If there’s one thing New Zealanders have learned, it’s that COVID-19 is persistent. 2020 has been a year that tells us marketers must be prepared to keep their message flowing no matter what’s happening in the world – because we truly don’t know what’s around the corner.
When faced with uncertainty in business, it may seem logical to take energy away from social media in order to help keep other elements of the business afloat. However, as realtors are wont to say, “You can’t sell a secret!” Social media is a company’s direct line to its customers, and a fantastic opportunity to keep spreading your message even in times of tumult. This could be key to keeping business flowing.
These three companies have shown that there are plenty of ways to use social media to supercharge a brand even during lockdown.
From the early days of America’s lockdowns, Cardinal Spirits (a distillery) started to post the specific amount of items it needed to ship on a particular day to stay afloat while its tasting room was closed. This was so its community of 11,000-plus Instagram followers could see exactly how to help the business they loved.
Each day when Cardinal Spirits met its target, it would post in a Story to tell people they had succeeded, and encouraged them to support another local business that particular day.
- Why was it great? Cardinal Spirits helped its followers feel like a critical part of the business, doing their part to keep it going. As a result, the business hit its targets almost every day.
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Our walk-up window is going strong, all weekend long, Monday too! What cocktails have you tried so far? . In the spirit of honesty and transparency, we are sharing our daily goals for carry-out sales that will help to sustain us while our tasting room is closed. Hitting these goals is one way that we are able to keep our tasting room managers, bartenders, and servers employed. ❤️ And when our needs are met for the day, we’ll let you know in our Stories. . Here is what we need to sell today to keep going — 🔺 30 bottles of spirits 🔺 20 cocktails-to-go 🔺 24 four-packs of canned cocktails . Order online for carry-out: cardinalspirits.com . Today, can you help us hit our goal for bottle and cocktail sales? We’ll update this post the minute we reach our goal! . Ordering notes: 🔺FREE bottle of our hand sanitizer with each order! 🔺order online; we cannot accept walk-up orders 🔺 orders are usually ready within an hour of placing it — we try to send an email alert 🔺we have a walk-up window for picking up orders; or call us when you arrive for contactless pickup – pop your trunk and have ID ready 🔺all surfaces and check-out accessories are sanitized between guests 🔺orders are for pick-up only; we cannot ship spirits or cocktails . #distillery #cardinalspirits #foundmyspirit #bloomingtonindiana #visitbtown
Old Town Books
Expecting sales to suffer due to America’s stay-home orders, Old Town Books store owner Ally Kirkpatrick turned to Facebook to make her brand more than just a place to buy books – but a place of community and learning.
She hosted online book clubs, author Q&As, and even virtual story times. The store also ran pay-what-you-can writing classes and a GoFundMe, both as alternate sources of income.
- Why was it great? Old Town Books made itself a part of the writing and reading communities with its virtual events. These kept its community engaged, brought in new traffic, and offered customers a way to directly help the business beyond simply buying books.
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Join us for a discussion of small-town politics with author Heather Lende in conversation with @nprmelissablock Heather Lende was one of the thousands of women inspired to take a more active role in politics during the past few years. Though her entire campaign for assembly member in Haines, Alaska, cost less than $1,000, she won! We’ll be chatting about her new book, Of Bears and Ballots, on Monday, July 20 at 7 PM. Free RSVP for this event and more at oldtownbooks.com. #indiebookstore #bookevent #bookish #ofbearsandballots #authortalk #authorevent #freeeventsdc #bookish
Savlon India – a company that makes hand sanitiser – was well positioned, market wise, when the pandemic started picking up. While this is not an example of a company facing a customer shortage, it’s a perfect example of how a brand can use its social media platform to educate and make customers feel at ease. Other businesses, perhaps those that are struggling, can easily follow the example.
Back in February, Savlon ran a Q&A with its Facebook followers, hosting a panel of experts to answer key questions about the then-new (at least for nations outside of China) virus. Ever since, it has regularly posted advice on the topic, including how to make your own face mask and how to keep children engaged at home.
- Why was it great? Savlon saw an opportunity not just to sell products, but to help customers feel more at ease in a stressful situation. By becoming a source of expert advice, they were able to build fantastic engagement on their profile in the past few months.
Businesses facing pandemic lockdowns, or simply reduced customer demand as a result of a changed economy, shouldn’t abandon social media as it is a powerful tool for educating, engaging and driving revenue.
Marketers must ask themselves: What advice can we offer customers? What activities and events could we host? How can we become an active member of our community?
With the answers to these questions in hand, social posts write themselves.