Many small businesses now need to conduct their every day operations in an entirely new way due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Being as no-contact as possible has become the ultimate goal, and in some cases that means working entirely from home. The transition from going to a physical location every day for work to doing everything online is a big one, but the team at Method are work from home pros, so we’ve personally tested all the tips and tricks that many people are now trying to familiarize themselves with. Setting up a specific workspace in your home, creating a schedule for yourself, still getting ready for the day despite not needing to leave home. That last one is important. Making the switch from pajama pants to sweatpants is vital!
We know that communication is one of the most important factors businesses need to figure out, and quickly. We’ve been seeing how certain brands have responded to this crisis, and have been passing information and advice on to our clients about how they can stay in touch with and keep providing content to their audiences.
HOW BRANDS CAN STAY CONNECTED TO THEIR AUDIENCE
GO LIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media has always been an important tool for businesses, but in addition to regular content, now is the time to really utilize various platforms’ live features. Live content makes people feel like they’re being more social and in contact with others even when nobody can be with each other in person. Educators have been especially good at using social media like Facebook to stay in contact with their students and provide materials to help them learn at home, and some movie studios have hosted live watch parties on Twitter and provided a hashtag so everyone who is missing that communal theatergoing experience can try to recreate some of that experience while watching from their living room.
Get ready to hit play– we’re about to go live with @AliciaMalone for our Emma. Sunday Brunch Watch Party! Buy Emma. at home on-demand and watch along with us with #EmmaAtHome. Buy here: https://t.co/7ueYU3HDl1 pic.twitter.com/3e7HFD9tT8
— EMMA. (@emmamovie) March 29, 2020
Our client Amy Roloff has been posting fantastic live content. From doing Facebook Live chats where she answers fan questions, to posting videos of her day to day life, to cooking new recipes on Instagram. It’s fun, comforting, and she’s sharing all the same things she usually does, just in a different way.
Another client, Artists & Fleas, has had to completely transform their business right now. As a market for art, fashion, and vintage items, they’ve had to find a way to recreate face to face customer interaction. They’ve started posting new Instagram stories every day to highlight their merchants in a Virtual Market.
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Finally, something to look forward to. Our Instagram account has always been a place for self-expression and creativity, and a place to bring attention to our community of makers and their amazing products. And that’s why we’re introducing the Artists & Fleas Virtual Market—a daily digital drop to highlight our community of merchants, and to make it easy for you to shop and support them digitally. It all begins this Saturday, March 21 @ 1pm EST/ 10am PST on Instagram Stories.
MAKE YOURSELF “AT HOME”
People are watching more TV, doing more cooking, spending more time on social media, doing more of anything that’s based on staying at home. Creating content that ties into home life will be easier for some brands more than others, but there are some things that everyone can do. As Netflix watch lists are being burned through in record time, people are in need of things to watch, so this is the perfect time to host a webinar. You can create social media content in this same vein as well. Chatting on Zoom has exploded in popularity, and with it the fun that can be had by changing the background of your call. Some workplaces are adding a bit of fun to their meetings by having contests to see who has the most original background. Our client Fickle Fish Films created Zoom backgrounds with movie stills, and now everyone can spend some time in Edward Cullen’s bedroom!
But even businesses that rely on face-to-face interactions are getting creative. Countless local restaurants across the country are selling full family meals. Even hair salons are finding ways to stay in contact with clients without being able to see them in person, creating at home kits and instructions to touch up roots.
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HELP PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
This is an especially useful way for industries like tourism and hospitality — which are at a complete standstill right now — to create content. Weddings, showers, and other celebrations can’t be held for at least the next few months, but being able to still plan those events gives people some sense of normalcy, as well as something to look forward to. Many venues have created or are adding additional features to virtual tours of their location.
Even redoubling your efforts to call attention to the beauty of your area is useful. Once it’s safe, people are going to want to take trips after staring at the walls of their home for so long, and you want your city, your location, to be in their minds and on their lists.
COVID-19 is a situation that businesses weren’t able to prepare for, and it’s impressive to see how many have been able to think on their feet and come up with solutions to a problem that’s new for all of us. If you need help coming up with a plan, we’re always here!