20 Mar Why You Should Keep Your Social Media Going While Your Business Is Closed
Few businesses have been left unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small-to-medium-size businesses, especially, were among the first to feel the shockwave. These are not normal times, so this is not going to be our typical blog post. We’re not going to conclude with our usual blatant self-promotion. You’ll see some links to our services, but this week, they’re for SEO purposes, not a hard-sell.
Today, we are here for our business community to provide whatever help and advice that we can to those who have had to close their doors until it is declared safe to reopen, or until people feel confident enough to resume their pre-self-quarantine lives.
We have been advising our clients who have temporarily closed or are seeing a sharp decline in business about how to best navigate these unprecedented circumstances. Here are the solutions we’ve discussed.
Should you continue your social media posts?
Yes! You want your customers, clients or patients to stay engaged with your business and keep you in mind. If you post several times a week, you could reduce the number of posts, but post at least once a week. Also do the following:
Shift the focus of your posts away from CTAs to book appointments or visit your physical location – Instead, use them as an opportunity to:
- Provide information about and updates on your operations. For example, a dental practice client is posting to let patients know that a staff member will be in the office to take phone calls and schedule emergency patients.
If your business provides a service, you can let clients know about rescheduling, refunds, changes to monthly billing, etc. If you are continuing to offer some level of customer support, let your customers know, and give them the best way to contact you.
- Provide tips and useful information. For example, posts for an esthetician client of ours will highlight skincare routines to follow at home, and plain-language descriptions of skincare product ingredients (including which are beneficial and which to avoid). Our dental practice client will post on performing good oral care at home, and how to care for dental implants, braces, etc. Self-care is especially essential during this time, as clients and patients won’t be able to visit for their usual services or routine examinations.
Any posts that give practical advice on coping with the changes we’re having to adapt to will be appreciated by your followers. Keep the tone positive.
- Increase interactivity with your followers. Depending upon the nature of your business, you can post ideas for indoor activities and pastimes, craft projects, trivia quizzes, etc. Ask questions – but keep the subject matter light. Your followers will appreciate the opportunity to connect!
If your business is in the healthcare industry, it’s to be expected that your followers may have serious questions, or could just want to vent. Monitor your pages on a regular basis (at least once daily), and be prepared to answer, keeping the tone compassionate, yet professional.
For those expressing frustration and anger, emotions are running high, but comments posted by visitors should not be abusive, or contain profanities or other offensive language. In fact, such comments may show up in (especially) the Facebook business page of any type of enterprise. Use your discretion in permitting or removing posts. Remember that your business account continues to represent your business.
Word of warning: If you share information about COVID-19, it is your responsibility to take it from credible sources so as to not spread misinformation. The World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC) and links to local TV news centers are reliable sources. Facebook is not. Bad (and potentially dangerous) information can be distributed and amplified by well-meaning people.
Should you keep blogging?
Again, yes! Like your social media posts, blog topics can focus on advice for self-care, but that should not be necessary for every post. The main change would be to your CTA. Address your current situation in closing, and direct your audience to your social media accounts for updates. In addition to staying connected to your customers, regular blog postings will help maintain your SEO, as Google “rewards” websites that regularly post fresh content.
The value of staying positive
Keep in mind that people are being constantly bombarded by news about COVID-19. While, of course, we need to stay informed, everyone – including your customers/clients/patients – need an occasional break.
In addition, they may be in the same situation as you are – at home, with limited contact with the outside world. Your social media posts can give them the sense of connection they need. Regular posts from a business they trust can provide some normalcy – or at least let them know that they’re not alone, and that we’re all in this together. When your doors reopen, they’ll be likely to remember who helped them get through a difficult, anxious time.
From our Virtual Stacks Systems team, stay safe, and stay strong.