The Competitive Edge     I     April 2020     I     Issue 4

What our world is going through right now is unprecedented. Life as we knew it will never be the same. But that’s not to say that is a bad thing. Wildlife is returning to areas previously overpopulated with tourists. Air quality is improving in places all over the globe. Families are reconnecting. People are realizing how thankful they are for what they have. We are all finally able to slow down and, in doing so, we are discovering how blessed we truly are.

As a small business owner, though, the challenges we face today are like nothing we’ve had to face before. Many of us have had to close our doors. Many of us may have already lost a substantial portion of our business due to the pandemic. With the future so uncertain, many may fear they might never open their doors again. But there’s one thing every business owner needs to realize. This is a time for businesses to make sure that they stay connected to their customers. Luckily, many of us are able to stay connected while staying home thanks to the internet and, in particular, social media. As a brand, business owners need to be a part of the COVID-19 conversations online and continue to connect with their customers, even while their doors are closed. Here are some reasons why, as well as some tips on how best to help your business and your customers get through this time together.

  1. Continue to Service Your Customers. You can keep conversations going by being there for your customers. Is your client a business owner? Write a blog post reminding them what they can still do now for their businesses, then share the post on all of your social networks. Do you offer a service such as personal training? Share tips for staying in top shape while the gym is closed. However, be sure to not come across as profiteering or opportunistic. Don’t try to push for a sale right now. You don’t want to lose their trust. This will be behind us one day. Be sure you were a support for your customers during this difficult time. They’ll appreciate that.
  2. Help Your Followers on Social Media. Do you have a certain expertise that your followers could benefit from? Ask them “What’s the best way I can be of service now?” and respond to their answers. Consider posting tips and advice on your social networks. Set up a Facetime Live broadcast to teach your followers something beneficial, do a Q&A session online, post some how-to videos on YouTube. Whatever free service you can offer that will help your followers is a great way to stay connected.
  3. Stay Positive. Choose to provide your customers and followers with value. Steer clear of contributing to a sense of panic. What we all need now is positive energy. Equip your audience with information that can help them navigate their new normal.
  4. Be a Strength To Your Community. Now is a great time to show your generous side. Donate items that your customers might need. Support them during this time. Touch base. Ask what you can do for them. Make sure they are ok. Let’s all do what we can to support one another.
  5. Support Virus Protection Protocol: This might seem like a given, but just a reminder, be sure not to post any content that doesn’t support the regulations we’re all under right now. Encourage social distancing, washing hands, not touching your face, etc. Keep your messaging upbeat while supporting the health and safety of our communities.
  6. Offer Value to Your Customers. Be aware of the content that you’re putting out. Don’t just post “fluff.” Are you giving your customers real tools that they need? is your advice helping their situation at all? Offering value to those who need it now will definitely benefit your brand in the future.
  7. Be Genuine. This is a trying time for our world. We all need to stay connected. Social media is allowing our world to do just that. But remember, you’re more than your company brand. Show your followers your true self. You’re a person who is also going through the unimaginable right now. Connect with your audience by showing them who you really are.

This isn’t an easy time for anyone. We’re all taking this one day at a time. Though we’re staying home, that doesn’t mean we’re staying away. Continue to connect as much as possible with your customers for the foreseeable future. Keeping your audiences entertained and supporting them through your social networks is an ideal way to support them as get through this.

Stay safe.