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Fire brand! Get ready for re-entry

Gearing up for your business to re-open post lockdown? Get on message with these top 10 tips from a local branding and social media guru.

Worried about your business or brand keeping up in the rush to grab a piece of the post-lockdown market? We tapped local branding guru and social media expert, Chlo Hodgkinson, who specialises in helping businesses tell their brand story and reach more customers across social media. 

1/ Look for what you can do right now 

Businesses might be shut but building a brand isn’t. You may not be in a place to make money you can look at other areas of your business that you’d like to develop, such as your social media, writing new goals for reopening, or working out ways to upsell when you’re open. Maybe you can use the time to upskill through education? 

2/ Reach out to your old clients just to check in

Community is everything right now and that includes the one in your business. Keep your clients (and staff) feeling you care and remind them that you’re there. A simple ‘Hey just checking you’re okay’ is enough or you could offer a little discount for when you’re able to reopen. 

3/ Community first

Nurture the community you have and work out ways to grow yours. Social media is key. Could you collaborate with another brand you know your customers love but isn’t one you’re in competition with? A good example would be a beauty brand and a restaurant collaborating on a competition together.

Using other communities to help you build your own might not lead to direct sales but by building a community people want to be part of and trust, these people may eventually buy from you. The aim should be to solve a problem your customer/community has rather than just to sell to them. 

4/Get social

Social media wants you to be social on their platform. The more social and active you are, the more the platform’s algorithm favours you. It’s the perfect FREE place to build a community of any sort for any industry. You can start by simply engaging with other people in your industry. 

5/Pick your platform 

Knowing what platform is best for your business is crucial to ensure you’re building a community of ideal customers. Here’s a breakdown of the ones I focus on:

Instagram: A visual platform and great for any business with good visual images to share. This platform is amazing for B2C businesses with a younger demographic but Instagram really can work for a variety of industries. Salons, restaurants, artists, shops – insta is for you.

Facebook: Perfect for all, to tell your story and link to your website to buy a product or book a service. It’s a great opportunity to get shared to other people’s pages and to create relatively cheap paid ads too. 

LinkedIn: Best for B2B and for networking with other businesses. A commercial cleaning company or construction company would be well suited here. 

Twitter: Twitter is ideal if your company is about immediacy, whether it’s sharing articles or updates regularly. If your business is all about communicating, get tweeting!

Tiktok: For anyone marketing to a younger demographic with strong video opportunities from their business. Bakers will do well here to show the baking process; personal trainers for workouts; beauty and hair before and afters, for example.

6/Have a plan 

Having a suitable social media and marketing plan that speaks to your specific audience is crucial. If you’re a restaurant, showcasing your beautiful dishes and customer reviews in an engaging way would be beneficial, while a salon should focus on showing off their skills and previous work. 

7 /Use reels

Video content gets so much more engagement than other content (ie. images). Instagram Reels (short videos) which make one or two points in around 30 seconds, were bought in by Instagram to compete with TikTok, a new social platform that boomed in 2020. You can use reels in a similar way to Tiktok but if you’re on Instagram, it’s a must have in your social strategy. 

8/ And stories 

Stories are a great way to showcase day to day work life. Stories have engagement stickers so your community can get involved with your content. Utilising these will help speak to your community more regularly and your community is more likely to see these over your posts. And good news: you can automatically add these to your Facebook stories too.

9/Be transparent 

Transparency, personality and personability is key. Let your community get to know you, who you are and what you like to do. There’s something powerful about feeling like you know a brand so don’t be afraid to speak in the first person and show yourself, your staff and what you do. (Instagram stories are made for this.)

10/ Whatever you do, be consistent

It’s easy to be disheartened when your first few posts or few months of posting only gets a few likes and little engagement. But stay consistent, show up everyday for the community you have. Keep answering their problems whether their problem is boredom and want entertaining or they need to clean their kitchen quickly. By showing up, you’ll stay in the forefront of their minds and who knows, one day they might need your business. 
I believe they are more likely to use a business that they see all the time, that they trust and they like over one they don’t see anywhere else. 

Need help getting your story out there? Chlo is offering Muddy readers 20% off a consultation when you mention this feature!

Chlo&Co, Instagram: @chlohodgkinson and @chloandco_media

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