Like many businesses, you might be feeling frustrated and shell-shocked from the bombshell that is Corona Virus sweeping the world (wiping away your business in the process). It’s an incredibly frustrating and worrying time. However, it’s up to business owners to keep things going in the interim online. I’ve put together this article to help you move forward with your online marketing and improve your social media presence while you have this unexpected time “off” – at least after the kids go to bed.

  1. Don’t have a website? That’s just not good enough (sorry!) – set one up, even if it’s basic. You don’t have to be a web designer to try one of the wix or Squarespace templates to get yourself a starter website ready to go. Struggling? Give me a shout. I can help style the website for you in line with your brand identity. When you’re writing the content, think what your ideal customers would be looking for (what problem can you solve for them?). Write copy that answers those questions. Click here for the web hosting company Big Wet Fish I personally use (I have done for years – they’re based in N.I and the thing I love about them is their readily available online chat support).
  2. Have a website already? Re-work it. Go through and read each page of the website slowly & methodically. Are your price lists outdated? Is your blog neglected? Is it clear what problem your business solves for your customer?
  3. Stay relevant. Get on Social Media & be helpful, informative or entertaining While you might not be able to sell or serve your customers at this time, you can still help them and share knowledge. It might not earn you any money right now but people are still using social media (more than usual actually – Facebook, Instagram & Twitter are non-stop!) so it’s the perfect chance to share your knowledge, top tips or explain interesting snippets to do with your products.
  4. Write a marketing plan for the next 6 months (or maybe from September, given that Covid could go on a while). Break it down by week and outline the actions you will take during that week. It could be planning blog post topics or considering what marketing campaigns you will run at a given time – for example, if you need to try to attract new participants for a class or workshop, plan how you will spread the word.
  5. Create & schedule social media content. Firstly, find & stockpile some relevant animated gifs, locate photographs from when your business was alive & kicking, take photos of your products or create some graphic adverts of your own. You can then use Hootsuite, Buffer or Facebook’s scheduling tool (this is only effective if you want to solely schedule Facebook and instagram) to schedule planned posts for your social media channels. Even if you can’t do it for time-bound events right now, you can pre schedule the sharing of your blog posts.
  6. Spring clean your online profiles. Perhaps you have a Google My Business listing, a profile page on an organisation’s website or are listed as a recommended supplier on a portal – is that information outdated? Go through and update your services, change your address if you need to and if it’s not linking back to your website somehow – try to make that happen! You could even consider getting whoever you’re isolated with to take a nice, bright, professional photograph of you for your professional profile photographs or website. It’s much better to get a professional photographer to do this but if you have a dodgy looking selfie up there – a good tip is to stand against a wall facing a bright window, look happy but not manically so and get your pal to take a photo from the shoulders up. You can even use your camera phone to up the brightness or contrast to give it a professional effect.
  7. Update your social media bios. They can get out of date really quickly as your business grows and develops. Try to think of a succinct one-liner about who you are and what your business is. Put it onto your bio on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin & the other social media platforms you’re active on.
  8. Update your Linkedin page. For some industries this is less relevant but there’s a very active and engaged community on this platform. If you’ve neglected your linkedin before now, why not fill out your full profile. This includes information such as your name, what you do, your career history, education and certifications. Linkedin ranks profiles – I’m proud to say mine is an ‘All Star’ profile – make yours be the same then start participating in discussions relevant to your industry.

Need any help with graphic design for social media, marketing help or have any questions relating to online marketing? My name is Tierna and I’m a marketing, design & branding expert and I’d love to help! Simply drop me a PM on Facebook or instagram or an email on hello@tiernabyrne.co.uk

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