Posting and Advertising during Quarantine: 50 Small Business Social Tips for 50 Industries
While there may be a downturn in customer spending during the Covid-19 crisis, there is an increase in customer touch points and attention. With Facebook usage up 50%, it is more important than ever for small businesses to turn to social media to maintain relevance and build relationships in their local communities.
Here are 50 social tips for 50 industries, complete with some real-world examples of best-practices for SMBs to keep their communities engaged, even in a crisis.
- Antique Stores or Resale Shops
Share video and blog content on how to up-cycle in your own home (furniture or clothing). Leverage Facebook’s Marketplace to sell your antiques on Social. Facebook Marketplace is used in 70 countries by 800 million people.
- Art Studios/Painting Places
Promote sign-ups for virtual lessons with a pre-order list of supplies with product links. Utopian Bizarre got creative by offering take-home paint kits of pre-drawn canvases with curbside pickup.
Offer delivery/curbside pickup and drive sales through social. Birthday, anniversaries, and the like still take place, even if customers are homebound. Take pictures and post special highlights of customers purchasing cakes/treats to celebrate their special occasions. If you’re feeling creative, think about hosting a virtual baking class, with users purchasing a ticket online.
- Banks and Financial Advisors
With so many out of work, it’s important for banks and financial advisors to ramp up content to share on social. Some ideas include saving/budgeting tips, online banking for beginners, and saving for retirement in a recession. Build your mailing and email lists with signups for webinars, which could be as simple as a live Q&A.
Teach a virtual cocktail-making class. Promote with sign-ups to collect customer information for email offers or invites to your “Grand Re-opening” party.
- Beauty Brands and Salons
Offer tutorials or instructions for keeping hair, nails, and skin healthy at home. Encourage gift card purchases for use at a later date, and drive consumers to your website through social advertising to boost online sales. During Q1 of 2019, 37% of beauty buyers stated they typically found out about beauty brands or products via ads on social media, and 33% said recommendations or comments on social media led them to discover a new product.
- Book Stores
Offer virtual story time for kids and virtual book clubs for adults. Encourage sign-ups for these events so you can use contact information at a later date for promotions, events, and offers, and drive consumers to your website through social advertising to boost online sales.
Use video or virtual classes to educate your community about different beer styles or your brewing processes. Depending on the state you’re located in, offer delivery or curbside pickup of crowlers to go. Just like with bars, be sure to promote classes with sign-ups to collect customer information for email offers or invites to your “Grand Re-opening” party.
People are homebound, and they are no doubt evaluating their living spaces. Offer DIY videos for making organization items like bookshelves or shoe racks. When they’re ready to make big home improvements or build a new home, they’ll remember how you shared your expertise.
- Bed and Breakfasts
When people can get out again, they will. Right now, many may be researching options for a quick trip. Offer content on things to do in the area around your B&B and provide a way to purchase gift cards/gift certificates. Additionally, post video lessons on how to make the yummy breakfasts you serve.
- Car Dealerships
Post virtual tours of cars and their specs and/or videos to show off cool new features on your latest models. Encourage people to purchase online using social media advertising. 51% of auto consumers aged 18-34 discover new automobiles on Facebook.
Offer registration-only online cooking classes of dishes you can make with standard staples. Promote on Facebook to increase registrations and add those contacts to your email lists.
Share work-from-home tips like home exercises and how to maintain good posture at your desk.
- Cleaning Services
Lots of folks are looking to start spring cleaning while home-bound. Share tips and tricks for problem areas like grout, shower ceilings, rust stains, etc.
- Clothing Stores/Boutiques
Over 40% of US fashion shoppers who use social media to discover new retail fashion products and brands say that advertisements on social media help with discovery. Make sure to post your inventory on Facebook and Instagram with sizing and prices, and offer curbside pickup or delivery. Leverage Instagram Shopping so that people can buy your products directly from photos and videos.
- Coffee Shops
Offer to-go/drive-thru services, latte-at-home instruction videos, or plan a gathering via video platforms for “open mic night.” Bitty & Beau’s of Wilmington, NC, is one of the many coffee shops across the country that has closed its doors, yet it is offering online ordering of merchandise and ground coffees. Also super clever, Walkie Talkie, a local coffee shop in Ohio, has developed t-shirts to sell in collaboration with a local print shop and several other area businesses. The site linked lets you choose the local business to support with your t-shirt purchase.
- Computer/Tech Repair
People may be skittish about bringing their computer in for service, even though remaining connected is more important now than ever before with so many working and educating from home. Offer videos to troubleshoot common problems and virtual consultations.
- Interior Designers
When people are stuck at home, they are bound to notice a lot of changes they would like to make. Be helpful during this time. Offer best practices for furniture rearrangement, color usage, and more. Build your email and mailing list with sign-ups for virtual design sessions. Offer promotions for locking in future appointments now.
- Craft Stores
People are picking up new hobbies, and there is a craft for everyone! Offer tutorials and guides on popular crafts like embroidery, knitting, and more. As an added bonus, link the supplies for online orders. Keep the whole family entertained with “how-to” kiddie crafts. Mask making is a necessity now to help our medical workers. Offer video instructions on how to sew them and how to donate.
- Dance Studios
Provide online instruction for your students. Cultivate future business by posting fun dance tutorials to stay active while at home. Many students are at home now. Partner with your local school systems to drive traffic to your Facebook Page so students can use your posted dances for physical education credit.
While everyone is focused on ramping up good hygiene, remind folks that it extends to their dental care, too. Post videos on proper oral hygiene that parents and teachers can show kids and health classes.
Have a setup at home? DJs and artists across the globe have been hosting shows and sets directly from their homes. Post a set time and where you’re streaming for people to tune in! In the US, 49% of concertgoers discover shows on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp, making Facebook the top source of digital discovery. Just because you’re going virtual doesn’t mean people aren’t looking to hear from you!
- Florists/Garden Centers
Offer videos on caring for useful plants and their purposes, growing your own gardens, and growing spices and how to incorporate them in home cooking. Offer delivery and post your inventory on your Instagram/FB stories to show off new arrivals. Pettiti’s Garden Center has created videos on how to start gardening indoors from seed as well as posts on their new safety procedures and opportunities for delivery and curbside pickup.
- Furniture Stores
For a small operation, stage your inventory and post photos to your social pages. Special items should be front and center. If you want to stay on trend, offer curbside or contactless pickup after someone makes a purchase.
For many gallerists, shows and fairs are the best way to gain exposure, gather new collectors, and interact with existing buyers. With major fairs being canceled and postponed until the fall, galleries are moving their business online. Check out Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston, TX, which started a blog series entitled Safe in the Studio, and will feature a new gallery artist each week and will be discounting three pieces for one week. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website while gaining new followers and potential collectors!
- Game Shop
Highlight new games (especially educational games!) and work-from-home tech essentials. Offer curbside pick-up.
Hold a Pet Photo Contest and promote gift card sales. Offer curbside pickup of pet shampoos. Give DIY tips for cutting dog bangs and necessary areas until your pooch’s next appointment.
Start providing virtual classes and drive sign-ups through social. Champions Fitness Center in Cicero, NY, offers videos of partner workouts fans can do with their kids.
- Home Services (HVAC, Plumbing, Pest Control, etc.)
These essential services that would no doubt have to enter homes for emergencies should be sure to post safety measures they are taking to avoid the spread of Covid-19. DIY videos to troubleshoot common problems would also provide welcome relief for many homeowners.
- Lawn Care
Offer tips to keep your lawn healthy and tips for spring cleanup. If you are still servicing customers, share what methods you’re using for online payment or pre-pay to minimize social interaction.
Attorney-client privilege doesn’t stop with quarantine. Provided you and your clients secure networks, video consultations are a great option.
- Learning Centers
This is a perfect time for children to learn and grow. Help parents keep their kids busy with fun activities like coloring pages and science experiments they can do at home! Most parents are not certified educators, so we suggest offering virtual tutoring as an alternative source of income.
- Liquor Stores
With bars and restaurants being closed, now is a great time to encourage people to make their own signature drinks at home! Provide unique recipes and training guides to help amateurs become expert bartenders.
- Massage Therapists
Close contact with clients is not an option in many states, especially where non-essential businesses have been forced to close. Promoting gift card specials is a popular option for therapy collectives. Are you a solo therapist? Posting quick and easy DIY massage techniques to your social pages, such as acupressure points, is a simple way to keep your community engaged and garner more followers.
- Moving and Storage
With folks at home taking the opportunity to organize, offer optimal packing tips for those cleaning attics and basements.
Museum folk, you’ve got loads of content! Have an online collection? Drive people to your website. Is your catalogue or archive digitized? Have a curator give a mini-lecture on a piece of artwork or artifact. If you want to try something new, check out the Oklahoma Cowboy Museum’s new Social Media Manager. Are you following the #MuseumAtHome movement? If so, the Akron Art Museum will be providing something daily for the next several weeks for everyone in the family – they’re even launching a podcast.
Online concerts or mini-sets are a great way to reach your fan base. No matter what your genre, posting a video to your Instagram or Facebook Page helps you stay top of mind. You never know when you could go viral – just look at the Colorado Symphony!
87% of 18-34-year-old food shoppers in the US say they discover new food or recipe ideas on social platforms. Post helpful recommendations on what good, better, or best snack options those of us in quarantine should eat. If you have a knack for creating infographics, Instagram is a great place to post and gain new followers.
Local pharmacies should post drive-thru/curbside pickup or delivery options. Be sure to include hours of operation and any method of pre-payment or online payment to avoid social interaction.
Showcase photo editing tips and posing tips. Austin photographer Courtney Rutherford of GypsySky Photography has been taking pictures of people – social distance maintained – to support Austin Hopes, a non-profit that ensures schoolchildren have meals on the weekends.
- Physician Offices
Offer telemedicine evaluation sessions via Zoom and share your method for booking appointments. Be sure to share protocols if patients do have to come into the office to be seen.
- Professional Organizers
Now is your time. With many at home, potential clients are looking for sound advice on how to declutter. Share methods to book FaceTime or other virtual appointments to advise on spring cleaning.
In-person office visits aren’t feasible during quarantine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some face time through a virtual visit. Free services like Doxy are easy ways to reach your patients and keep connecting when they need it most.
- Real Estate
While face-to-face interactions may have decreased, now’s a good time for agents to build trust and their personal brands by offering content on home savings, home improvement, mortgage explainers, how to stage a home for sale, and virtual tours. Offer one-on-one virtual consultations to generate and identify potential leads.
As a restaurant owner or proprietor, delivery service within five miles or curbside pickup is a surefire way to ensure your regular customers stay regular. If your restaurant has gift cards available, utilize your social pages to promote gift card purchases that can be utilized at a later time. An easy idea would be, “Buy a gift card with your meal, and get a free dessert”!
- Retail Stores
Drive sales with social promotions and instructions for drive-thru pickup or shipping possibilities. Be sure to highlight comfort items and clothing, and leverage Instagram Shopping so that people can buy directly from your Instagram posts. 67% of US fashion shoppers say they use Instagram for fashion-related activities.
- Test Prep Centers
This is the time that most students are finalizing their college plans; take advantage of that and promote any resources or virtual tutoring that your facility offers. Help students get excited!
- Toy Stores
Offer a virtual Lego club. Request sign-ups for space on Facebook. Build an email list from these contacts to continue the club in-store once shelter-in-place restrictions are lifted. Sir Troy’s Toy Kingdom, a toy store that typically offers Lego clubs and mini-figure swap nights, is offering a Monthly Mini-figure Mailing Subscription! A great idea for folks who want to build their collection, and a great idea for Sir Troy’s to build their mailing list.
Share tactics for pet owners to keep their furry friends active and entertained. Offer recipes for DIY pet treats to make/bake while home.
- All Businesses
As a general tip for all industries, use this time to create content – videos, blogs, social posts. Content will help with SEO and engagement on your social properties so you can remain top of mind not just now, but also as the world is able to carry on business as usual.
Tips and stats contributed by Tiger Pistol’s Talia Wachtel, Katia Koerner, Analissa Moreno, Yanira Durant, Laura Kraay, Casey Zaffin, Amy Abell, and Christina Morello.