Posting and Advertising during Quarantine: 50 Small Business Social Tips for 50 Industries

While there may be a downturn in customer spending, there is an increase in customer touch points and attention. With Facebook usage up 50%, it is more important than ever for small businesses to turn to social media to maintain relevance and build relationships in their local communities.

As one of our client’s put it,

“Relationships built in times of crisis are ones that last.” 

We asked our team of social specialists to come up with 50 social content tips for 50 industries – complete with some real-world examples of best-practices they’ve found. 

Here’s what they recommend: 

1. Antique Stores or Resale Shops 

Share video and blog content on how to up-cycle in your own home (furniture or clothing). Leverage Facebook’s Marketplace to sell your antiques on Social. Facebook Marketplace is used in 70 countries by 800 million people. 

2. Art Studios/Painting Places

Promote sign-ups for virtual lessons with a pre-order list of supplies with product links. Utopian Bizarre got creative by offering take-home paint kits of pre-drawn canvases with curbside pickup. 

3. Bakeries

Offer delivery/curbside pickup and drive sales through social. Birthday, anniversaries, and the like still take place, even if customers are homebound. Take pictures and post special highlights of customers purchasing cakes/treats to celebrate their special occasions. If you’re feeling creative, think about hosting a virtual baking class, with users purchasing a ticket online.

4. Banks and Financial Advisors

With so many out of work, it’s important for banks and financial advisors to ramp up content to share on Social. Some ideas include saving/budgeting tips, online banking for beginners, and saving for retirement in a recession. Build your mailing and email lists with signups for webinars, which could be as simple as a live Q&A. 

5. Bars

Teach a virtual cocktail-making class. Promote with sign-ups to collect customer information for email offers or invites to your “Grand Re-opening” party. 

6. Beauty Brands and Salons

Offer tutorials or instructions for keeping hair, nails, and skin healthy at home. Encourage gift card purchases for use at a later date, and drive consumers to your website through social advertising to boost online sales. During Q1 of 2019, 37% of beauty  buyers stated they typically found out about beauty brands or products via ads on social media, and 33% stated that recommendations or comments on social media led them to discover a new product. 

7. Book Stores

Offer virtual story time for kids and virtual book clubs for adults. Encourage signups for these events so you can use contact information at a later date for promotions, events, and offers, plus drive consumers to your website through social advertising to boost online sales

8. Breweries

Use video or virtual classes to educate your community about different beer styles or your brewing processes.  Depending on the state you’re located in, offer delivery or curbside pickup of crowlers to go. Just like with bars, be sure to promote classes with sign-ups to collect customer information for email offers or invites to your “Grand Re-opening” party. 

9. Builders/Carpenters

People are homebound, and they are no doubt evaluating their living spaces. Offer DIY videos for making organization items like bookshelves or shoe racks. When they’re ready to make big home improvements or build a new home, they’ll remember how you shared your expertise. 

10. Bed and Breakfasts

When people can get out again, they will. Right now, many may be researching options for a quick trip. Offer content on things to do in the area around your B&B and provide a way to purchase gift cards/gift certificates. Additionally, post video lessons on how to make the yummy breakfasts you serve. 

11. Car Dealerships

Post virtual tours of cars and their specs, and/or videos to show off cool new features on your latest models. Encourage people to purchase online using social media advertising. 51% of auto consumers aged 18-34 discover new automobiles on Facebook.

12. Caterers

Offer registration-only online cooking classes of dishes you can make with standard staples. Promote on Facebook to increase registrations and add those contacts to your email lists. 

13. Chiropractors

Share work from home tips like home exercises, and how to maintain good posture at your desk. 

14. Cleaning Services 

Lots of folks are looking to Spring clean while home-bound. Share tips and tricks for problem areas like grout, shower ceilings, rust stains, etc.  

15. Clothing Stores/Boutiques

Over 40% of US fashion shoppers who use social media to discover new retail fashion products and brands say that advertisements on social media help with discovery. Make sure to post your inventory on Facebook and Instagram with sizing and prices, then offer curbside pickup or delivery. Leverage Instagram Shopping so that people can buy your products directly from photos and videos. 

16. Coffee Shops

Offer to-go/drive-thru services, latte at home instruction videos, or Zoom a gathering for “open mic night.” Bitty & Beau’s of Wilmington, NC is one of the coffee shops across the country who made the choice to close its doors, yet it is offering online ordering of merchandise and ground coffees. Also super clever, Walkie Talkie, a local coffee shop in Ohio, has developed t-shirts to sell in collaboration with a local print shop and several other area businesses. The site linked lets you choose the local business to support with your t-shirt purchase.  

17. Computer/Tech Repair 

People may be skittish about bringing their computer in for service, even though remaining connected is more important now than ever before with so many working and educating from home. Offer videos to troubleshoot common problems and virtual consultations.  

18. Interior Designers

When people are stuck at home, they are bound to notice a lot of changes they would like to make. Be helpful during this time. Offer best practices for furniture rearrangement, color usage, and more. Build your email and mailing list with sign-ups for virtual design sessions.  Offer promotions for locking in future appointments now. 

19. Craft Stores

People are picking up new hobbies, and there is a craft for everyone! Offer tutorials and guides on popular crafts like embroidery, knitting, and more. As an added bonus, link the supplies for online orders. Keep the whole family entertained with “how to” kiddie crafts. Mask-making is a necessity now to help our medical workers. Offer video instructions on how to sew them and how to donate. 

20. Dance Studios

Provide online instruction for your students. Cultivate future business by posting fun dance tutorials to stay active while at home. Many students are at home now. Partner with your local school systems to drive traffic to your Facebook Page so students can use your posted dances for physical education credit. 

21. Dentists

While everyone is focused on ramping up good hygiene, remind folks that it extends to their dental care too. Post videos on proper oral hygiene that parents and teachers can show kids and health classes.

22. DJs

Have a setup at home? DJs and artists across the globe have been hosting shows and sets directly from their homes. Post a set time and where you’re streaming for people to tune in! In the US, 49% of concertgoers discover shows on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp, making Facebook the top source of digital discovery. Just because you’re going virtual doesn’t mean people aren’t looking to hear from you!

23. Florists/Garden Centers

Offer videos on caring for useful plants and their purposes, growing your own gardens, and growing spices and how to incorporate them in home cooking. Offer delivery and post your inventory on your Instagram/FB stories to show off new arrivals. Pettiti’s Garden Center has created videos on how to start gardening indoors from seed, as well as posts on their new safety procedures and opportunities for delivery and curbside pickup. 

24. Furniture Stores

For a small operation, stage your inventory and post photos to your social pages. Special items should be front-and-center. If you want to stay on trend, offer curbside or contactless pickup after someone makes a purchase.

25. Galleries

For many gallerists, shows and fairs are the best way to gain exposure, gather new collectors, and interact with existing buyers. With major fairs being canceled and postponed until the fall, galleries are moving their business online. Check out Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston TX who started a blog series entitled Safe in the Studio, and will feature a new gallery artist each week and will be discounting three pieces for one week. This is both a great way to drive traffic to your website, but also gain new followers and potential collectors! 

26. Game Shop 

Highlight new games (especially educational games!) and work from home tech essentials. Offer curbside pick-up. 

27. Groomers

Hold a Pet Photo Contest and promote gift card sales. Offer curbside pickup of pet shampoos. Give DIY tips for cutting dog bangs and necessary areas until your pooch’s next appointment.  

28. Gyms

Start providing virtual classes and drive sign-ups through social. Champions Fitness Center in Cicero, NY offers videos of partner workouts fans can do with their kids

29. Home Services (HVAC, Plumbing, Pest Control, etc.) 

These essential services that would no doubt have to enter homes for emergencies should be sure to post safety measures they are taking to avoid the spread of Covid-19. DIY videos to troubleshoot common problems would certainly provide welcome relief for many homeowners. 

30. Lawn Care 

Offer tips to keep your lawn healthy and tips for spring cleanup. If you are still servicing customers, share what methods you’re using for online payment or pre-pay to minimize social interaction.    

31. Lawyers

Attorney-client privilege doesn’t stop with quarantine. Provided you and your clients secure networks, video consultations are a great option. 

32. Learning Centers

This is a perfect time for children to learn and grow. Help parents keep their kids busy with fun activities like coloring pages and science experiments they can do at home! Most parents are not certified educators, so we suggest offering virtual tutoring as an alternative source of income. 

33. Liquor Stores

With bars and restaurants being closed, now is a great time to encourage people to make their own signature drinks at home! Provide unique recipes and training guides to help amateurs become expert bartenders. 

34. Massage Therapists

Close-contact with clients is not an option in many states, especially where non-essential businesses have been forced to close. Promoting gift card specials is a popular option for therapy collectives. Are you a solo therapist? Posting quick and easy DIY massage techniques to your social pages, such as acupressure points, is a simple way to keep your community engaged and garner more followers. 

35. Moving and Storage

With folks at home taking the opportunity to organize, offer optimal packing tips for those cleaning attics and basements. 

36. Museums

Museum folk, you’ve got loads of content! Have an online collection? Drive people to your website. Is your catalogue or archive digitized? Have a curator give a mini-lecture on a piece of artwork or artifact. If you want to try something new, check out the Oklahoma Cowboy Museum’s new Social Media Manager. Are you following the #MuseumAtHome movement? If so, the Akron Art Museum will be providing something daily for the next several weeks for everyone in the family – they’re even launching a podcast!

37. Musicians

Online concerts or mini-sets are a great way to reach your fan base. No matter what your genre, posting a video to your Instagram or Facebook Page helps you stay top of mind. You never know when you could go viral – just look at the Colorado Symphony!

38. Nutritionists

87% of 18-34-year-old food shoppers in the US say they discover new food or recipe ideas on social platforms. Post helpful recommendations on what good, better, or best snack options those of us in quarantine should eat. If you have a knack for creating infographics, Instagram is a great place to post and gain new followers – you never know, you may get a new client!

39. Pharmacies

Local pharmacies should post drive-thru/curbside pickup or delivery options. Be sure to include hours of operation and any method of prepayment or online payment to avoid social interaction. 

40. Photographers

Showcase photo editing tips and posing tips. Austin photographer Courtney Rutherford of GypsySky Photography has been taking pictures of people – social distance maintained – to support Austin Hopes, a non-profit that ensures schoolchildren have meals on the weekends.

41. Physician Offices

Offer telemedicine evaluation sessions via Zoom and share your method for booking appointments. Be sure to share protocols if patients do have to come into the office to be seen. 

42. Professional Organizers

Now is your time. With many at home, potential clients are looking for sound advice on how to declutter. Share methods to book FaceTime or other virtual appointments to advise on spring cleaning. 

43. Psychologists/Psychiatrists

In-person office visits aren’t feasible during quarantine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some face time through a virtual visit. Free services like Doxy are easy ways to reach your patients and keep connecting when they need it most. 

44. Real Estate

While face-to-face interactions may have decreased, now’s a good time for agents to build trust and their personal brands by offering content on home savings, home improvement, mortgage explainers, how to stage a home for sale, and virtual tours. Offer one-on-one virtual consultations to generate and identify potential leads. 

45. Restaurants

As a restaurant owner or proprietor, delivery service within 5-miles or curbside pick up is a surefire way to ensure your regular customers stay regular. If your restaurant has gift cards available, utilize your social pages to promote gift card purchases that can be utilized at a later time. An easy idea would be “buy a gift card with your meal, get a free dessert”! 

46. Retail Stores 

Drive sales with social promotions and instructions for drive-thru pickup or shipping possibilities. Be sure to highlight comfort items and clothing, and leverage Instagram Shopping so that people can buy directly from your Instagram posts. 67% of US fashion shoppers say they use Instagram for fashion-related activities. 

47. Test Prep Centers

This is the time that most students are finalizing their college plans, take advantage of that and promote any resources or virtual tutoring that your facility offers. Help students get excited!

48. Toy Stores

Offer a virtual Lego club. Request sign-ups for space on Facebook. Build an email list from these contacts to continue the club in-store once shelter-in-place restrictions are lifted. Sir Troy’s Toy Kingdom, a toy store that typically offers Lego clubs and mini-figure swap nights, is offering a Monthly Mini-figure Mailing Subscription! A great idea for folks who want to build their collection, and a great idea for Sir Troy’s to build their mailing list! 

49. Veterinarians

Share tactics for pet owners to keep their furry friends active and entertained. Offer recipes for DIY pet treats to make/bake while home.

50. All Businesses

As a general tip for all industries, use this time to create content – videos, blogs, social posts. Content will help with SEO and engagement on your social properties so you can remain top of mind not just now, but also as the world is able to carry on business as usual.  Facebook is also offering these downloadable post templates to communicate your message. Check them out now!  

Hungry for more local advertising content? Tiger Pistol’s Analissa Moreno gives a great overview of Local Advertising in a Time of Social Distancing. Check it out here. 
Looking for more local social advertising best practices?  Check out our Resource Page

Tips and stats contributed by Tiger Pistol’s Talia Wachtel, Katia Koerner, Analissa Moreno, Yanira Durant, Laura Kraay, Casey Zaffin, Amy Abell, and Christina Morello.  

Posting and Advertising during Quarantine: 50 Small Business Social Tips for 50 Industries

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