As we face uncertainty as we have never seen in our lifetime, small businesses must continue engaging their customers. Comfort often comes from the things we “know,” not what we don’t. Your local small business is what your customers know. 

How do you engage them if the doors are not open? Many small businesses have adapted, such as restaurants, by offering curbside pickup and delivery options. The approach works if you sell food, but what if you sell other things. Most small businesses are not set up to sell online or on social media, and many do not even know where to start. If you can sell online great, and make sure you are sharing a product regularly. Also, now a great time to share stories about your product, your business, or your industry. If you currently cannot sell online, try to find a way to do so.

Social Media is an excellent way for you also to express your companies personality. Do not be afraid to use things such as Memes and gifs. Of course, these are dangerous times, but people are also looking for relief from all the negative news. Humor and storytelling can be great outlets for people. Be creative; you know your customers better than anyone, hit on something you know will resonate with them. Below are five ideas you may be able to try to engage your customers.

  1. Run a contest on social media: Post the 5th photo on your phone, we will pick the top three, and then our fans can vote! The winner gets a $25 gift card. 
  2. Have daily Q & A related to your industry.
  3. Do live or recorded “How-to.” 
  4. Start an online discussion where you ask your customers questions.
  5. Cross-promote with another local small business. 

These are just some examples of you can engage not only your existing customers, but you may pick up new ones as well. There is no playbook for what is happening right now; the best we can do is work together and find ways to adapt our businesses to meet consumer’s needs.