Updated: Jun 24, 2020
With lockdown restrictions easing, a glimpse of normality and a sense of routine is on the horizon for many Australians. As the economic engine begins to whirr, many businesses are preparing to reopen, ready for a surge of customers, albeit in line with current restrictions and regulations.
The post-lockdown aftermath will be a valuable opportunity to leverage heightened consumer demand after months locked away in our houses. There’s never been a more crucial time to keep your business top of mind with customers – even if you're still closed right now. After all, you want to be on the top of people's lists when the gates do open.
Now think about the current circumstances: the majority of the community (your audience) are at home, bored, restless, looking for relevant information, and an escape from reality. They're also excited about the chance to get out of the house, yet still nervous about their safety and what the future might hold. How do you communicate with them? On social media of course.
Social media is the perfect platform to keep your customers interested and engaged. Australia has one of the highest rates of social media use in the world at more than 71% penetration. THAT'S 18 MILLION PEOPLE.
PLUS SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE AND ENGAGEMENT IS CURRENTLY IN DOUBLE-DIGIT GROWTH!!
If you want to get technical, the social media algorithms work on consistency, so by keeping up a regular pattern of posting and activity, you keep your community engaged. Your content will remain relevant and be seen on your audiences' timelines, and most importantly, they will continue to see your posts once the normality resumes. Being inactive and opting for an incognito method during these times will do your business no favour in the long run.
If you are getting ready to reopen your doors and want to make sure your business is top of mind, with a broader audience, ask your community to help. User-generated content on social media may have played a big part in the success of your marketing in the past, and guess what – it still can!
Ask your customers to repurpose old content in anticipation of the reopening of your businesses or create quality "insta-worthy" content they can share. And when you do reopen, encourage the customers that use you to spread the word. It's a proven fact that 84% of consumers say they trust recommendations from peers over advertising.
Whether you are in the hospitality, fitness, or beauty industries, or provide retail goods, the end goal for most business marketing is the same. Here are some tips to consider for building a strong reputation and relationship with your customers as you get back to business in these unprecedented times.
If you are providing takeaway or still shipping material goods, include something with the delivery that encourages them to share your content. Gift them a 'bonus' item or give a small incentive to bring people back once you are open.
Update your Instagram bio to include your feature hashtag as well as any other necessary changes, such as a shift in opening hours, or updated booking protocols. Make sure you highlight the new processes or services your business may be rolling out.
Add that extra spice to your deliveries that people can't help but Instagram it! Make it theatrical; ice with cocktails, garnish with take away foods, leak a crowd favourite recipe for customers to make at home, chuck some sweet treats in with that retail order, and where you can always include your business name and branding on the packaging.
When you begin to see customers sharing all your beautiful products, don't leave them hanging! Make sure you share their content back to your social feeds and stories on all your platforms. It's called social media for a reason, after all. Make sure to credit the original photographer, this not only personalises your relationship not with that customer, but with your entire audience, and may also prompt another re-share.
Keep these tricks up your sleeve and remember even when the physical doors are closed, the digital world is always open with an audience of people searching for entertainment. Adapt to the current circumstances, take advantage of the extra screen time, and capitalise on people's excitement to get back to some semblance of normality to showcase your business.