Recently, residents of Massachusetts have seen a historic amount of snow. New Englanders know these type of storms are going to happen, so we just hunker down and prepare ourselves.
For children in school, a snow day is a surprise day off. For business owners, it doesn’t necessarily bring smiles to faces.
Depending on the severity of the storm, a local business may have to stop or delay its operations. It means sidewalks need to be shoveled, work schedules need to be rearranged, and deliveries need to be cancelled or rescheduled. Business owners and managers need to also be prepared for the day after the storm stops, and open the store as if nothing happened.
But, if your business is slow or you are forced to close for the day due to a snow storm, that doesn’t mean you still can’t cultivate a relationship with your potential or regular customers. This is a time for you to come in from the cold and work on using social media to reach out to customers.
1) Get Organized - No one knows your business better than you. You’ve probably already started to schedule your deals, sales or promotions for the next several weeks. Once you have a sales strategy, you can think of ways to integrate your social media strategy.
Think of ways of how social media can help spread your brand. Go through the calendar and circle holidays that you can plan around. Research to see if any of the informal “National Days Of” can be connected with products you sell. Brainstorm videos or photos you can take that will draw eyes to your business.
2) Be Human - No one likes shoveling snow, but everyone loves hot chocolate. Share your shoveling experience and also share your reward for doing the work. Post this content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Your audience will understand what you are going through, because they are going through it too.
This is a great way to show your customers that you don’t just operate a business in their community, but you’re a part of their community. Look on social media and see what hashtags are trending about a storm and use them to jump into the conversation. Communicate with local news outlets when they ask for community to send updates about the amount of snow and road conditions.
3) Read - Take this slow work day and read. Read about what your competitors are doing. Read about what’s trending in your business. Read about what you community business association is up to.
By spending the day learning with what your community and your industry are up to, you can go back and rework your business strategy. The best way to prepare for the future is to know what’s on the horizon.
4) Stay in Touch - Communicate with your community about the status of your business. Use social media to let customers know if your business will be open or delayed the next day. Let them know if an event is going to be postponed or cancelled. Send out an email that shares what your business is up to for the next week. Your customers are probably stuck at home too. They are shoveling their sidewalks, trying to keep warm, watching TV and checking their email and social networks. You have a captive audience to get them excited about visiting your business as soon as they can.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.