Navigating the unprecedented, global uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic is complicated and difficult for large companies. And for small businesses, these challenges, difficulties, and extreme uncertainties about how – and more importantly – when we’ll all get through can be devastating. As the reality of Coronavirus and COVID-19 evolves, we see more and more linchpin in the way small businesses do business and use social media to support these linchpin. I see that small businesses use social media in response to COVID-19 is divided into the following 4 categories.
How Small Businesses Use Social Media in Response to COVID-19
Small businesses use social media to communicate with customers
Yes, of course you have always communicated with your customers and potential customers via your social media channels, but now the content of the article has changed as follows:
- Book adjusted operating hours.
- In the earlier days of the coronavirus outbreak, communicate what additional measures employees have taken to ensure a clean environment in their stores and facilities.
- To share modified business processes such as a restaurant that closes its dining room and moves to To Go, transit and delivery orders, or new delivery methods such as leaving an order on the porch to avoid direct hand-to-hand contact.
I see a much higher than normal use of the “Pinned Post” function, which both Facebook pages and Twitter offer. This is a great way to keep your most important information at the top of your page. Also, keep in mind that many customers first view a small business’s social media profiles, knowing that businesses and customers will find the easiest way to update in real time. Checking websites for information such as opening hours is unlikely to give you the most up-to-date information, since updating a website is usually a more difficult and time-consuming task for many small businesses.
Small businesses use social media to build community and help
In my region, there are two uses of social media forever that stand out to me, from a local Memphis radio station and restaurants that have the staff to handle larger grocery orders. FM100 Memphis has launched Free Commercial Friday, which invites local small businesses in the air to run a free 30-second radio ad for their small business. When I heard it myself, I was so happy to listen to the little business love! It is a wonderful gesture that other radio stations can easily implement to support the small businesses in their community.
Small businesses use social media to chat and teach
Some companies have to close temporarily because the size of the gatherings is limited, and they find other ways to serve their customers. The Cincinnati Zoo changed to what it calls Home Safari Facebook is alive every day of the week. Memphis Zoo created Zoo Dude and a number of Virtual Wild Encounters. You have published a weekly schedule that includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
You may have seen some videos circulating online Wellington the Penguin at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Wellington becomes a real star thanks to live streaming excursions through areas of the aquarium.
Where’s Wellington now? 🐧 This little rockhopper went on a tour of Shedds Wild Reef … and he’s not alone! Some of the Magellan penguins who call Shedd home joined this penguin party and examined this huge habitat. pic.twitter.com/NcKkOtGdPw
– Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 21, 2020
My personal favorite comes from the National Cowboy Museum. They have given their Twitter account to their security chief since the museum was temporarily closed. It’s safe to say that Tim’s Twitter chops cut one tweet after another.
This is the hat and eye patch that the Duke wore in the True Grit movie. They are part of our exhibition on the 2 True Grit. Lots of interesting props and clothes. I was told I can’t try it on. Hashtag John Wayne. Lucas, my grandson, told me to use hashtags. Thank you, Tim pic.twitter.com/yNO3RP4uA4
– National Cowboy Museum (@ncwhm) March 17, 2020
Small businesses use social media to pivot
Gyms and fitness facilities of all kinds have to be closed, and some use Facebook pages or Facebook groups to stream classes and workouts for their members. In my region, a family-owned children’s art company has focused on putting together art sets for sale to generate revenue while the stationary location is temporarily closed. They publish a photo of each kit, the scope of delivery, the price, the payment options as well as the delivery or collection options. People comment on WANT and have to send payment through either PayPal or Venmo to get their kit. Each kit has a different theme and a set number is available for each kit.
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