During times of crisis, there is a feeling of uncertainty that surrounds us. This is typically felt at a local level during hurricanes or strong storms, but the current Coronavirus pandemic is being felt on a global scale. It’s left people forced to quarantine and businesses to shut their doors for the foreseeable future. As doom and gloom as it sounds, the silver lining is that we do have digital tactics in place to help us stay connected.
We’ve been asked the question, “Are people online and using social media?” The short answer, “Now, more than ever.”
Time and time again we’ve seen people turn to social media for news and updates on what’s happening locally, nationally and globally. Social media is our connection to the outside world. Social media usage often skyrockets during the downtime we have (before and after work, during lunch breaks, etc). And the quarantines and social distancing are the perfect opportunities for heightened social media usage.
As a small business owner, it’s more important than ever to keep your communities up to date on your social media channels. This isn’t a time to go dark, but rather a time to share, be helpful, and be in contact.
With small and local businesses likely to feel the greatest impacts of COVID-19, we compiled some ways to support your favorites:
Like, Comment and Share their content
Like or share their updates on business closures and where their customers can still shop. For many businesses, selling products, gift cards or their services happens easily on their websites, and many businesses are even walking goods out to their customers’ cars or delivering locally. Help share that your favorite local business is OPEN and doing business, even with restrictions in place. Share to your social media pages and in any local neighborhood groups you are a part of to help get the word out.
Give a recommendation
Help secure their future by posting a review or recommendation to their social media or review pages. Some of the more popular ones are Facebook, Google My Business, or Yelp. Let others know that once they are able to, they should patronize said business.
Share their products/services with friends and family
Much like giving a recommendation, but personally sharing with friends and family by word of mouth is a powerful way to support a small business. Friends and family trust the opinions of those close to them and this is one of the biggest compliments a business can receive.
Start a list
Create your own social post to ask friends and family to share local businesses that have any current specials running on online products, gift cards, or restaurant specials.
Perhaps it’s a business who had to temporarily shut their doors but still offers a web purchase option. Purchasing what you need via their online store will help to keep their revenue coming in.
Purchase a gift card
If the option to purchase a gift card is relevant to the business, this is a great way to help them financially. Especially if it’s something you will use in the future or can give as a gift. Buy a gift certificate now to infuse their business with cash and redeem it later!
Order takeout or delivery
Most local restaurants are moving to a take out or delivery option that helps to limit contact but gives locals the chance to enjoy their favorite restaurants in the safety and comfort of their own home.
With the uncertainty still looming over, this is our chance to come together as a community and make a difference in helping the small businesses that you love. Small businesses are the backbone of our country, so let’s do what we can to help them see a strong future.