Are you aware that there are some good things happening these days? Like, the Valedictorian speeches from the class of 2020, originally seen on Some Good News? Or, the fact that more than one million people have already recovered from COVID-19 worldwide? Knowing this made us feel better. Looking for the good is making us more aware of the good around us. And that’s sound advice for any small business right now. Here’s how your business can be more aware.
Social Media Awareness
Now that more eyes are on social media, it’s tempting to share every little thing that comes through your timeline to cash in on that attention. But while social media usage is up, engagement is down-down-down. As you manage your small business’s social media, be aware of what you share, and where you share it.
- Post responsibly. Don’t feed the frenzy. Before sharing, ask yourself: Is it helpful? Is it kind? Is it inspirational?
- Branch out. Did you know that Tik Tok has seen an 18 percent increase in users during the crisis? If you’ve been focused on just one platform for a while, try a new one on for size, or resurrect one you haven’t used in a while. (Ahem, LinkedIn.)
What you can do right now
The single best thing any small business can do during COVID-19 is listen. It’s not about what you think, it’s about what your customers think. Take the time to interact with your customers online. Find their feeds. Read their comments. Watch their stories. Comment positively or ask a question. The more you show you’re aware of them, the more they will be aware of you. This is one time where quid pro quo works in your favor.
Your small business’s website is now your customers’ main source of information. Does it work? No, really… does it? If you haven’t checked on it or updated it in awhile, this would be a great time to do so. We’ve taken the opportunity to update our own site during this downtime, and it made us aware of some issues we didn’t know about before.
- Surf’s Up. Just because your site works on Safari doesn’t mean it also works on Firefox. Not all platforms are created equal. Now’s the time to check performance on the Big 5: Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, IE/Edge, Opera.
- Two words: Mobile responsive. If you don’t know what that means, it’s time for a new website.
- Emphasize security. If your url starts with http and not https, it’s not secure. That means it’s one hacker away from putting your and your consumers’ information at risk. SSL Certificates are cheaper than a lawsuit.
What you can do right now
Test and refresh. Have a friend or relative browse your site and perform a few tasks you’d want your customers to be able to do. Seeing someone else navigate your site gives you great insight into problems other customers may be facing.
Every crisis has a silver lining—even COVID-19. Use this one to become more aware of the big picture of your small business.
- Be an expert—when it makes sense. We’re doing that very thing by offering our advice as small business communications experts (and not health experts!). What does your expertise bring to the table for others?
- Avoid the hard sell. It’s no surprise, but people aren’t necessarily buying a product for the product right now. Instead, they’re supporting small businesses who are doing good and being kind in these tough times. Do good. Be kind.
- Sharing is caring. Invite every stuck-at-home customer or slowly reopening business to a Zoom meeting and simply offer to help. For us that might be brainstorming a clever tagline, sharing a press release on our channels, or merely making the connection between two like-minded clients.