Digital Tips for Local Businesses During COVID-19

As the coronavirus panic continues, many businesses are taking a hit during this pandemic. We are at an interesting point in our history… COVID-19 has changed many things, such as local businesses, and it's forcing people to get creative when it comes to their stores. How do you maintain your business' presence in the community when people aren't going outside, except for necessities?

Chances are your local business is feeling the effects of the coronavirus, which can be a difficult time as a store owner. If you're stuck at home, unable to get stuff done at your store, try working on your store's digital presence in order to keep your business relevant in the community!

Here are a few things you can do at home to help your business' digital presence.

Tip #1: Use Your Downtime To Ramp Up Your Social Media Presence

Remember when you kept telling yourself that you'd update the information on your company's Facebook page, or create a new Instagram account to show off your products, but never had the time? Now is the time for you to take advantage of your downtime and increase your digital presence. While you're stuck at home, take some time to think about what social platforms would work best for your business, and build off of that. Maybe your Facebook page doesn't have your updated store hours, or maybe it still has your old logo as the profile picture. Dust off the cobwebs, and work on your page until you're proud of it!

Have you always thought that Instagram would be the best place to garner interest in your products? Make an Instagram business profile (it doesn't take long to create) and start posting! Which brings us to our next tip…

Tip #2: Brush Up On Your Photo Editing Skills

If your business sells physical merchandise such as clothes, accessories, furniture, or basically anything that can be photographed, start playing around with photo editing to make your pictures look polished and professional! If you have the Adobe Suite, then start playing around with the different apps like Photoshop and InDesign to learn how to make your pictures pop! However, if money is a little tight during this time, play around with free apps on your phone like Facetune and VSCO. If you have a Mac, try editing some photos in Preview - it's truly the unsung hero of photo editing apps, and it's free! You don't have to spend a lot of money to turn your photos into gorgeous pictures that will look fantastic on your social media profiles.

Not sure where to start with photo editing? Try looking up videos on YouTube or articles online to help you better understand the apps you're working with. You can even try online classes through a website like Skillshare, to teach you everything you need to know about photo editing and various other subjects.

Tip #3: Make More Posts Highlighting Your Reviews

As you probably know, local businesses thrive on reviews. It can make or break a store, so why not highlight some of the best reviews you've received? Look at Google, Yelp, and even your Facebook page to find reviews people have left you and create graphics with their quotes on them. Doing this will not only show your potential customers how great your business truly is, but it could lead to some more traffic to your website during this time. Try sprinkling these posts into your content, but make sure you don't overload your followers with reviews - try not to do more than one or two of these posts per week.

Tip #4: Make Sure Your Website Is Updated

You may be a brick-and-mortar store, but during this time, many people are online shipping instead of going into stores. Many areas across the U.S. are creating shelter in place orders, which means that people cannot leave their homes unless it is necessary. Don't lose potential business just because people can't walk into your store! Make sure your website is up-to-date, user friendly, and optimized for mobile as traffic. When people are feeling the itch to go shopping, they'll be looking up the websites of their favorite stores, but if your website is slow and out-of-date, that could turn even your most loyal customers away.

If you're not sure how to update your website, check out some online courses (as previously mentioned) to help you strengthen your knowledge of your website. This will help in the long-run, too, since you'll be able to personalize your website to your specifications whenever you want!

Tip #5: Become A Local Resource For Your Followers

You're a local business, which means you care about the community you're surrounded by. Have you ever posted about upcoming events and happenings in your area? Try posting local information but focus on COVID-19. Now is an important time for local businesses to make sure their followers are informed about what is happening around them, and how to stay safe during this time.

Has your area recently been put under a shelter in place order? Share an article to let your followers know what sheltering in place means and help them understand the importance of following the order's instructions. Try sharing general tips and tricks to protect yourself from coronavirus, like how long to wash your hands, or what types of masks or gloves are good to wear if you need to go in public. Providing these resources to your followers will not only help spread awareness of the coronavirus, but it will also show your community that you take an interest in everyone's well-being.

Tip #6: Post About Store Promotions

If your business has taken a hit from the coronavirus, and sales seem to be slowing down, try posting about promotions on your store's social media pages in order to ramp up traffic to your website. Try a classic promotion like free shipping or a buy-one-get-one-free deal. If you want to get creative you can try offering mystery promotions, or deals that reflect your business' personality. Get creative and have fun with it!

Once you've decided on a promotion, make some graphics and post them on your social media profiles announcing the promotion. This could be the thing that helps a social media follower become a customer!

Tip #7: Take A Deep Breath

No, this isn't necessarily related to digital marketing, but it's very important. This time of uncertainty can be nerve-wracking for many local businesses. Make sure to take a deep breath and stay calm during this time. Do what you can and try not to stress too much about what you can't do.

We understand the challenges owners of local businesses are currently facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Building a digital presence can feel like a lot of work, especially when you don't have the capacity to learn new skills and take on the ever-changing landscape of social media, that's why we're here. Schedule a consultation with us to learn how we can help your business establish a digital presence and turn Social Into Sales!


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