Updated: Feb 8
People are online more than ever due to quarantine restrictions, but their feeds have been taken over by the doom and gloom of world news. Facebook and Instagram have both seen a 40% increase in usage, along with a major increase in Instagram Live and Facebook Live views.
It’s overwhelming for social media users and business owners alike. In this climate, small businesses have taken to social media to keep connected with their customers, and not just for good customer service- it’s become necessary to stay top-of-mind to keep sales up. These days, social media strategies can’t play out like they did before. Just like in the showroom, it’s not business as usual. New, creative ideas to market products and services are not only important, they’re expected.
In the old days, the way to measure social media success was all about ROI and clicks. Catchy ads that send people to your webpage or store, where they hopefully make their purchases. No reason not to continue this practice, but this is the time to start thinking about some other social media metrics. Success looks different in a pandemic situation.
With people not as willing to buy with the same enthusiasm as before (the economic situation is hitting everyone hard), focus less on ROI and more on likes, shares, comments and clicks. This is where you track loyalty and keep your business in their minds.
For example, remember all those customer service and marketing surveys you sent out that never came back? Well, now is the time to try again. Let’s face it, people are bored and more likely to engage with surveys. It’s a great way to get marketing info about your clients’ situations, which in turn can inspire you to create content that supports them. Aside from email surveys, Facebook and Instagram have fun polls and question-asking features that you can use in posts or Stories. It can be used for feedback or just plain entertainment.
It’s definitely time to try something new. Video viewing has skyrocketed, so start filming those showroom tours or recording fun product videos. You can do this in the showroom, or even ask valued clients to show how certain products look and work in their own homes. If you have worked on a home reno recently, ask the client to record a video tour; no one can resist a video like that! User-generated content is one of the best things a company can use to promote their business.
No matter what channels you work with, remember the 80/20 rule. These days especially, don’t pump your feed with products and sales pitches. If the first goal of any business-related social media account is to get followers, the second goal is to make sure they stick around to see your content. Stats have shown that 45 percent of people will unfollow brands who do too much self-promotion on social media.
The basic idea is this: 80% of your content (blogs, posts, tweets, etc.) should inform, entertain or educate your followers. In the showroom world, you can post about design trends, news about hot products, behind-the-scenes photos or videos, photos of past or current projects, DIY or maintenance tips for plumbing products, local or community events- really anything that isn't asking the viewer/reader to buy something from you.
The other 20% can then be devoted to promotional content- sales, products, events and other information specific to the showroom. In this sales climate, it may also be interesting to tie in health and safety messages with sales content- promote touchless technology, as industry research suggests consumers are searching for items that will make it easier to keep their homes clean and families safe.
The goal right now is to keep customer loyalty strong. Ultimately, you are maintaining a framework that will only get stronger over time- it will become part of your post-Covid recovery strategy. When the world returns to normal, make sure you are the first place they want to go. Inspire their home renovation projects with beautiful interior design images. Let them know that even if it’s not the right time, you are there to discuss their plans and help them get started whenever they are ready.