Creative Social Media Tactics

DISCLAIMER: This article was written in 2020 and has not been updated. For more up to date information on economic impacts to small business funding, please read this recent article Digital Marketing Essentials: 5 Easy Strategies for Any Small Business

As of May 28, 2021, the Paycheck Protection Program has run out of funding. You can learn more about the PPP with our COVID-19 resource hub.

Social Media Tactics that Boost Your Bottom Line

The coronavirus is changing the way we live, work, and do business. And as more people retreat into their homes and practice social distancing to stop the spread of the virus, small businesses are having to rethink their marketing strategies and find new and innovative ways to reach potential customers and drive and increase sales for their businesses.

Because the truth is, the marketing efforts that were driving business just a few weeks ago may not be effective in today’s climate. So, if there was ever a time to get creative with your social media strategy, that time is now.

But how should you adjust your digital marketing and social media strategy? What are the most effective ways to connect with potential customers? And how can you leverage your social media accounts to drive business and sales during this challenging time?

Social Media Tactics: Review and revise your strategy

Before you start experimenting with new and creative social media tactics, it’s important to take stock of where you are, get organized, and figure out the most effective and efficient way to move forward.

The first step is to audit and review your current social media strategy. What social platforms have you been focused on? What social networks have been delivering the most ROI? What types of content have you been creating?

Once you know where you are, you can figure out what areas of your current social media strategy are still relevant—and which you’ll need to adjust. So, for example, during your audit you might realize that your messaging has been focused on driving new customers into your brick-and-mortar locations—messaging that, moving forward, will need to pivot to focus on your e-commerce operations. Or maybe you realize that Twitter is driving significantly more engagement for your business than other social platforms—and so would want to focus your efforts on increasing tweets on your social media calendar to better connect with your audience.

The point is, before you start experimenting with new social media tactics, it’s important to take stock of your current strategy, what’s working, and what needs to change so you have clear direction on how to move forward.

Partner with micro-influencers…

When you hear “influencer marketing,” your mind probably goes straight to the Kylie Jenners and Ariana Grandes of the world. But the truth is, partnering with mega-influencers of that caliber is not only unrealistic (top influencers often charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single post), but it’s also not the most effective option.

Micro-influencers are social media personalities who have small but engaged audiences—typically anywhere between 1,000 to 100,000 followers.

And while micro-influencers may have smaller audience numbers, they often drive better results than their mega-influencer counterparts. According to AdWeek, micro-influencers are 6.7X more effective per engagement than larger influencers—and have 22X more weekly conversations than the average consumer. And because they typically don’t have as much brand interest as larger influencers, they’re much more willing to partner with businesses on influencer social media campaigns.

If you want to leverage influencer marketing to drum up business, look for micro-influencers in your community and/or industry. Look for micro-influencers who are already engaged with your target audience—then reach out and introduce yourself and your business (the more personalized you can be in your approach, the better).

Pitch them on why their followers would be interested in what you have to offer (for example, if you want to promote your restaurant’s food delivery service—and the majority of their audience is local to your city). Offer them an incentive for partnering on a campaign and promoting your business on their social networks, like an exclusive discount code for their followers and free merch.

Not only are micro-influencers more likely to partner with you than their million-plus mega-influencer counterparts, but because they’re audiences are hyper-engaged and hyper-targeted, you’re also likely to get better results from your campaign.

…and other local businesses

There are very few small businesses out there that aren’t struggling as a result of the coronavirus and social distancing. So, one of the best ways to support your local community—and help your business in the process? Look for partnership opportunities with other local businesses.

Partnering with local businesses is a win-win situation. You get to support another small business by promoting their products or services on your social media accounts—and you get to increase brand awareness and get yourself in front of new potential customers when they promote your business to their audience.

Look for local businesses that have similar audiences and reach out to see how you can cross-promote each other on your social media platforms. For example, if you own a fitness studio, you might reach out to local health-conscious restaurants to see if they’d be willing to promote your virtual classes on their Instagram account—and then offer to promote their takeout or delivery services to your audience.

There’s no denying that small businesses are hurting right now. But by finding ways to partner with other local businesses, you can do your part to support your local business community—and drive more customers and sales for your own business in the process.

Build a human connection through video content

A good portion of social media marketing revolves around written content. But with customers spending the majority of their time at home social distancing, they’re craving a more personal connection.

And that’s why now would be a good time to start creating more video content to feature across your social channels.

Video content is much more personal than any other type of content. Video content recreates the kind of personal, face-to-face connection you’d have when interacting with your customers—without actually interacting face-to-face, which just isn’t safe in the current climate.

Host a Q+A on Facebook Live to answer any questions your customers have about how coronavirus is impacting your business. Use Instagram Stories to introduce your team to your customers—and let each team member talk about their current role and how they’re working to keep your customers safe. Create instructional how-to YouTube videos to keep your customers engaged with your brand (for example, if you own a restaurant, you might create a cooking demo).

Video content allows you to build relationships with your customers, even as social distancing prevents you from building those relationships in person—and those relationships are what’s going to keep your customers engaged with your business.

Leverage social media promotions

Social media platforms offer the opportunity to drive both engagement and sales. And a great way to do both. Social media promotions.

Brainstorm creative social media promotions that will get your audience involved with your brand and drive revenue. For example, you might create a hashtag for customers to use when posing with your products in their social media images—then offer everyone who uses the hashtag a discount code to use in your ecommerce shop. Or maybe you create a contest where all customers who make a purchase on a certain day are entered to win a $500 gift card—and then promote that link across all your social media platforms.

The point is, social media is a great way to engage with your customers and drive revenue with your business—and with the right social media promotion, you can accomplish both goals at once.

Use social media to connect with your customers and get through this tough time

It’s a rough time for small businesses. But with the right social media strategy, you can continue to connect with your audience, find new customers, and drive sales for your business—all of which can help carry you (and your customers) through these challenges and emerge on the other side stronger than before.

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