Figuring out how to make social media work for your business is always a challenge – one that many business owners aren’t sure is worth the effort. But that all changed in 2020 when the world ground to a halt in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This week our social media expert Chris Bennett explores why now is a good time to get your business on social media.
One of the defining characteristics of these unprecedented times is distance – both physical distance from each other (for the sake of safety) and also increasing social distance from your customers. Customers who are less likely to visit stores in person and who are more reluctant to spend money online due to the extra financial strains of the contracting economy.
Social media has always been an effective way to close the distance between you and your customers. Not only is it convenient for them to access your services or products digitally, but the social channels themselves have a reasonably low-cost entry point for you when it comes to engaging with customers and getting them to engage with you. In other words, it presents a fantastic opportunity to grow your business during these difficult times, with relatively low risk attached.
Why should I be on social media?
This is an easy one. It’s where your customers are and it’s where you can get your message in front of them! During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in social media use across all demographics, and the likelihood is that it’s going to stay this way for some time. Because of this, social media gives you an unrivaled opportunity to connect with your customers and your fans (essentially your community) as well as allowing you to engage with potential new customers (your audience). It’s also highly likely that your competitors are utilizing social media, and you don’t want to be conceding any market share to them by missing out on this digital opportunity.
What is different about social media during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Before the pandemic, social media was used primarily to enhance our social lives – whether by consuming media or staying in touch with friends and family. That’s not really changed, but it is becoming increasingly important. More and more people are using social media to replace those all-important personal connections that we are missing from our daily lives. Research has shown that usage of voice calls and messaging apps has skyrocketed, and social media is being used as a source of information and a way to maintain relationships much more than ever before.
This ultimately means that people are more engaged with social media than at any point in its history, which presents an opportunity for businesses to capture some of that engagement and turn it into brand awareness and new customers. The mood of the nation is also important to consider in your social media communications. People are angry, frustrated, bored.. and .just all around fatigued with the situation. When communicating with your audience you will need to be empathetic and compassionate. In these uncertain times, people value honesty and transparency and expect a good level of responsiveness.
Low-budget and low-risk
Revisiting my earlier point, social media is a reasonably safe and cheap way to extend your marketing and sales functions (including customer support) without having to commit significant resources. It’s also relatively risk-free, in that you can easily stop any social activities and shut your accounts down (or make them dormant) at any time, and then start them up again when you are ready. This flexibility is particularly helpful under the additional strain that the COVID-19 pandemic is putting on business. For a business looking to scale back on their traditional marketing and sales activities, social media can be used to pick up the slack at minimal cost. This means that your business shouldn’t need to descale its marketing activities and can still connect with and stay relevant to your customers.
Preparing for a post-COVID world
When things eventually move back towards some sort of ‘normality’, many businesses will start scaling their marketing and sales back up to pre-pandemic levels – perhaps going even further than before to try and make up for lost revenue. In light of this, getting your business established on social media now will pay dividends down the road, giving you a competitive edge and the opportunity to steadily scale up as the economy recovers. There are many changes happening in the world of digital marketing, sales and customer service, and adopting these new practices now will help you lay the groundwork for future success.
There are many resources online that will help you get started on your own, from articles to videos, and more. We’ll also be writing some more articles on social media topics over the coming months, so keep an eye out. If you don’t have the time or resources to manage this yourself then get in touch and see how Fablr can help you achieve success with your social media marketing. Take a look at our digital marketing services page or email us at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.