to using social media may need some help when trying to connect with customers, while even social media savvy establishments may need to recognize that the uniqueness of this situation calls for an equally unique approach to social media. The following are some ways small businesses can employ social media to stay connected with their customers while social distancing.
Set an appropriate tone. A little levity can go a long way while social distancing, but it's important that small businesses remain cognizant of the current situation when posting to social media. Too many jokes may be interpreted as tone deafness. A funny anecdote can do the trick, but don't go too far. By the end of June, more than 500,000 people had lost their lives to COVID-19 worldwide, and some customers may have lost loved ones or had the virus themselves. Businesses must keep that in mind when posting to social media.
Tailor your interactions and efforts to your audience. Employ analytics tools to determine who engages with your brand on which platform, then use that analysis when designing your message. For example, older customers may not interact on Twitter, but they might read your emails. You can use that knowledge to focus your emails on issues older customers may have, like the safety measures you're taking or, if your business has been allowed to keep its doors open, any new policies you've instituted to keep older customers safe.
Be gracious when posting. Social media can be used to promote your business, but it's also a great way to express gratitude to customers and show you support them as much as you want them to support you. Thank customers and wish them health and happiness in each post.
Support community efforts. Social media also can be used to spread the word about community efforts, such as food drives for families of laid off or furloughed workers, community blood drives and collective efforts to express support for first responders and medical personnel. Promoting such efforts via social media shows customers that your business recognizes its place in the community and the important role in can play in giving back during this time of great need.
Social media can help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak maintain connections with their customers and communities while social distancing.