by Lucy Render-Kaplan | Featured Contributor 

Social media managers are in an interesting position, navigating through Covid-19. There is much uncertainty on how to post, what to post without coming off as insensitive and finding the right balance between acknowledging the sensitive time we are living through and trying to keep business afloat.

While people are cancelling planned activities and doing whatever they can to help flatten the curve and stop the virus, they are spending more time on their phones and laptops, spending more hours than ever before, scrolling through their social media pages. According to eMarketer, Facebook saw a 70% increase in usage of all of its apps in the month of March. People are turning to these apps to keep them entertained, connected, and informed while they’re spending more time at home.

The most important thing is to keep on marketing.  If you don’t post regularly, the algorithms won’t show your content nearly as much. Continue posting but be sensitive to the ongoing situations. At the same time, don’t ignore what’s happening. If you simply carry on as usual, you risk the chance of coming off as insensitive. It’s likely that your consumers pain points have changed: are they now dealing with working from home? Are they trying to keep kids busy now that schools are closed? Are they trying to stay fit and healthy while in quarantine?  If you have scheduled posts, revisit them and see how your content can help your audiences’ changing priorities. If you are a customer-facing brand, consider highlighting creative ways to use your product in times of working remotely, homeschooling your kids, or just passing time.

With most of the workforce now working from home, this is a great time to educate and entertain your customers. There are free platforms you can use to create a virtual lesson series or go live, answering the most frequently asked questions you receive. These are great ways to allow people to get to know the people that make up the brand and engage with them to help create deeper, longer lasting relationships.

People want assurance, safety and hope. How can you give them what they need? Show current and potential customers what you are doing to keep them safe when interacting with your company. Show how you can help people. Are there new offers or discounts you wouldn’t normally offer, but can now? People will remember what businesses stepped up during this difficult time, whether that’s a sale, free offer or simply a bit of kindness and understanding.

We’d like to help get you started with some ideas you can implement today!

 

Bars

  • Virtual Bartending: Choose a bartender and a date/time for them to work their shift. Begin promoting this live event at least 5 days in advance. When it’s showtime, your bartender can set up a virtual tip jar that’s connected to their Venmo or cash app. They can share drink recipes, play music or just sit there and listen if people are missing their usual in-person drink-and-vent sessions. The bar owner will pay the bartender their usual hourly pay for this virtual shift.

Fitness Studios

  • Members may place their memberships on hold and for studios that charge on a monthly basis, and while this might not be a big deal to the large corporate gyms, our favorite studios and boutique fitness locations will be hit hard. Now more than ever we need some form of fitness in our daily lives, to keep both our bodies and our minds active, not to mention the binge eating some of us find ourselves doing in times like these.
    • Instructors can offer virtual training sessions, consultations, meal planning or group fitness classes to keep their members motivated.

Real Estate Agents

  • Social media is your BFF right now.
    • Ask people to share photos of their front porch, decorate for spring
    • Offer downloadable coloring sheets from your website
      • Parents can send them to you and you can repost for UGC

Clothing Stores

  • Using surprise and delight, choose a random day for this campaign
    • Offer: for every gift card sent to someone on the specified date/times, give back a bonus 10% of the original value to the buyer.
    • You can also customize gift cards and add personalized messages before sending them.
  • Changing your copy is a simple update
    • Rather than sharing “Date Night Looks,” try “Date Night at Home Looks”
  • Use empathy
    • Acknowledge that it is a strange time to promote a sale, but realize that many people are “distraction shopping”
      • Not everyone can afford to shop currently anymore. Mention that you also have products in your online store for “window shoppers” that might brighten their day simply by seeing them

Marketing Agency Owners

  • Have any of your clients pivoted from their usual operations and are now producing hand sanitizer? Masks?
  • Are there local small businesses you can help highlight?
    • Are they offering meal kits?
    • Making donations with purchases?

Hairstylists

  • Tutorials! Even if you don’t normally post these, now is the time! Clients need ideas on how to keep themselves from doing anything drastic while they await their next appointment.
  • Product reviews: use this time to try new products and then post your reviews
  • Clients always have inspiration photos to bring in to you, share some shots that show what YOU are inspired by

Restaurants

  • We know that once restaurants are forced to close, they can offer takeout and delivery to stay afloat, but we’d like to share additional ideas that are easy to implement today!
    • Meal Kits: Restaurants that serve pizza are the easiest for this. Kids are out of school and there are MANY hours facing parents each morning, keeping their children occupied. Take out meal kits are a fun way to spend time together AND you get a delicious meal out of it!
      • An example of a pizza kit you can offer: 2 kid sized rolled out doughs, shredded mozzarella, tomato sauce and your choice of any 2 toppings.
    • Cooking Class: You can make meal kits that people can pick up and then they can join you at a specified time as you go live and teach them how to make the dish.
    • Rewards: If you currently have a rewards program, consider offering double points for a specified time period.
      • Go one further and offer a cash prize to the rewards member that earns the most points during that time frame.

One last idea: We all are in the business we’re in because we feel that our products or services will help people. The more value we can offer in the least number of steps that our consumers have to take in order to accept our offers, the more we will see repeat customers and word of mouth returns. So why not partner with like minded local brands and become a one-stop-shop for both current and potential buyers? Simply set up a quick landing page and offer gift cards to a wide variety of businesses (starting with your own!) that purchasers can redeem later.

Social distancing has got us all craving connections. Businesses that are still hesitant to be active on social, now is the time for you to be out there offering support for those struggling through this trying time.

Lucy is the founder of Arkay Marketing & PR. A writer from an early age (who could forget the 88 page “Bears” novel from an outspoken 3 year old?!) she’s excited to be writing for She Owns It and loves the feeling of camaraderie and empowerment of the group. When she’s not staying in and writing marketing plans or celebrating wins with clients, she can be found taking selfies with her 15 year old mutt, Desi.

arkaymarketing.com

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