5 Tactics for SMBs Trying to Stay Top of Mind During COVID-19
We realize that as the scope and uncertainty around coronavirus grows, small businesses are being forced to adapt to an increasingly challenging environment. Despite all of this, one thing we can control is our efforts to stay top of mind with customers while attention shifts to digital and habits are changing. A little strategy and relationship building right now, can go a long way in helping small businesses build the momentum they will need to be successful in the post-COVID market.
The time to start being proactive is now. Or yesterday if you ask Karen OBrien, global marketing expert and the original seed investor for our partner, Trufan. She was kind enough to send us 5 key tactics when asked about how small businesses can stay top of mind with everything going on. She started with this, “Many businesses are adapting and while in the short term they need to survive, they also can thrive on the other side of this.”
To all the leaders out there who are forced to shift your strategy and make difficult decisions during this time, here’s some food for thought from Karen.
Plan to Win vs. Planning to Not Lose.
There is a difference in your intention. Be a leader that plans to win out of this current situation. Let this mindset empower you and guide your decisions.
Here are Karen’s actionable steps to stay top of mind with your customers:
1.Digitize your business and update your current information
If you don’t already have a website or a robust social presence now is the time to work on that. Update your website, social media pages, local listing sites, blog, etc. Transparency and follow through are key – have your hours changed? Have you temporarily closed but can arrange delivery? How can customers contact you to set up an appointment in June?
2.Create Social Content
If you haven’t had the time to evolve your social content to where you want it now is the time. Tell your story, engage with your local community and customers. Even if you are a business that has had to shut down temporarily, you can stay top of mind with your customers during this phase by creating helpful content. E.g if you own a hair salon start creating content to help your customers care for their hair on their own – when everyone starts back to work they will need your help. Ask your customers what kind of content they would like to see from you, this can help guide both your short term content and your longer term strategy.
3.Communicate with your customers
Regardless of how the current business climate has affected you its critical to communicate with your customers and let them know your current status – especially if you are still open for business or if your model has evolved (retail store evolving to delivery for example). Talk with customers to understand their current needs and situation – this may lead you to create new ways of doing business for the short term that you hadn’t thought of.
4. Engage with your top fans in social channels
Advocates of your brand are important to your reputation and engagement. Identify and engage with your top fans in social media to help you spread the word on changes, current offerings, listen to your community. Ask for their support with reviews, testimonials, their help in content creation.
5. Give back
Don’t forget to give back to your community, your industry and your customers/ employees. This is a very difficult time for many and a lot of people need your help – your community and of course your customers and employees. Plan to be in business for the long term and this is the perfect time to get more involved in showing leadership and helping others where you can. Stand by your company’s purpose and values – walk your talk.