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Want to up your Instagram marketing game? Or give social platforms like TikTok a try? Here's what to know about social media marketing during a pandemic. (Credit: Kaboom Pics, Pexels)
Want to up your Instagram marketing game? Or give social platforms like TikTok a try? Here’s what to know about social media marketing during a pandemic. (Credit: Kaboom Pics, Pexels)

Let’s face it: Staying engaged has never been more important.

As scientists race to invent new vaccines and treatments, the old way you normally conducted your business is a thing of the past. So while we’re still in uncharted territory, it’s smart for business owners to stay connected with customers as frequently and openly as possible.

[Related: Coronavirus Crisis Coverage from The Story Exchange]

We’ve rounded up four timely social media marketing tips that have helped women entrepreneurs thrive amid unprecedented circumstances. Read on — then get in touch with your customers.

1. Explain how you’ll keep everyone safe.

This is the top priority. No matter what type of venture you run, people want to make sure it’s safe to order from you or visit your location — so be as transparent as possible. Use whatever forms of social media you have to tell customers about the steps you’re taking to make sure your products or facilities are clean or your services can be provided free of contagion. For example, delivery business owner Brenda Stoner of Dallas has used Facebook to get the word out about her firm Pickup’s new safety protocols, including contact-free deliveries and the use of masks and sanitizers, to ensure the safety of customers and employees alike..

[Related: Women-Led Startups May Take Greater Financial Hit From Covid-19]

2. Keep your followers informed.

In addition to safety measures, you can use social media to keep customers abreast of the latest developments with your business — which may be changing on a daily basis. If you have new products that are perfect for at-home use, new services you’re offering that pose less of a risk, or are re-opening where permitted, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter offer you easy ways to instantly keep followers in-the-know. You can also share links to pages on your site with open letters, updated hours of operation, your latest bargains or inventory, and more.

3. Help people learn something new.

Is there a way to turn what you do into what you can teach? If so, take to services like Facebook or Instagram Live to educate the masses — and be sure to pay attention to the comments section for questions. A number of yoga and fitness studio owners told us about the experience of moving their classes online once sheltering in place became the standard. Anne Koza Patrick of AnnieOm, for example, is now offering virtual classes via Zoom on a donation, pay-what-you-can model, and partnering with yoga studios to offer free classes via Instagram Live and YouTube. Even as businesses re-open around the country, fans and followers might appreciate an option that allows them to remain at home.

[Related: Want to Launch From Home? Here Are 9 Socially Distanced Startup Ideas]

4. It’s okay to have some fun.

We all need a laugh. In this category, the winner this quarantine seems to be TikTok, the hugely popular app that allows users (who skew younger) to share funny videos, take part in the latest dance craze or join a branded hashtag challenge. Businesses such as Crocs, Chipotle and even the Washington Post (its TikTok bio: “We are a newspaper”) have picked up new fans — and surely customers — with their accounts. A food or beverage business, for instance, could consider posting a recipe video — say, the next White Claw slushie or whipped coffee — and start a viral trend.

But you don’t need to use TikTok to have fun. At beauty business Kreyol Essence, founder Yve-Car Momperousse posts laugh-inducing memes to the company’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages, and encourages fans to do the same. Many of them riff off castor oil, which “Haitians use … right alongside Robitussin when battling a cold or the flu,” Momperousse says.

[Related: The Ugly, Lovely Effects of the Coronavirus Crisis on Beauty Businesses]

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