Business owners already have a lot on their plate. Not only do they serve their customers, they also need to run a business that involves bookkeeping, hiring employees, navigating taxes, marketing and so much more. 

We focus on what we’re told to focus on … but navigating through a pandemic? While we’ve seen these scenarios on TV and in movies, we never imagined what’s unfolding right now as something that would actually happen. 

If you haven’t taken social media seriously in your marketing plan, now is the time to change your focus. The social media landscape has shifted. More people are using it as a means to stay on top of the news, what their friends and family are doing and communicate.

Here are five things every business should be doing right now: 

1. Businesses Need to Innovate

Now’s the time to embrace social media. There is a lot of noise out there, but use this as an opportunity to work on your brand and stand out in the crowd. One key thing you can do is focus on video. 

If you’ve been putting off creating videos, there are some easy ways to get started. Also, as more people are at home, streaming video can be incredibly important to your brand. Check out how Facebook is adding new tools to its Live platform as the demand rises. If you’ve never done a Facebook live, here are the four quick steps to make it happen. 

2. Post Business Updates Regularly Across All Social Media Platforms

You want to assure your customers that you are still open for business in some capacity, even if it’s only through online transactions. Be sure to include your phone number and hours that you’re available so your customers can reach you. If you don’t have a Google My Business account, grab one now and post regular updates there. 

(Please note: Google has limited some of its features, such as local reviews, but don’t let that stop you from getting started.)

You’ll also want to make sure you are posting regularly on all the platforms you have been active on in the past couple of months. Just because your business is shut down or limited to public traffic doesn’t mean you should stop posting. Your customers want to know how you are doing and if you will still be around when business resumes in several months. 

If you have decided to not use certain social media platforms, that is OK, but let your followers know where to find updated information. For example, if you’ve been silent on Twitter, post an update there, link to your website and pin the post to your profile. 

3. Be Inspirational and Motivate Your Followers

While regular updates are important, so are posts that aren’t necessarily directly about you. Hop on some social media trends: post a scenic photo that you’re thinking about, post a “Monday Motivation” quote, join in Throwback Thursday.

4. Show Support to Other Local Businesses

In the Richmond, VA community, there’s a movement using the tag #LocalTogetherStronger. Numerous businesses across the region have banded together to support each other. If you’ve purchased something from another local business or grabbed dinner from a local spot, post about it.

Make sure you tag that business as well. Months from now, those businesses will remember you. Your customers will remember those moments.

5. Check Your Long-Range Social Media Calendar

Do you schedule posts in advance? Double-check that calendar to make sure your messages aren’t off-topic. For example, if you were planning a big spring event or sale, that event is probably canceled right now. 

Let’s Get Through This Together

The important thing to remember is that we are ALL in this together. At no other time in recent history has EVERYONE been impacted by something like this in some way or another. That also means we can all pull through this together as well. 

If you have any social media needs you’d like to discuss, let’s set up a time to talk about how we can be your partner in these uncertain times.

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