Managing Social Media During COVID-19

Whether you are producing as normal, producing something different or have a halt in production maintaining a presence on social media has never been more important than it is now.  Communication is key – letting your followers, who may be customers, suppliers or supporters know where your business is at, is important to ensure you have their continued support.

The pandemic will end and although we are unsure of what ‘normal’ will be for everyone following this, we still need great food being produced by great producers like yourselves- the nation will be looking to you to keep this element of their life fulfilled.

Below are some key pointers to check over the next couple of months to ensure you stay socially active, regardless of the position you are currently in.

  • Review your social media strategy – what are your reasons for posting – have these reasons changed? Be aware of your key message/s and ensure it is clear to your followers – for example:  are you promoting business as usual, do you have a new product or service, is this in addition to your normal products or service, do you have a new delivery method, do you have a new way of your customers obtaining your product or are you explaining a halt in production? Many important questions to consider before deciding on your key message.
  • With regards to your social media strategy consider the short, medium and long term goals of your content, this message is likely to change as you respond to the crisis.
  • Be positive and proactive with your content, although many of you are being reactive in responding to the crisis and with new pressures, plan your messages well and keep them upbeat.
  • Provide your followers with an honest update on where your business is and be informative, do not over promise if you know you are going to under-deliver – remember everything has changed and your followers won’t be surprised if your product and service has changed also to meet these new demands.
  • If you have diversified your products, are you still targeting the same customers? If this has changed make sure your posts and those you are following also reflect this change.
  • If you are producing and delivering your products ensure you register your products on stockupsmall and use the #stockupsmall when posting.
  • Take and post lots of amazing photographs of your products, your followers love to see your pictures.
  • If you are working in collaboration ensure you shout about this tagging the organisations that you are working with.
  • Be sympathetic to what your followers may be going through at this moment in time and try and meet their needs, online supermarket slots are few and far between for many and lots of people are unable to get to a local store – you may be able to provide a lifeline with the delivery or your products.
  • Remember your food family/community and ensure you like and share their posts to, we all need encouragement to get us through at this time.
  • Remember – It is ok to reuse and repurpose old posts.
  • If you are involved in food parcels for vulnerable people, supporting key NHS and care workers or doing other things to support the national effort, tell your followers about it.
  • Join an online community, or if you cannot find one suitable set one up, be the support others need at the moment.
  • Keep posting – now is not the time to be silent, even if production has halted, there are many things that you can post to gain interest and support from your followers.
  • There are many popular hashtags at present to support local producers, ensure you are using such hashtags to be a part of this community for example #shoplocal #shopsmall #smallbusiness #supportlocal #supportsmallbusiness and of course #stockupsmall.
  • If you have time – take an online photography course, many are free at present.
  • Register for online digital marketing webinars – increase your skills and understanding.
  • Show that you are following government guidance in terms of social distancing in all areas of production, packaging and delivery, ensure you provide your customers with peace of mind.
  • Look at new platforms and consider a LinkedIn presence if you don’t already have one.
  • Things not to do:
    • Stay clear of coronavirus jokes
    • Seeing the situation as a crude sales opportunity
    • Don’t share your opinion on how you think the Government is dealing with things, remain impartial
  • Be remembered during this time even if you are just keeping your clients warm for when production recommences – stay active.
  • Speak to one of our Advisers who can talk you through many other things you can consider at this time.