You are not alone: social media shifts during social distancing
It’s not often that you get business tips out of the blue from one of your own customers. Especially some much needed advice to help you navigate unfamiliar waters. Thankfully, one local independent candy shop had a loyal customer watching out for them.
Like many brick and mortar shops, the candy shop was required to shut its doors to customers for the foreseeable future as part of social distancing efforts. Shannon Giordano of Serendipity Social Media noticed that her favorite candy shop was still somewhat active on social media despite the shut down, and saw an opportunity to help.
Off the top of her head, Shannon was able to make some strategic but easy to implement social media adaptations for the shop, including videos and specialized posts. With Easter coming up, she encouraged the candy shop to highlight its Easter candy and done-for-you Easter baskets on social media to all the home-bound parents wondering how they’ll get their baskets done.
The customer response was so overwhelming that the candy shop quickly put together a website to collect online orders, saving Easter mornings everywhere. While this business model was a temporary adaptation to continue sales during social distancing, it has the potential to be a permanent addition to the candy shop’s revenue stream.
Shannon’s Top 3 Social Media Tips During Social distancing
After hearing her story, I chatted with Shannon this week about how she helps other businesses adapt to the current situation. We know there are so many of you out there wondering how to proceed with social media and navigate these waters. So I asked her to share with all of you her top 3 social media suggestions during this unprecedented time. Here are Shannon’s free tips for you:
1. Shift Your Mindset and Your Tone
“Don’t be afraid to continue to share messaging just because you feel like it's an awkward time to share messaging,” says Shannon, “What you need to do is shift the tone.” Tone is always important on social media but right now it’s the most important thing. All of your posts should come from a place of genuine connection and being of service. Be sure that your tone and messaging supports the community pulling together and being #alonetogether.
3. Adjust Your Posting Strategy
Take a step back and reassess your strategy, suggests Shannon. Think about the people that you serve and what their life looks like right now.
Let’s say your audience includes moms who get online mid-afternoon because they are sitting in the carpool line or a “naptime” break. Right now, all of that may have changed for them. Everything may be different. What platforms and what times of day are they online now? And what does your audience need in the current situation? Take an afternoon to map out the next few weeks so you have thoughtful and impactful messaging at a time where you can reach your community.
3. Now is the Time for Real Engagement
It’s great to be sharing these posts “but the key is engagement,” says Shannon. It’s a time to be real and vulnerable, and be sure that you are truly interacting with your audience.
Some of her brick and mortar clients have had to close their doors temporarily due to social distancing for COVID-19. But she advised them to have their staff post personal updates of themselves at home. Her clients have had a tremendous positive response from their audiences because of the personal connection to the staff members.
“It’s a cool opportunity to humanize your business and share something that is a little bit different than you‘ve ever done before.”
If you’ve never chatted with Shannon, you should! You never know how a quick consultation phone call with her can inspire small changes for big results, especially if you feel lost on how to communicate with your audience in uncertain times.
Shannon is offering her strategy brainstorm sessions for 50% off during April and May to keep her services affordable for all small businesses. Don’t hesitate to reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Meredith Heuer.