Using Social Media to your ADVANTAGE during Isolation
Hey everyone! Whether you’re reading this from home because you are self isolating or maybe you’ve found some spare time during your busy working day, welcome to another blog post! As you’d all be aware, we are currently going through a global pandemic and it has certainly thrown our lives upside down in one way or another. It is a very scary time so you’ll find this blog post to be positive, uplifting and hopefully provide you with some ideas for you and your business. So without further ado let’s hop into today’s blog post topic - using social media to your advantage!
In Australia we are currently being asked to self isolate and work from home unless you are deemed an essential worker in society. Because of this, there is a huge number of individuals across Australia who are now being forced to work from home, operate their businesses from home and in some unfortunate cases, individuals are out of work entirely. This lifestyle shift for our nation has seen a surge in social media use over the last few weeks with people hoping to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues during these uncertain times.
Photos shot by McLeish Film & Media for Modern Blinds (a Gold Coast small business)
Social media is revolutionising the way we communicate and is becoming increasingly popular and more widely used. In fact from November 2019, it was discovered that there are 9.4 million Instagram users in Australia alone. This number accounts for 37.2% of the entire Australian population. And if you think that's a lot of people, have a look at Facebook users in the below graph. Facebook is the most used social media platform with a whopping 11.03 million users at the end of 2019.
Why am I throwing all these figures around you may ask? Because those numbers are huge! That's a lot of people looking at their devices on a very regular basis throughout the day, which leads me to the point of this blog post. It is so important that your business is online but also accessible across the social media platforms that are at our fingertips (and your customers fingertips too!) Microsoft founder Bill Gates once said, “if your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.”
Engage with your customers
So how can you utilise social media to help your business grow, especially today as the world battles with the COVID-19 pandemic? My first piece of advice is to engage with your customers, check in with them, ensure they are doing ok. You could do this by posting a photo of you as the business owner with a caption that invites viewers to comment on the post. For example your caption could be an update for customers on how the business is travelling amidst the current situation, then you could invite people to comment on their experiences, how they are feeling, are they struggling and is there anything you as a business owner can do to assist them?
Look for opportunities to help your customers
This leads into my next tip, looking for opportunities to help people through social media. You can do this by simultaneously generating interest in your own business, brand or product. For example you could offer a discount on a product or service to assist people in this time of difficulty. I’ve seen a lot of small businesses doing this especially those in the hospitality industry and it’s generating more traffic to their social media which will hopefully help keep their business alive and thriving! I’ve even taken this approach myself and am currently offering a discounted content package for small businesses and sole traders who can benefit from some new and fresh video or photo content. If you’re interested in this offer please don’t hesitate to contact me, it’ll only be valid until the end of April.
Create quality content
My next tip for taking advantage of social media is to create quality content that your followers can gain something from. Currently people are looking for uplifting, positive and even entertaining content! So why not brainstorm some creative ways that you could do this whilst keeping your audience and demographic in mind. Try to tie it in with your business, make it light-hearted and simple! Here’s a good example of this is by Zarraffa’s Coffee.
Provide human interaction - digitally!
Right now individuals are feeling isolated (quite literally), we naturally crave human interaction and the company of other people. A way to provide this for your customers could be live stream videos on Facebook or Instagram. You could talk about how your business is travelling, how you are dealing with this crisis and even discuss deals you have on offer. I think it’s important to be honest and transparent, people really appreciate this and will be more inclined to watch and listen to what you have to say.
Reassure your customers
An important action to take is reassuring your customers that you are taking all necessary precautions given the COVID-19 crisis, I’ve put some examples of what this could look like below. This can be done on your social media platforms and website, this makes your business look professional and it also shows that you care about the health and well-being of your customers.
I hope these tips help you and your business during this challenging time. If your business is able to remain up and running I encourage you to implement some of these tips, they may help keep your business alive and thriving. These tips might even help you come out on the other end of this pandemic more successful because you made the effort to reach out to your customers during a time of hardship.