How To Build Your Social Media Audience & Engagement During COVID-19

America’s small businesses are adjusting to the new norm of social distancing during the global pandemic. Many remain closed, or at the very least, partly operational. You may not be hitting your normal revenue targets, but that doesn’t mean you have to call it quits altogether. Stepping up your social media game during the covid-19 quarantine is a free way to help your business raise brand awareness and drive sales once you reopen your doors.

You can still forge a deep meaningful connection and build brand awareness through social media engagement during the covid-19 pandemic, but you’ll have to adapt. Here’s what you need to know.

Social Media Covid Impact: How the Virus Affected Digital Marketing

How has the coronavirus shifted the social media landscape?

If there’s one thing we know about social media platforms for business, it’s that best practices are always evolving. During times of social distancing, that’s no different. We don’t have any new platforms or breakthrough new capabilities yet, but audience habits and expectations have shifted—drastically.

Early on, businesses were eager to speak up about the value of their products and services. Many were drowned out by similar messages—scarcity, opportunity and precaution.

Now that we’ve grown accustomed to the new social media world, the norm has changed. Instead, businesses want to show the communities that they’re here to help. Your social media content can speak to your brand’s commitment to the safety and well being of the community by communicating that to your followers. 

Naturally, quarantine has affected people’s social media habits, too. According to Sprout, brands received, on average, 44 more engagements per day, and about 7.3 more per post. That’s quite a jump—and if you play your cards right, your small business could benefit too.

Why You Should Maintain Your Digital Presence During COVID-19

Eventually, this time of hardship will end. It may not be tomorrow or next week, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When it does end, you want your small business to be ahead of the starting line—not waiting around for the go-ahead.

By becoming or remaining active on social media, you can use this valuable time to gain traction. In doing so, you’ll keep your small business fresh in the minds of your followers and clients

Building an audience means that more eyes will be on every post you put out into the world. Continuing to post new content helps keep your small business top of mind for existing followers. You can get started by asking friends and family to post on Instagram about your small business.

Remember, people are spending more time on social media. Your content has a better chance of shining through now than ever. Your competitors aren’t slowing down, and neither should you.

Posting content on a daily (or even biweekly) basis allows you to continue moving the needle, priming your business for an even stronger return once things calm down.

Audit Your Competitors To Learn What You Should (And Shouldn’t) Do

How have your competitors responded to the coronavirus pandemic on their social media channels? Examining which content is working for your competitors (and what isn’t) is a crucial step.

To start, take a look at anything they’ve posted recently. Try to determine which posts were the most effective by looking at how much engagement (likes, comments, shares, and more) each received.

If the posts that performed the best were related to the current predicament, then you may succeed with that strategy. If not, then plan accordingly. Sometimes, the best-performing content may simply be inspirational, or comment on an emerging trend!

Checking out your competitors is a quick, simple and easy way to read the room and learn what type of content will resonate best with your audience.

Take Your Content Up the Funnel: Prioritize Engagement & Awareness

Even if competitors are posting straightforward, conversion-oriented content, it may not make sense to do so. 

With a turbulent economy, many customers in both the B2B and B2C spaces are in saving mode. They’re thinking ahead about solutions to problems, but might not be quite ready to pull the trigger.

Instead of posting heavy-handed, sales-driven content, you might find better luck with an educational approach. Take things up the funnel by telling prospective customers what they need to know about your brand, products/services, and value proposition.

Rather than generic coronavirus-related content, you can also post about how your small business has adapted to a new world. Pictures of new safety equipment, thorough facility cleanings, and more could put your customers at ease. You never know—social media influencers could find and reshare your posts!

Once people feel financially confident enough to take the plunge, they’ll remember you.

Capturing Your Work-From-Home Audience

As Americans have adapted to working from home, they’ve had to make significant routine changes. Even minor things—like when they’ll grab that second cup of coffee—have changed. Naturally, that includes when they browse social media feeds, too.

In light of that, you’ll want to be strategic not only about what you post on social media, but when you post it. Even if you’ve experimented with posting times in the past, you may find better results by adjusting your strategy.

Sprout recently updated their social media posting guide with new times based on post-quarantine data. According to their new guide, the best time to post on each platform is:

  • Facebook: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-11 am
  • Instagram: Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 11 am, and Tuesday at 2 pm
  • Twitter: Friday from 7-9 am
  • LinkedIn: Wednesday 3 pm, Thursday from 9-10 am and Friday from 11 am-noon

As many professionals have simply carried on their normal workdays at home, LinkedIn experienced the least significant shift. 

Up Your Small Business Social Media Game

You may not have time to revolutionize your social media strategy, but you’re not out of luck.

At National, we specialize in helping your small business drive sales through social media. A stronger social media following might be the key ingredient your small business needs to build a loyal customer base!

Get started building your brand by applying here!

National Business Capital & Services is the #1 FinTech marketplace offering small business loans and services. Harnessing the power of smart technology and even smarter people, we’ve streamlined the approval process to secure over $1 billion in financing for small business owners to date.

Our expert Business Financing Advisors work within our 75+ Lender Marketplace in real time to give you easy access to the best low-interest SBA loans, short and long-term loans and business lines of credit, as well as a full suite of revenue-driving business services.

We strengthen local communities one small business loan at a time. For every deal we fund, we donate 10 meals to Feeding America!

About the Author, Philip Rinaldi