With rapidly changing market conditions due to COVID-19, communicating with customers via social media has never been more important.
Expert Carissa Hill said it was imperative business owners embrace the instantaneous nature of social media to keep stakeholders and clients informed.
“Every business owner should have at least a pinned post on their Facebook page sharing where their business is at in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic,” said Mrs Hill.
“Regular and new customers should be able to find a business on Facebook or Instagram tosee if the business is still open, how they have adjusted to social distancing measures and what products and services are still available,” she said.
“If you have a restaurant or cafe that is now offering a delivery service, make a video or post that can be shared via social media throughout the community.”
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Mrs Hill said business owners should ramp up their social media as more people stayed at home.
“So many people will be on social media and business owners should be proactive with offering quality content,” she said.
“True entrepreneurialism is following what the market wants.
“If your business closes or slows down, it is the ideal time to strategise, create content and expand your online offering.
“You could write an eBook or provide a course, which you can sell online and promote it through your social media platforms.
Mrs Hill’s tips for business owners using social media during COVID-19 lock-down:
- Reach out to customers to see how they are doing – start conversations and build connections. People will be craving human interaction.
- Be honest and transparent without creating fear – your posts should show empathy and compassion, rather than stress or fear.
- Look for opportunities to help people – use social media to reach out to those in need and see if you can help.
- People will be looking for fun and entertaining content for distraction, so consider TikTok videos or Facebook Live.
Mrs Hill said business owners should also be looking towards the future and thinking about what their customers will need and want.
“Will your business model need to change? Can you offer your customers a package deal?” said Mrs Hill.
“By building up a good relationship with your followers on social media throughout the pandemic, you will be in a better position to re-launch.”
“Think about how you will celebrate getting back-to-business on social media – maybe you can run a competition or invite followers to your re-launch party.”
An example of the significance of social media during the Coronavirus pandemic was when New York emergency room physician Kurt Kloss reached out to a Facebook group of about 20,000 colleagues seeking advice on how to handle the COVID-19 outbreak.
Global social media usage rates have grown by about 50 per cent since 2014 and a significant spike is expected as people are quarantined or self-isolate in their homes.