Now that states are beginning to reopen and people are getting excited about visiting their local custom frame shops again, they may still hold some apprehension from being in quarantine. Business owners are having to adjust, once again, to how they cater to their customers and help them during this process. New creative ideas are being used to market products and services and right now is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the time at home to create content and engage users.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, social media has become a major focus for staying in touch with customers. Facebook and Instagram usage has increased by 40% during the COVID-19 pandemic and in March, Instagram Live and Facebook Live views doubled in one week.
The good news is that using social media to promote your business and attract new customers is cost-effective. It does take a commitment of time, but the payoff is well worth the effort.
COVID-19 is Changing How Businesses Use Social Media
Even as some areas experiment with a slowly easing of restrictions, most people are still spend a majority of their time sheltered in place. At the beginning of the lockdown, social media was used to share information about the pandemic. That gradually changed and people began to look for ways to connect, support and uplift one another.
While online socializing isn’t likely to ever replace the joy of live interaction, you can use social media to widen your audience and make people feel more connected. If you’re new to social media, or have only posted sporadically, here’s how to use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to be effective now and in the future when things “normalize.”
Social Media: It’s a Numbers Game
Frame shops are ideal candidates for social media marketing campaigns because they’re in the business of helping people, not just selling their products and services. Social media is the quickest way to earn lifelong customers who look forward to your posts now and in a post-pandemic world.
Eighty three percent of surveyed consumers say they use Facebook, and 66% of them say they like or follow brands. Instagram has over one billion monthly active users and 90% of them follow a business.
How many followers you have on each platform is not as important as how many of those who do follow you are engaged with your posts. In other words, an active social media presence focused on building relationships is far more valuable than trying to hit a certain number where most of them ignore you.
If you have a corporate client base, consider using Twitter and LinkedIn to build your brand. Used correctly, each platform has its own unique way of helping you promote your business and interact with your clients.
Consumers are finding some interesting ways to cope with a stay-at-home lifestyle. Many are learning to bake bread; others are learning a new language. Some have turned their attention to making their interior spaces more attractive and often that means redecorating with art. As a frame shop, your business is perfectly situated to help them out.
When posting art-related images on social media, don’t limit yourself to frames and mats. Short on inspiration? Look to your blog posts for ideas—most can generate multiple images and content. Show people how custom matting and framing can help their home decor. Or appeal to your follower’s earth consciousness with examples of how matboards like Crescent’s RagMats are made with the planet’s precious resources in mind. Most posts can likely generate multiple images and content.
Try Facebook Live or Instagram Live
There are lots of ways framers can use these two free marketing features. You can answer customer questions, provide relevant advice or talk about exciting new products. Best of all, your videos in both platforms can be saved and repurposed down the line. Going live is also a great way to brainstorm with your followers and ask for their opinions or suggestions for new product and service ideas.
Community Becomes Priority
Small businesses play such an important role in the community. Demonstrating your shop’s support for your customers and other local businesses and organizations is a great way to let your followers know you care. Post about how local schools, other businesses and community organizations come together to assist and encourage each other. Interact with other people and businesses’ posts, too. And be sure to highlight local individuals and groups that are stepping up or going the extra mile to do good for their neighbors.
Think about new ways your framing services can be used. For instance, lots of schools are canceling or postponing graduations. Post images of the children and parents who are coming up with creative ways to still “walk” and celebrate in their cap and gown. Scan other local social media posts to find images you can share of people celebrating birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and births. These drive-up ceremonies, parades and even virtual vacations are still fantastic frame-worthy photo ops!
Finally, don’t be afraid to promote your own business. The products and services you offer are still beautiful and fill an aesthetic need. If you’re able, offer curbside drop-off and pickup of framed pieces. Lots of people are finding they have more time to devote to their art and may be in search of artboards and other art products.
Through it all, remember that the content you post now has the power to attract followers from other, more prominent businesses and bring you new customers as the economy re-opens.
Keep Up the Momentum
Upping your social media use during COVID-19 can help broaden your reach but most of all it can be used to show your followers how much you care about what they’re going through. You don’t need to post 20 times a day to stay relevant. What matters is that you post consistently and don’t allow your social media accounts to go dormant.
No matter which platforms you use, setting the stage for better, more engaged customer interactions helps you stand out, stay in touch and be a source of inspiration. And that can eventually lead to a healthier bottom line.