Staying connected to customers is more important than ever. Fortunately, social media continues to be a powerful tool for maintaining engagement and strengthening your connection with customers. Paired with digital platforms that allow video streaming and conferencing, there are many ways to keep the lines of communication going with your customers. The following are a couple of tips to get your business' social media up and running as well as advice on how to best engage with them in these challenging times.
It might seem tempting to just fire up Facebook and start posting, but if you don’t already have a social media strategy, step back and evaluate what you want to achieve and how you’ll get there. Set goals and KPIs that align with the SMART framework: your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
When you're picking out proper channels, don't get overwhelmed—between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, and others, the choices can seem never-ending. Don't try to be everywhere at once. Do your research—what platforms do your customers use? For most consumer businesses, Facebook and Twitter are the best places to start. For business-to-business, LinkedIn might be a stronger option.
Pick one or two and aim for success there—otherwise, you’ll be spreading yourself too thin. When you create your social media accounts, be sure to include your website, location, hours of operation, and how best to get in touch with you.
Once you’re up and running, you need to think of your social media as a digital extension of your business and its culture. Especially during a time when people are unable to connect in person y, social media is a valuable tool to maintain a personal connection with your customers.
Keep the messages light and relevant. Most everyone is managing more responsibilities and carrying a heavier load of stress. Depending on what your business offers, think about how it could make your customers’ lives lighter, happier, or easier. And remember to include photos or image cards that drive home your key point. Posts with images outperform those without. There are several DIY sites, like Canva, that make it easy to create social cards.
Many people are looking for new ways to shop for almost everything. If your business can help, let them know. Perhaps you've developed new ways for your customers to access your products and services. If online purchasing and/or curbside pick up is available, post a message about it.
For work and for daily life, people are turning to video conferencing and streaming to virtually connect with one another. Businesses large and small are embracing these newly indispensable tools as a way to connect with employees and customers to keep business moving as much as possible.
Video conferencing and prerecorded or streaming video is a great way for you to virtually connect with your customers. If you have a computer or a smartphone, making a video is simple. You can either live-stream via a social channel or post a recorded video. All social platforms allow you to upload videos directly from your mobile device.
Many small businesses—coffee shops, convenient stores, bars, and restaurants—have formed close relationships with many of their customers. Sharing videos on social media is a great way to stay connected. Tell them how your business and employees are faring and how your business is meeting the challenges of the day.
You can even take it a step further and use video streaming platforms and video conferencing services (like Zoom and Skype) to engage with customers.
For example, yoga studios and gyms across the country are now offering daily virtual classes. This is a great way to maintain customer loyalty in lieu of in-person classes.
Many restaurants are currently mandated to curbside pick-up only. However, using video you can connect with your diners by virtually inviting them into the kitchen for an inside look at meal prep or offer cooking classes.
Another idea would be to offer tips and tricks that you offer customers while they’re shopping in your store. All the ways to tie a scarf, how to set the perfect table, the art of preparing the best cup of coffee, baking the most moist scones, etc. Some restaurants are providing takeout meal kits of popular menu items for guests to make at home. Renowned Philadelphia chef Mark Vetri is now offering pasta and sauce from his recently-opened Fiorella for customers to make at home. And he’s also sharing on Instagram videos on how best to cook the pasta and sauce.
When you increase the access your customers have to your business, you compound the effectiveness of your outreach. When you let your customers feel like part of a community, they’ll not only keep coming back—they’ll tell their friends about you too.
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