How small local businesses can find the silver lining in COVID and REACH new customers. Build CREDIBILITY and HYPE before reopening. 

How small local businesses can find the silver lining in COVID and REACH new customers. Build CREDIBILITY and HYPE.

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Open we stand. In Business school, I learned the importance of resiliency. “Business resilience is the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to business disruptions, safeguard people and assets, while maintaining continuous business operations.” The disruption of COVID has forced business owners and their staff to stay home. When you are truly invested in your business there should be no boundaries, the location should not define your business. You can and should REACH your customers by virtually initiating relationships. The ice cream shop on 5 and 10 can and should share daily on social media to expand their AWARENESS. Awareness will build your audience. Two ways the ice cream shop can build awareness without spending money: SOCIAL MEDIA. Photos are what grabs your audience’s attention. Ice cream, for example, is a treat, which brings joy, positivity, and creates sentimental moments for consumers.

Define your ideal customer. Why do they come to you? What are 5 words that describe that customer’s personality?

The ice cream shop does not need daily photos of delicious ice cream sundaes. A mix of positive quotes, and social gatherings would diversify your content and expand your REACH.

Your social sharing should be organized, on-brand, and cohesive. Yes, you can use stock images on websites like CANVA.com or download a lightroom preset and filter all your images to achieve that cohesive feeling on your social media. When you share, do so in an organized fashion. Tailwind.com has a Pinterest and Instagram scheduler, they offer a free trial for Instagram and encourage your social media feed to diversify its message by including motivational, inspiring, educational etc. types of content. I highly suggest that you check out Tailwind for Instagram.

When you REACH your customer on social media where are they going to go to learn more about you? Your Instagram bio. Put your location, what you serve, and how you serve your customer. LINK to your website. If you do not have a website, build one. They are easy using GODADDY. They offer templates and customer service that will help you achieve what you need. There is nothing wrong with being basic. Your customer wants visual reassurance that they found a CREDIBLE business. Anyone can fake it on social right. Use your website to share your menu, staff pics, a story about you and your WHY.

All these things you can be doing from home for little or no money. Equally as important is getting your employees on board with this opportunity to raise awareness. Ask them to RESHARE your content. Ask them to help GROW by giving them your Instagram password and letting them take over for a day. Introduce themselves on Instagram stories, share about them (I am talking a 30 second intro and if they tell you they are uncomfortable on camera tell them to post a photo and write text overlay. No excuses.)  You employees should be your branches right now. Raise awareness so that when you finally reopen your doors you have waitlist or long line at your door. REACH. HYPE. CREDIBILE.

I hope this brief outline helps small business owners understand the value of social media and the internet. I encourage you to visit https://actv.at/7KM/microsite GoDaddy’s microsite for resources, inspiration & connection to other entrepreneurs during COVID-19.” Brought to you by @GoDaddy #OpenWeStand.