Salisbury Business Improvement District

The benefits of being active on social media during and after the lockdown

5th May 2020

This guidance has been written by Salisbury-based Freelance Social Media Consultant, Elizabeth Harmon.

There are many differing views of social media, but during these challenging times, it’s great to see it being used for good and providing even greater benefits to businesses and consumers.

Thanks to social media, businesses who have had to close their doors can still stay in touch with customers. Those without an online presence have been able to use social media to continue trading. Plus, shops that are still open have been using social media to communicate vital messages to their customer base.

Whether you’re temporarily closed, trading online or remain open, read these useful pointers to discover how staying active on social media can benefit your business during and after the COVID-19 lockdown.


If your business is closed

While you can no longer encourage customers to your physical premises, there are still many benefits to remaining active on social media:

  1. Update your customers - Loyal customers care about your business, so don’t suddenly stop all communication. Explain the measures your business has taken and reassure them you’ll be returning once the restrictions are lifted.
  2. Keep your customers engaged – While your business is closed, make sure your customers don’t forget you. Share a selection of content such as behind-the-scenes photos, future product ranges, relevant tips, polls, online events, competitions as well as positive and funny messages that help to lift people’s spirits. By staying connected and engaging in conversations, you’ll create a sense of community, while keeping customers loyal and eager to return to your business as soon as they can do so safely.
  3. Increase your brand awareness – While people are stuck at home, it comes as no surprise that social media platforms have reported an increase in usage. As a business, this provides an opportunity to get in front of even more people. Continue posting regularly, and you’ll help drive more brand awareness. You may even attract some potential new customers to help kickstart your sales after the lockdown.
  4. Sell online – Although you may rely on selling from a physical premise, if you already have an online shop, direct people to it using social media. If you don’t have a website, some resourceful businesses are using social media as a temporary sales platform. It might not offer customers the most streamlined sales approach, but these are unprecedented times, and unlike a website, they require limited technical skills, are free to use and are quick to set up.

If your business remains open

Even though you may be extremely busy, by scheduling some time in each day, or getting someone to support you to maintain an active and professional social media presence, you’ll discover several benefits, leaving you better placed to deliver to your customers:

  1. Remind customers you’re open – With so many changes, customers may not even realise you’re open for business. Drive sales by using social media to inform people of your opening days/times, what you’re selling and if you offer a delivery service. You may also want to highlight that you’re following strict social distancing rules, to help make customers feel safe shopping with you.
  2. Keep customers updated – Social media is an excellent medium for sharing regular updates in real-time. Use it to let customers know of changes to your opening hours, delivery schedules, special services, new stock and any unavailable products. This will help customers avoid any unnecessary journeys, and it will save you time by reducing queries received via email and phone.
  3. Manage expectations – Are you overwhelmed with orders or are deliveries delayed? Communicate this via social media, so your customers have clear expectations. If expectations are not set, you may find your customers start to complain. It’s therefore vital that you’re active on social media so you can respond and resolve these as quickly as possible.
  4. Get positive feedback – Many customers are incredibly grateful for all the fantastic work you’re doing to supply them with products during these challenging times. Engage in conversations with happy customers, encourage them to share photos of their products and ask for reviews/referrals. This can help develop your brand awareness and may lead to more sales in the short and long-term.

Thanks to social media, it’s possible to build and maintain a customer base in an effective and positive way. I therefore hope you can use these useful points to help drive your business during this time and in the future.


About Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabeth Harmon is an experienced Freelance Social Media Consultant. She provides expert social media advice, support, and management for businesses of all sizes. Elizabeth even worked with us at Salisbury BID to bring you the social media campaign for ‘Christmas in Salisbury 2019’.

For more information about Elizabeth’s social media services and experience, along with recommendations, visit her website, or LinkedIn profile. If you’d like to chat, follow on Twitter or contact directly via