Q&A: What should you do with your social media marketing if your business is closed during the COVID pandemic?

When coronavirus called for businesses to close their doors mid-March, we heard from clients and non-clients alike asking question about their social media marketing:

  • What do I do now?
  • Should I post on social media if I’m still closed?
  • What do I talk about with my customers?

For clients of Legendary Social Media who were negatively affected by the pandemic, we provided free posts to help frustrated and confused business owners communicate effectively with their customers via social media.

Now that we’re deeper into the pandemic and businesses are starting to open again, these questions remain relevant. Businesses are pivoting toward online sales, curbside pickup, delivery options and private shopping.

So to answer the questions above, and help you develop a stronger social media presence than ever, here’s what you need to know, from our team of social media experts.

Q: “My business is closed due to COVID-19. Do I still need to post on social media?”

A: Yes. But why? During this time, more than ever, it’s important to connect with customers on an emotional level. This deeper sense of connection turns casual customers into a tribe who believe in what you do, and what you stand for. 

And here’s a fun fact: Time spent using apps (including Instagram and Facebook) has increased by 15%, according to research by App Annie Intelligence.

People are turning to social media to connect with others, since in-person interactions are at a low. In short, social media is more important than ever.

Q: “What should I post on social media during COVID-19?”

A: It’s time to make people smile, and dive deeper into the philosophies, values and ethos behind your brand. Make people think. Post something fun. Educate your fans. Give them a behind the scenes look into who you are as individuals behind a brand. This makes people feel more connected to who you are, in addition to what you sell.

Just as important is keeping customers in the loop about your business.

Trust us, your customers are wondering if you’re open, when, and how you’re providing your products/services.

You should post:

  • Whether you’re open
  • Days/times that you’re open
  • How people can contact you
  • How people can buy from you
  • Any changes coming soon, so people know what to expect
  • How you’re accommodating people’s needs during this time

Q: ”Where should I post my updates?”

A: In short, anywhere and everywhere. 

  • Put a popup and/or banner on your website. 
  • Update your Google Business Listing
  • Update your Instagram Bio
  • Update your Facebook Page
  • Update your Yelp and Tripadvisor listings

Q: “What messaging can I use to connect with customers better during COVID-19?”

A: Sincerity and authenticity should be behind everything you post on the best of days, and that’s even more true now.

Here’s how.

Post content that is sensitive to others

Express your understanding of how your customers are impacted by COVID-19

Share personal stories of how you/your team are impacted, if appropriate

Keep posts positive

Offer ways to help your customers

Post content that informs your customers

Frequently post information about your opening times/days, as well as delivery and pickup options

Share behind the scenes information

Take this time to let your customers see the processes and behind your brand

Post content that is sincere

Show your compassion for your customers

Humanize your business

Show how your business is connected to the greater community

Be thoughtful and kind in everything you post.

Final thought: Embrace the pivot 

In Vancouver, it’s been so inspiring to see how local businesses have pivoted to online and social platforms so that they can still serve their customers in some capacity. 

Adapting to the needs of a society dealing with COVID19 is essential to any business right now. You have to be innovative and ask yourself ‘how can I serve my community right now?’

We’ve witnessed clothing retailers pivot to create face masks, coffee shops and cafes selling grocery items, restaurants offering takeout services and fitness studios teaching their classes online.  

As a brand or business, you need to be intentional with your marketing

When all else fails, you can still have a business (in most cases, we appreciate there are exceptions with some services) if you have a website and social media channels. 

Coronavirus has taught us how essential social media is to your marketing. The importance of staying present and communicating with your followers is crucial to keeping your business relevant and running in the current climate. 

Some expert tips on generating revenue with social media

Instagram

If your business sells physical products, consider setting up your Shoppable Instagram account, by tagging your images to make them shoppable. 

You can do this by using the Facebook shop or catalog. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to set this feature up.

Facebook

Go live with Facebook and humanize your brand by taking the time to speak to your followers. Answer questions and give updates on your business. Keep your followers and customers in the loop! 

Facebook Live recently just announced they’ll soon be adding the option for people to charge users to gain access to their live Facebook streams. 

This update was created to support small businesses and artists alike who can no longer host live events, performances, classes and conferences etc. This update will give businesses the opportunity to sell tickets and create a revenue stream during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Large events and gatherings will likely be postponed until 2021, so this will be a game changer. 

Are you still working from home? Check out our blog on how to still be productive whilst WFH!

Erin is the owner and founder of Legendary Social Media. She's trying, and failing, to be vegan. Directionally challenged. Cripplingly addicted to coffee and chocolate. Swears she'll travel the world (again) ... someday. Mommy to Zylo.