The COVID-19 pandemic imposes constraints on businesses. Measures such as social distancing, lockdowns and quarantines have been enacted to try and diminish its spread and flatten the curve. On our end, VBN proactively shifted to a work-from-home setup for all its Virtual Assistants. Still, life must go on. Businesses – like grocery stores, restaurant takeout and delivery services – are still continuing operations while minimizing the risk of infection. Bottom lines will take a hit, there’s no way going around it. But social media ads can help these companies during the pandemic, especially since customers will now be staying home, scrolling through their smartphone screens for hours. If anything, it’s time to take your social media game up a notch. So here are a few ways to leverage social media ads for your business as operations shift in light of the pandemic:
Boost Your E-Commerce and Online Sales
Use social media ads to promote your online stores. Start focusing on e-commerce. With this way of doing business, the exposure risk is virtually nil, and through delivery services people can still obtain the products they need. This is a major convenience for those who can’t go out to groceries or other stores for supply runs. Immunocompromised individuals, elderly, people who can’t haul heavy loads or don’t have convenient transportation – e-commerce can be a major lifesaver.
Shift from Short-Term Sales to Long-Term Brand Building
That’s a mouthful, but what this means is that while business will definitely slow down, you can use online ads to maintain an online presence. Those summer sales and promos might have to wait till next year, but you can still retain brand recognition and get ready to resume when normalcy returns.
Retain Your Customer Base
On that note, just because people aren’t going out and about doesn’t mean your business will become invisible. Your brand should not fade into obscurity. Use social media to keep in touch with your customer base so that you won’t lose them. Moreover, it is more affordable to retain your existing customers than acquire new ones. Especially as belts tighten during the pandemic.
Promote At-Home and Delivery-Based Options
Restaurants and cafes have shifted gear. Obviously dine-in is no longer an option, so takeout, deliveries and such are now their main source of income. The same goes for stores. Use online ads to raise awareness of this shift. Remind customers that your products are still available. At the same time, these options are also ideal for maintaining social distancing.
Keeping Customers Safe
Sometimes transactions can’t be done online, such as going to the store to purchase a load of groceries or supplies. Nonetheless, social distancing and other measures can be maintained to minimize the risk of exposure. And social media can help with this.For example, social media ads can inform customers regarding what products are available. They can message their requests, inform the business ahead of time what their purchases will be, etc. All they have to do is swing by, take their purchases and head home. So everything will be more convenient, transactions will be streamlined, and they’ll spend less time outside.
More Online Content
People will be at home most of the time. While bookworms will be pouring through their hoards of novels, most people will be scrolling through their Facebook and Twitter feeds, skimming through Instagram stories and so on. So you can maintain brand recognition and brand visibility by posting a steady stream of content that will keep engaging them. These don’t have to be just products and promos. Your online material can include helpful tips, humorous content, memes, information regarding the measures your business has enacted (people will appreciate the concern businesses show), and more. Interesting and engaging content will be in higher demand. So stock up on evergreen content that will be relevant for a long time, that won’t become dated, that will remain high-ranking in those SEO metrics. Also, keep those stories positive!
That Nostalgia For Normalcy
Almost all of us will be cooped up for a while. And there will be a longing for normalcy, nostalgia for things we are familiar with. We’ll miss our old lifestyles, the patterns of daily activities, the brands and establishments we frequented. Social media can meet this longing and, in doing so, keep your brand visible and give customers something to look forward to. Normalcy will return at some point, and those customers will remember brands that remained visible. At that point, these marketing efforts will pay off and you’ll be back in business!
Refining Customer Experience
Not directly under social media marketing, but the ultimate result is to draw audiences to your site and generate returns. So if you want those returns, and want to keep on bringing them back, the customer experience must be enjoyable and convenient. Therefore, it’s time to upgrade your website and make sure it is ergonomic and streamlined, easy to use and fast. Small changes can deliver big improvements that customers will definitely appreciate.
Gauging Customer Behavior
More people will be at home and plugged in. So your online ads can be leveraged to help you understand your customer base’s needs. How affected are certain areas? What kind of products or services do they require more of? Or what kind of content is more popular? Such information, gleaned from ad metrics, can help you formulate your marketing plans and business plans moving forward.
While normalcy won’t return for a while, businesses have to do what they can to continue operating. At the same time, they have to adapt to present circumstances. With people working from home, public spaces generally closed down and so forth, it’s crucial to leverage social media marketing, social media ads, and other forms of online marketing and advertising. The game has changed, but the pieces are still on the board.