Hashtag Support Local: How Social Media Can Help You Find and Support Local Businesses During COVID-19.
Let’s face it: without social media, our lives on lockdown would be a heck of a lot more dull. We may all be quarantined, but at least we have the ability to communicate with one another, send memes, and keep tabs on each other’s exciting activities (just kidding). Thanks to facebook, instagram, snapchat, and twitter, we have unprecedented access to each other’s lives. We can even keep tabs on where people are at any given time!
In the midst of a pandemic, however, social media sites have stepped their game up. You can chalk it up to seizing opportunity, but people have arguably never been more engaged than they are now. While it keeps us (mostly) sane, the uptick in social media activity is actually a major boon for local businesses. But how, and why?
Flash back to 30 years ago. This pandemic would look a lot different with early-stage internet and no social media. To check store hours, we would actually have to pick up the phone and call! Imagine that!
Social media has been the way for businesses to keep their customers informed during the coronavirus pandemic. From store hours to closings to menu changes, no important announcements fall through the cracks on social media. Some businesses are even offering special deals with promotional codes only found on their social media sites!
The inbox feature too has seen an uptick in activity. Facebook has even introduced a new feature called the business inbox, which allows businesses to use facebook messenger to directly answer questions sent to their facebook page!
Be sure to like or follow your favorite restaurant, shop, or local business today on social media! You’ll be supporting them, and you’ll be kept in the loop!
It’s definitely pretty cool that our phones know exactly where we are at any given time. Social media has taken that a step further, however, with a new feature on facebook called businesses nearby. Prospective customers can elect to view all posts for businesses from 1-100 miles away, view their information, and even send a message.
As most businesses right now have little to no actual foot traffic, the businesses nearby feature is a major shot in the arm as it provides much-needed web traffic. Customers can simply search for a product and location then filter through the results to find what they need.
Thirty years ago, we would have had to break out the yellow pages or ask our neighbor if we needed something and weren’t quite sure where to go. In a pandemic, that sounds like a recipe for disaster!
You’ve probably been tagged in something on instagram, facebook, or twitter. Have you seen a business tagged? Now more than ever, tagging has taken on a whole new meaning. People definitely aren’t able to go out and search for the things they need, so they instead have to rely on social media, reviews of other customers, and word of mouth. That’s where hashtags kick in.
The #SupportLocalBusinesses hashtag, for example, allows users to view every post embedded with that hashtag. Many local businesses are holding food drives, sales, and opportunities for the public to donate or give back to the community, and they announce these opportunities on social media. By allowing these posts to be shareable, it maximizes their visibility and affords more opportunities for that business or food drive to get the vital support it needs.
Facebook has also added an “in support of” tag, which allows creators to tag a business they support in their post. Followers of that person will then see the post, complete with the tag to the business the former supports. This provides more exposure for the business tagged and is a free marketing tool. What could be better?
The Bottom Line
We truly are all in this together. For our communities to survive, we must all come together, support one another, and lend a helping hand whenever possible. Fortunately, we have social media to link us all together, keep us sane, and allow us to support local businesses.
The next time you’re on your phone, tablet, or laptop, check out these new features and see what you can do to support a local business in your community! #StayStrongAndSupportLocalBusinesses
February 17, 2020