Dig In— Grassroots Creativity
In case you didn’t get the message, now’s the time to get creative with your business. This doesn’t mean you need to reinvent yourself, but you may need to reimagine the ‘what’ you’re doing and in what ways you’re communicating it. Even if nothing has changed with how your business is serving clients, considering current circumstances, you need to share reassurance, as well as support. Afterall, relationships are to businesses what locations are to homebuyers.
As marketing mavens, when we say “get creative,” we mean create opportunities. Tap-in to your network of colleagues, neighboring businesses, loyal customers, and professional associations to brainstorm ideas and to ask for, as well as to offer, support. Leverage your relationships— not just for the benefit of your company, but for the benefit of your fellow biz owners. Whether you’re neighbors in a quaint shopping district, or industry colleagues, you are “in this together.”
So, reach-out to a handful of these businesses and propose creating a collective, an inner circle of sorts, that will cooperate on cross-promotion, as well as reciprocate in-kind promotional efforts (e.g. sharing posts, posting testimonials). Often overlooked, these types of grassroots marketing maneuvers are invaluable, particularly when you need to be resourceful. What types of opportunities you and your colleagues fashion are up to you, but here are a few ideas that offer social media marketing mileage!
- Like, comment on, and share posts for one another (for at least one fellow biz, once each week).
- Patronize one another’s business and/or refer business as often as you’re currently able.
- Post reviews for each other on your social media accounts and/or websites; community-specific FB and IG pages; and pending the business— on industry-specific review sites (e.g. The Knot, Google, etc.).
- Collaborate on a social media giveaway that offers value to the audiences (aka followers) of the participating businesses (two-three) and, subsequently, creates a message for each of you to promote. Ensure the contest terms require participants to follow each business involved, and to share the giveaway offer with their followers. This maneuver broadens the “reach” of each businesses’ brand by exposing them to more potential customers. Check-out what types of giveaway partnerships are on social media for reference.
- Cross-promote the partnership and giveaway on each participant social media accounts, websites, blogs, and, if relevant, with your email lists.
- Utilize your business’s IG story in the promo efforts since it attracts more engagement than feed posts alone.
- Consistently hashtag. For example, if you’re all members of a town business association, or supporting a campaign to spur the local economy, ensure you’re all tagging as such (e.g. “shopsmalljenkintown”) for these tags are how people search.
Currently, not much is in our control. However, what we can control is how we dig-in and get creative with sustaining, promoting and growing our businesses and business communities. #InThisTogether