THE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS

Tips for using social media in our pandemic world

by Diane Walsh

With re-opening and social guidelines varying from state to state, no two painting operations are in the same situation; all are in uncharted waters one way or another. Whether you have maintained work at some level throughout the pandemic, are looking to get back to work, or are still in lockdown mode, it’s important to maintain the right tone with your customers over social media. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

TIP #1: Maintain a connection with customers

Social media platform management program Hootsuite points out that in trying times, businesses can use social media to do good and make people feel good. Shriver Fine Finishes, located outside of Pittsburgh, PA, for example, has done both on its Facebook page.

Since the shutdown began, owner Joe Shriver has given away handmade hardwood cutting boards, promoted other local small businesses, and even ran a contest to give away a complete post-quarantine kitchen refinishing job. On a day-to-day basis, most posts have focused on projects he did around his own home, giving followers a glimpse of his life under quarantine. Even when he couldn’t be in their homes doing his job, the owner maintained his brand and customer relationships.

TIP #2: Communicate your company’s new ways of doing business

Around the country, lockdowns are in various stages of being lifted. Depending on your location, many customers may still be at home and maintaining distance from crowds. Those who allow contractors back into their homes or businesses need to know that safety is your first priority.

Use social media to show followers the steps you now take to protect the health of your employees and customers. VanDerKolk Painting of Grand Rapids, MI, is one company that explains on its Facebook page how it follows new safety guidelines, and even focuses on industrial sandblasting and certain types of painting jobs that naturally allow for social distancing.

TIP #3: Special offers are still powerful

If work dried up during the shutdown, you may have used social media to promote special offers or discounts. You can still do that—as long as the tone is right. The team at 4 Seasons Color in Walla Walla, WA, for example, offered a 15% discount to those who mentioned a Facebook post that talked about small wall repairs and touchups at home or in closed offices. Lockdown or not, your customers are still open to a good deal as long as you have promotional messages mixed in with a lot of informative content as well.

No matter where your painting business is in the journey through this challenging time, stay focused on maintaining your brand and connecting with followers from a place of authenticity. That’s a key way to assure your social media posts are hitting the mark with your audience.

Diane Walsh is VP, market & channel development for Shurtape Technologies, makers of FrogTape Brand Painter’s Tape. For other articles on using social media in your painting business, visit inpaintmag.com

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