The planet is experiencing a disrupt from the usual and has led to many adjustments and changes. In the business landscape, the current pandemic has turned their worlds upside down.
Many companies, enterprises, and small businesses that operate with a brick and mortar store were forced to shut their doors. From the typical working set up to a remote workforce, most moved online platforms like social media channels to continue operations.
As the world recedes and people find solace in their home during lockdowns, many small businesses are suffering and losing their profit.
Fortunately, stores that have closed down in effect of the widespread pandemic have an option to go online and continue their business. Technology has become an aid for enterprises in showcasing their products and services.
One of the technological advances that business owners and marketers rely on these trying times is social media. Social media channels have become an effective way to grow your brand, reach for your target audience, and improves sales conversion.
Some of the different social media channels available today have also come up with new features to help businesses of all sizes pass this ordeal.
If you have been leaning on social media channels for your marketing efforts, you can incorporate these additional features to help you.
1. Use Facebook shops
After the closing of many physical stores around the world, Facebook came up with a new feature called Shops. This feature lets businesses of all sizes display and sell their products on the social media powerhouse.
With Shops, Facebook allowed retailers to continue their activities, which were left with no choice but to shut down their physical stores because of the recent pandemic.
Though Facebook has already had a place to buy and sell items called Marketplace, it is basically for people who want to sell their belongings.
On the other hand, Facebook Shops caters to real business who wish to bring their physical store online. Furthermore, it can let you create a digital storefront for free and allows your customers to buy from you directly from the platform or your website.
Facebook has also partnered with other third-party shopping platforms like Shopify. Together with the third-party shopping platforms, a more unified flow with your customer’s Facebook channel has been established. These partnerships seamlessly connect Shopify and other shopping platforms with Facebook.
2. Stickers from Instagram
Instagram is one of the most significant social media platforms to grow your brand.
With its old feature for businesses called Shoppable Post, it gives you more avenue to expose your products and offerings to your target audience. It also shortens the sales funnel that is essential for your sales conversion.
During these trying times, as many shut down temporarily their physical store and move their shops online, Instagram added new features that can help small businesses.
These features are the new “Support Small Business” stickers that come in the forms of gift cards or item orders you can post on your profile or IG stories. It even supports your fundraising drives.
These stickers will allow your loyal customers and prospects to still order from you for take-out and deliveries. Your consumers can also purchase a gift card that they can use in later dates or make any donation for your drive. They can also share any of these stickers in their profile, allowing other users to view your business.
These stickers work by directing your customers to your website to complete their transaction. An excellent way of leveling up the way your customers tag your businesses. These stickers can be a great way to maintain awareness from your small business and help you reach a wider audience even just on a single platform.
3. YouTube’s Video Builder Tool
YouTube is an excellent platform to grow your business. However, most brands that take advantage of this platform are those that usually have an extra budget on their plate.
YouTube is a social media platform that relies heavily on video materials. Hiring an editor and creating videos is a bit pricey, which makes it challenging for small businesses.
To answer this need, YouTube released a tool that helps small businesses who lack the budget to produce a video ad or lack the skills to craft any promotional video. This video builder tool enables business owners and marketers to create compelling video content material for free.
This YouTube tool will let you craft and customize a short video that you can share on your YouTube channel. Since YouTube can be integrated with other social media channels, you also use your customized video to attract your target audience in your other social media profiles.
4. Virtual event tools and free courses from LinkedIn
This social media platform may not be the best place to sell your product; however, LinkedIn has been providing a unique space for many businesses. LinkedIn’s Virtual Event tools allow you to share updates even if you are miles apart from your team.
LinkedIn has also launched live video streaming that will enable you to boost your profile significantly. It also opened 16 learning courses for free that you can use to learn more about staying productive, using virtual tools, and more.
Strategies to enhance awareness through social media channels
As you utilize these features and tools in different social media channels, it is essential to have a bunch of strategies that will enhance your presence online.
1. Identify and listen to your audience
This strategy is an essential thing you need to do on any social media channels or any online campaign. Social media is one of the most effective avenues to grow your brand and reach your audience online. However, to be effective, you need to have a clear idea of who your audience is.
Depending on your brand and your service, find the crowd that fits you the most. You cannot appeal to everyone, and not defining your target audience will not give you the optimum result.
During these trying times, it is also essential to listen to what your audience is saying. In this way, you can provide the best solution to their needs. You should place your business as an answer to their problems.
2. Plan and schedule your content
One of the essential secrets for social media marketing is consistency. You gain customer awareness, brand authority, and retention when you do a regular posting. This time, people are staying at home, and they are spending most of their time on social media.
However, given the situation, you may have other things to work on aside from posting materials on social media. To help you, you need to plan your content. Instead of crafting posts within the day of posting, create a content calendar for a week or month. This tactic will streamline your ideas and make a thematic theme on your content.
3. Show empathy
A lot of people are already experiencing the effects of the pandemic. Works are disrupted, people are forced to stay at home, and businesses are operating informally. With a lot of things going on, the last thing you want to be perceived is as an apathetic and insensitive brand.
Avoid being too sales-y with your social media materials and contents. Instead, show how your business cares about what your consumers are dealing with today. Appeal to their emotions as you continue to build connections with them. Customers may want to connect with brands that know what they are going thru right now.
4. Earn your customers trust
Trust will always be an essential factor in your business. Aside from compelling and sympathetic content, you craft for your audience, let them know of the measures you do to keep your product and offerings safe.
Let your customers know the changes in your operations so they will have an idea of what is going on. They may want to see how you help your employees during these times or how you ensure their safety.
Be transparent with your audience. Let them know if there are any adjustments in your order process, or delay with their shipping. Use social media to post updated store hours or adjusted cuff off time. Always keep them posted so they’ll know too when to adjust.
Final thoughts on using social media channels to boost business survival
With the recent pandemic changing the world dramatically, you may think that your business will be at the edge.
However, if you will find your way in social media and make a correct approach towards your customers, your business will continue to survive and thrive despite how challenging the time is these days.
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Maricar worked as a marketing professional for almost a decade. She became part of the biggest real estate company/mall operator in the Philippines and handled concerts, events, and community service-related activities. Leaving her corporate job for good to pursue her dreams, she has now ventured in the path of content writing and currently writes for Softvire Australia – the leading software e-Commerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand. A Harry Potter fan, she loves to watch animated series and movies during her spare time.