The economic crisis sparked by COVID-19 poses a massive challenge for all businesses, but none more so than small businesses that lack a strategy to engage with their customers online.
Indeed, twenty-four percent of small businesses don’t use social media platforms and those that do cite social media as the platform where they need the most help. Having a solid social media strategy to elevate your social presence is now essential for business survival both during the pandemic and long after the pandemic ends.
Why? Social media success does not depend on how many followers a business has. Instead, it depends on customer engagement. If your business is in a bad situation due to being affected by the Covid-19 and is in a position to potentially benefit from social media, consider these small tips on how to use your Facebook business page to engage and stay connected.
#1 Consider running advertising on Facebook
If it works for your business, one of the most effective ways to reach current and new clients is Facebook advertising. And thanks to the amount of personal information in Facebook’s database, they allow you to get ridiculously detailed with your targeting.
Anything a user can put into their profile—age, sex, location, education, religion, interests, politics, job title, marital status, etc.—can be used as a filter for your ads.
The best part? Facebook ads are incredibly affordable. Check out this article about how far $5 can go with Facebook Advertising. If you’d like some tips on creating an effective ad, HubSpot offers a wealth of information in their blog
#2 Apply for grant funding from Facebook
Consider applying for relief aid from Facebook. Facebook is giving a $100M in cash grants for up to 30,000 eligible. small businesses. Companies will be able to use cash to pay rent, cover operational costs or run advertising on Facebook.
Here is a list of small business resources compiled by Facebook that you might find helpful.
#3 Create a Facebook group that brings together local business leaders in your area
Facebook Groups allow businesses to set up “fan clubs” around their loyal customers but they can also offer a means for regular people to come together around a common cause – and learning how to use and maintain Facebook groups can be a game-changer for your social media strategy in the long run.
Look to see if there is already a Facebook group of local businesses in your area in response to the pandemic. Many cities, including Seattle, have reported Facebook groups being created by local business owners to come together and give one another ideas and advice about strategies that have worked for them.
If there is not a group created for your local area, consider starting one and rallying local businesses to join.
#4 Share quality content that your customers would want to read
Your loyal customers need to hear from you, need to be able to see you and ‘hear’ from you. So make sure you share information, stories they can relate to. The types of content you need to focus on now are the educational type of content, storytelling (tell them personal stories, share your brand values, your hopes).
Consider creating long-form valuable articles, videos, podcasts, essays, training content, and anything that would be helpful to your audience. Also, make sure to share your business continuity plan. It could be helpful to others.
Small businesses that respond to the current crisis by using their social media to communicate empathy and compassion have a greater chance of being rewarded by their customers than those that don’t. Small businesses will bear the brunt of this situation and we all must try to do what we can to help each other stay strong.