Your Patrons Don't Know What They Don't Know about COVID Updates
So tell them!
Everyone knows what “ASSUME” really means, so you should always spell out the details for your customers. Even after a year of uncertainty, COVID-related changes are still happening, so here’s a checklist for keeping your patrons informed:
In past years, spring was when we blogged about how to let people know about your summer events. Now that we are navigating what we all hope is a post-COVID world, getting the word out about your business is more important than ever.
Is your business open again? Is it not? With federal, state, city, and even company rules and suggestions to follow, how is the customer to know what is expected of them? The only way they can know is if you tell them so plan your strategy and run with it.
Get all the details
You’re going to wind up repeating the same information, so put it all down in a single document you can easily find. Use this doc to cut-and-paste rather than retyping everything (and maybe misspelling something!) List your full business name, correct address and phone number, website link, social media links, and the message you want to share.
Craft your message
The message may be simple, something like “yes, we are open – please patronize us!” It helps, however, to have an interesting hook to make it newsier. Brainstorm ideas. Have you extended your hours? Started using a new process for orders or billing? Reworked your service offering or added to your team? Everyone’s business changed last year, so put a positive spin on it. Or pick a date for a “Grand Re-Opening” that features special pricing or an added value.
Lay your information foundation
Your website is the only place where you have complete control. This should be the source of all other information about your business, so this is your first stop. Consider a banner at the top of the page. Maybe an event calendar would be appropriate. However you post the message, make it easy to find. Writing a blog entry or news release clearly displays your message while also providing a link that you can later use for sharing. (Add that URL to your detail cheat sheet!)
Broadcast your message
Now comes the work of spreading your news. If you don’t already have a list, this is a great opportunity to make one – and then save for the next time you need to publicize something.
Start with your social media platforms, Google My Business, Yelp, and similar sites. Move on to the Facebook groups you belong to, your business networking organizations, the Patch.com in your area, Nextdoor, and wherever else you have an account. Send news releases to your local newspapers, your community’s online news outlets, and your chamber of commerce.
Will your message be published in all these places? Probably not, but you can get really lucky on a slow news day and that luck can’t happen unless you put in the effort. Also, posting a link to your website in all these places helps boost your SEO so that when someone is looking for your info online, they have a better chance of finding it.
We all want to leave pandemic restrictions behind, but be prepared in case changes happen again and you need to update your message by keeping a list of where you posted. This is the third list we have recommended you create. Lists are great for handing over to someone else on your team so they can pick up where you left off!
If your team is spinning too many plates already, it’s time to get help. Sprocket Websites has social media and web experts ready to take on these tasks for you. Give us a call to see how we can help. And best of luck to your business in these challenging times!
Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels