5 Tips To Manage Your Business Online During Challenging Times
COVID-19 has had a significant and growing impact on the Salons by JC family and our many communities and the country as a whole. We’re here for you during these trying times. As a part of our efforts, we’ve put together the following tips to help you manage your digital presence and marketing efforts effectively without coming across as tone-deaf or apathetic.
We encourage you to follow these steps in addition to the steps we already know you are taking to manage your business. Together, we will all come through this even stronger and poised to succeed.
1. Ensure You’re Communication Frequently and Effectively
Communication is critical during times like these. In addition to the tips outlined below, it’s important that you communicate consistently, effectively, and with a tone of positivity and empathy. Your suite owners need to know any steps you’re taking to keep them and the salon safe, as well as any changes to operations due to local or federal restrictions. Your suite owner’s clients will also be reaching out to you on your digital platforms looking for information and guidance, so ensuring timely and effective responses could be the difference between your suite owners coming out the other side of this crisis in a good place, or not.
When communicating, utilize these steps:
- Make sure you keep social media communication a two-way dialogue. This means communicating and responding to everyone who contacts you by social media (except the trolls).
- Maintain communication with the corporate office. Take the initiative to contact them with news and updates from local governments on changes to policies that may differ from the national guidance.
- Utilize the library of approved content and information to ensure consistent brand messaging across social media.
2. Update Your Business Pages
As changes continue to occur in every community due to COVID-19, you need to ensure that you update your business pages with critical information. This applies to Facebook, Google My Business, your micro-site, and anywhere else you have business information. Information to update includes:
- Changes to salon hours
- Closures of your salon/s
- Updates regarding suite availability for partial closures or individual suite closures
- Highlight options for suite customers such as gift cards and long-term appointment scheduling
- Update your local pages with out-of-stock or restocking information, particularly high-demand items.
- Contact numbers
By ensuring you are providing timely and helpful updates and overcommunicating these changes, you also help to provide reassurance that your business is doing everything it can to help its employees and clients. You should also ensure you are frequently communicating about new measures that ensure health and safety, in accordance with federal and state guidance. Much of this messaging has been provided by corporate to ensure consistency of communication and to provide as much helpful and positive information as possible.
3. Utilize Social Media To Get The Word Out
Social media is one of your most powerful communication tools for keeping local customers up to date with changes to your salon. This goes for times of crisis as well as regular business operations. You should ensure that you are properly utilizing social media to post updates on everything from hours of operations to closures and updates regarding COVID-19 regulations. Remind your followers regularly to check back often for changes and updates.
Remember, that any content you post during times of crisis will be looked at much more closely. While positive and good-hearted posts are encouraged, stay away from any content or comments which may come across as insensitive.
Additionally, ensure that any posts you make utilize relevant hashtags to increase visibility. Platforms that utilize hashtags include Instagram and Twitter, as well as LinkedIn. Trending hashtags include:
4. Manage Your Digital Brand Reputation
While it’s always important to monitor and manage your brand reputation, during times of crisis it can become even more crucial. During times like this, you need to ensure that you are highly alert for potentially damaging comments, posts, or tags, about your business. You should be checking reviews regularly and monitoring your social media channels for any potential issues and responding to them quickly, effectively, and empathetically.
5. Paid Advertising
While the COVID-19 outbreak will no doubt have variable impacts on operations on multiple locations, paid digital ad and social campaigns can still be an effective use of marketing dollars.
- Google Ads will continue to keep your business at the front of people’s minds. Consider requesting additional ads for your campaigns that utilize language that relates to the current situation.
- Social media ads or boosted posts that promote that you are open for business are an excellent strategy for highlighting that you are open for business and to encourage salon suite clients to support local stylists and the local economy.
- If you create a heartfelt video or post, promote this content to reach as much of your audience as possible. People need and want to hear words of encouragement during difficult times.
We are all in this together as we deal with the challenges of business operations being changed what seems like daily, due to steps being appropriately taken to protect the health and safety of our salons, suite owners, and our communities at large. Managing your online presence and actions can be challenging but is vitally important. You can always reach out to us for more information. We’re here to help.
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Written by Nicholas D. Dunlap