13 Free & Easy Ways to Use Social Media in "The New Normal"
COVID-19 has led to many SMEs searching for affordable ways to market their business.
A major change in consumer activity is that far more people are spending time online searching and ordering goods. So there has never been a better time to turn your attention to finding ways to embed resilience in your business and capitalise on the accelerating online consumer trend.
Reaching new and existing customers online does not have to cost the earth. In fact, with a presence on the major social media channels, it can be free and fairly straight forward, when done the right way.
And with DataReportal reporting an increase in social media use of 43% during lockdown, it's clear that social media should be used to keep in touch with your audience.
An important point before diving in, is to remember to keepyour personal and business social media accounts seperate! Nobody outside your personal social circle is particluarly bothered about what pub you are going to get leathered in, or what you're having for dinner tonight!
Update your Google My Business profile
Your Google My Business profile is the free listing that appears for your business on both Google Maps and Google Local Search results.
If you haven't claimed your listing, do so as soon as possible. This will allow you to update your listing, respond to reviews, and optimise your listing so that it appears higher in the search results.
We can help if you need us!
- Verify your hours (or mark your business as temporarily closed).
- Modify your description to include COVID-19 related offerings.
- Select your category to allow you to indicate industry-specific attributes, such as curbside pickup, drive-through and delivery for restaurants.
- Basically go through ALL of the business info settings and complete them on your listing.
Create Google posts
You can publish posts to your Google My Business listing for free. This is really useful, because consumers on Google are actively seeking out products and services.
GMB posts help you get your updates and special offers in front of consumers who are ready to engage. Plus, they are displayed on maps and local searches. You will get the edge over your competition by posting regularly on Google My Business
Link back to your website!
Better yet, write a blog post on your website, then post about it with a link on Google My Business. Make sure your website has great calls to action and a means of collecting visitor's data (it's such a shame to get traffic to your website and never have a way to reconnect with them once they leave).
Create a Google Shopping listing
On April 21, Google announced free Shopping listings to all retailers to help them find more customers online in the wake of COVID-19.
Setup or Claim your Facebook business listing. Complete all of the information with as much detail as possible, dropping in keywords throughout.
Try Facebook Live
Facebook Live viewers have increased by up to 50% during lockdown, so now is the time to run live sessions on your traditional and evergreen topics - Qand A sessions, online training and advice etc cann get you instant followers and can also be repurposed at a later date for use on your website, for training courses and broken down into smaller chunks to reuse on all of your social media platforms.
Try a lucky draw giveaway to get new followers!
Get your existing followers to like and shar a post offering a giveaway or competition. This not only builds a rapport, and a level of excitement with your followers, but enables you to tap into THEIR networks to promote YOUR business! Make sure you have clear Ts & Cs to avoid complications
Don't overthink your posts, but do post regularly!
A simple, heart-felt post purely to wish your followers well can go a long way. And don't forget, a lot of businesses have suffered. Let your followers know you are still in business! Repurpose reviews you have received on Facebook and other platforms.
Other businesses may not be as clued up as you will be, having read this post. Try helping them out by sharing relevant posts that they have made. If you supply other businesses, share their posts, or link back to their profiles and websites. Create some good Karma and you will befit in the long run!
Instagram is a "storytelling" platform, and everyone has their own unique COVID-19 stories to share, so don't be afraid to share your business' story!
Use location and industry hashtags
Instead of just following the same hashtags that millions are using, add your own modifiers. So instead of #wereinthistogether, try adding #hastingstogether as well, or add #hastingstakeaway instead of just #takeaway. Be location and industry specific in addition to using the popular trending hashtags.
Care with your captions
- When providing updates, keep captions concise with essentials only.
- When promoting special services, include words like “collections”, "takeaway" or “still available.”
A good strategy is to take quotes from positive customer reviews and create tweets from them. You're not trying to force your product or service on anyone, but you are keeping your business in front of your audience with a positive view. If you have a "Testimonials" page on your website, add a link to this with "see more reviews at..."
Retweet to support other local businesses
Retweeting for other local businesses has a double benefit
- It can keep your Twitter audience engaged, without you having to think too much about what to write.
- It provides good Karma! Other businesses will start retweeting your posts, helping you to tap into a much larger network.
Search to find who can help you!
Run a hashtag search like #shoplocal, #supportsmallbusiness, #shoplocal[yourcity] or #smallbusiness and see if you find any offers. Many businesses are offering to help others, and many consumers are looking to buy from local businesses to help them through difficult times.
These are just a few strategies that you can use to help your business come through these difficult times. And Pizzazz are always here to help you along the way. If you need help setting up or claiming a Google my Business page, or Facebook page, or need help with your website, getting it set up to take online orders, or collect visitors' contact details, let us know, and we'll see what we can do for you.
Contact Us Today!