‘Tis the season to be creative! The financial strain on many small businesses and entrepreneurs due to the global COVID-19 pandemic has forced small business owners to think outside of the box in their marketing efforts. 

Although small business brick and mortar locations are struggling most, many of them have adapted to selling online. Since most people shop online due to the stay-at-home order, we’ve compiled a list of 3 free and creative ways for small businesses to market to their audience online.

Expand and Grow your Customer Base on Social Media

If you don’t have social media accounts for your business, right now is the time you hop on that bandwagon! Social media does help sell, and it’s mostly free if you put in the time and energy to focus on the things that matter. Following your customers on Instagram from a business page typically gets a 25-50% follow back rate, sometimes even higher if your customers love your product or service. You can apply the same method interchangeably with Facebook, except instead of following your loyal customers, you can friend request them. 

Proven that this strategy works, a case study of Mikuni Sushi Restaurants, the CEO Taro Arai, has multiple social media accounts to reach a broad audience. He and his social media team actively post food items, specials, birthday greetings, giveaways, and more. Consistently nurturing their loyal customers with content, they are casually reminding them of their existence and promoting their delicious cuisine, with a link to process the purchase on their website. Driving online sales and deliveries using content marketing is labor-intensive but can be a free way to get new or repeat customers.

Use Life Story Features on Social Media

Since we can’t sell in person, how else aside from phone calls/emails/or texting people can you get the message out about your product or service? Use the Life Story feature on Social Media; it’s an effective way to talk about product announcements, updates on menus or offerings, and also to share the state of your business during Covid-19. Once you get that dedicated audience to watch your stories, your customers often become emotionally attached to you and your business and are loyal to your brand. Using the art of storytelling breaks the monotony and makes your efforts interesting! The chances increase in recommendations, new business, and repeat business. Depending on your comfort level, it can be a creative and fun way to use filters that may bring humor and lighten the mood during these dark times, helping with the sales conversions. 

Offer Online Support for Other Small Businesses

As difficult it may seem to think of other small businesses during this time when yours is barely scraping by, applying the Law of Reciprocity into your social media strategy always gets a return. Not only do you demonstrate to the public that you care about others, but you also become an advocate for cross-promotion. Simply messaging a company you want to help and getting their approval or blessing to post will mostly get exposure for your product/service in return. Remember, behind the small business is a person (or group of people) who also care about their communities and are willing to return the favor. The biggest reward comes when you or your business starts getting mentions online, that’s how you know you’ve made an impact, and the law of reciprocity is real. If you need additional marketing strategies, contact Samson Virtual Marketing today.