Social media usage has skyrocketed globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. This rapid shift to digital media prompted businesses to adapt and find ways to communicate with their customers and prospective clients online, rather than in person. As government restrictions begin to lift, and businesses begin to re-open, it is essential to share updates with followers on social media.
As a business owner, you may be wondering ‘how do I communicate new office hours, restrictions, and new rules to followers?’ Many companies have turned to social media to alert their followers about updates to their business. There are several ways to send the message out, and we suggest experimenting with multiple social channels to determine what works best for your business.
Determine Your Message
It is important to outline a clear message of what you want to convey to your customers before you post on social media. Ask yourself: “What are we doing to adapt to the current situation?” “What steps are we taking to keep our staff and customers safe?”
For example: if you're a dental clinic, do you need patients to come in with a mask in order to attend them?
It is essential to be transparent with your clients and let them know what has changed and what to expect. You can use social media to inform patients about your weekly schedule, things they need to bring, and any precautionary measures you are taking during this time.
Create or Update your Social Accounts
There have been many changes going on during COVID-19 and several are actually quite positive. Businesses that previously did not have social media accounts have created them to share updates and information with customers. We highly suggest you create social media accounts for your business if you haven’t already. Here are the key social channels that every business should have in 2020: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin.
Communicate Updates on Social Media
Once your social media account is set up and you have customized it to your business, it’s time to get started and share your message with your customers.
Publish a Welcome Video
In a time of social isolation, social media has become an incredibly important source for digital, social interaction. An excellent way to put your customers at ease and share information ‘face to face’ is by posting a video update on your social media channels regarding your new operating hours, rules, and restrictions your clients must follow.
You will immediately establish a connection with your following and you mimic an in-person interaction, which will come as a welcome change to isolation. Face to face interaction helps to rebuild trust with your customers during this time. If you have never filmed a video to post on social media before, we have some helpful tips to get you started. Visit our blog to learn the “8 Best Practices for Recording Videos With or Without Professional Equipment.”
In a similar vein to video, you can use Facebook and Instagram stories to communicate with your customers. Leverage stories to update them about your changes or if you are open. Instagram and Facebook stories appear at the top of your users' screen when they are posted, so you get their attention right away.
You can also use the stories platform to ‘go live’ on Facebook and Instagram. Your stories do not need to be overly complicated. Check out the examples of two Instagram stories we created for a local restaurant below for ideas:
You can also go live on Facebook and Instagram to talk directly to your customers. Let them know you are there and that you are doing your best. Use Facebook and Instagram lives to update customers about changes your business is undergoing or updated for opening dates. It is an easier way to share lots of information all at once. If you are unsure about how to go live, both Facebook and Instagram make it very straightforward to do. Here are their how-to steps “How to go live on Facebook and Instagram.”
Publish Updates Directly to your Feed
Once you have a clear message you want to convey, you can share it as a post on all of your social media channels as well. Below are some examples of what your message might look like:
Post Updates if you are Open - “We are now open! These are the measures we are currently taking...call to book appointments...we will be doing health assessments before you enter our premises (temperature)...use a mask”
Post Updates if you Aren’t Open Yet - “We are currently closed to ensure the safety of our customers, however, we are expecting to open on such and such date. Keep an eye out for updates...sign-up here if you want to receive our updates.”
- Posts to feed - **pro tip - don’t forget to pin your post to the top of your Facebook page.
Update Your Bio Information
Your bio is the first thing your clients will see when they visit your social media profiles. It’s essential to keep your profile up to date during this time. That way, new clients visiting your page will be aware of your current situation. Be sure to update your bio information on each of your social media profiles to ensure that your message is consistent across platforms. Check out the example below:
Likewise, if you are not opening yet make sure you let customers know what you are doing to provide your services remotely. This could be through virtual consultations or by offering delivery services - be sure to inform them in your bio.
Pro-Social Media Tip from ElementIQ
As a team of Digital Marketers, we have been working to keep our clients’ social media profiles up-to-date with new information regarding COVID related changes. Here is our key pro-tip when it comes to social media; it allows you to share more information with your clients, all in one place.
Linkin for Instagram
At ElementIQ we have started implementing LinkIn Bio’s for instagram accounts. It’s a new way for Instagram profiles to share organic content on Instagram. Instagram limits businesses to share links on their platform. Links shared on posts are not clickable and they limit you to one link on your bio. LinkIn Bio allows businesses to share links to website blogs, YouTube videos, service pages, pretty much anything. This is done through a Landing Page that users can access through your Instagram Bio.
- Implementing LinkIn Bio from Later has allowed us to share valuable resources within Instagram for us and our clients. Users can now access your blog, resources, and videos from your Instagram page. It is pretty simple - LinIn Bio makes your posts clickable, allowing businesses to send traffic to their website.
- In our case, we have used LinkIn Bio to share valuable COVID-19 resources for businesses to use.
- This is what our Instagram page looks like:
- When users click on the link displayed in our bio; they are sent to a landing page, where all our linked posts will be displayed:
- From here users can navigate to the home page and access our resources and blogs. As you can see above we have been able to share COVID-19 resources with our Instagram community quite readily and easily.
- LinkIn bio can be used in different ways, businesses can send their followers to their COVID-19 update page, to their contact page, to their contact form, to their virtual consultations page, resources, YouTube videos, and their blog.
In the end, it is important to experiment and determine what your users respond to. If you find that you get the most engagement on Facebook, consider focusing your efforts on that platform. Or, if you have a high YouTube following, that would be the place to target your message. If you have any questions about social media marketing, the team at ElementIQ is also always ready to help.
Contact ElementIQ for More Information
Whether you are just getting started with social media, or you are an industry expert, now is the time to be using social media to build trust with your customers. ElementIQ has helped several companies pivot, adapt, and thrive during this time, and social media marketing has played a large role in making this possible.
Our team of Marketing Specialists are committed to helping your business grow and prosper during this time of uncertainty. If you are interested in learning more about what social media management can do for your business, give us a call or contact us for a digital consultation.