Well, as of today, a lot of Columbus businesses are open for business. While I have a variety of thoughts about that for a variety of reasons (none of which truly matter or need to be rehashed in this here blogpost) it does mean one thing: having to navigate social media more efficiently than ever before.
With that being said, let's talk about it. Why does social media matter now, more than ever before?
I think many of us are at two polars when it comes to being open for business. Some of us, are so ready for other human contact we are ready to rush towards the nearest store and continue to ping pong out of any establishment like some sort of real-life commerce pinball machine. For these people, they are starved for human interaction and breaking out of the quarantine narrative that they need two types of content from social media: For one: they need to be educated about the best practices of your organization during this time including managing expectations on cleanliness, masks, and any sort of precautions that you are taking for folks entering, existing within and checking out from an establishment. People need to be prepped and reminded, and what better way than social media to assist with this. Start to manage expectations and explain what it's like to enter your business before they get there. Let them see content with people doing best practices and how it looks within the store. It will assist them with transitioning the way they navigate in mortar businesses - in hopes of also alleviating some of the strain from your in store staff.
Additionally, I think it's important for this type of consumer to experience relationship building in the social media space. Another person or another feed that the person can begin to navigate their experience or what it will be like through comments and DMs. I cannot stress enough the value of having someone attending to the needs and questions of these people and preparing them for what's next. A second quarantine consumer look: straight up afraid/unwilling to enter a business. I get it and understand - while you can alter the way that you exist - you cannot account for the behaviors and actions of all of the other people who enter the store. This is incredibly valid. So - social media serves a lot of value for this person as well. They can talk to someone in your brand...without having to go into the store. They can have some of their concerns assuaged. You can also learn what this type of consumer needs from a business in order to support them. Having a series of tiers of service or how folx can support you during this difficult time is pretty important so you don't lose members of your target audience. Especially these demographics, because if you don't provide curbside or options that don't involve going INTO your mortar, you will lose them all. Make sure to start integrating engagement tools like the poll, questions and quizzes features into your social media stories to give these people a chance to speak up and advocate for themselves. Sometimes all it takes is a brand asking for opinions and perspectives to begin conversations and assuage any concerns anyone might have.
So to recap:
Use social media to: - educate about your business post first-wave closures. Changes in hours, what your staff will be doing to reduce harm and more importantly, expectations from patrons.
- build relationships with people who are either current or future clients of yours in the digital space.
- build engagement through a variety of polls and tools that are built into the story feature for people to vocalize particular preferences and concerns during this time, and even just normalize communication.
Hope this was helpful and as always, holler via email if you have any additional questions: hello (at) sigil marketing (dot) com.