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3 key ways you can use social media to support local shops when restrictions ease in Northern Ireland

April 6, 2021

As restrictions are scheduled to gradually ease in Northern Ireland, we wanted to share some tips on how to help your favourite shops and local community. Many local businesses have suffered over the last year. And as experts in the marketing industry, we know of some extra ways you can help them get back on their feet. Even if you don’t feel comfortable venturing out of the house just yet.

1. Make user-generated content

User-generated content is when a follower creates a social media post that is in support of a specific business. This is likely one of the best things you can do for a business that hasn’t had the ability to create fresh content due to closures.

Creating content that features a product or service and allowing that business to freely use your content helps them in many different ways. Firstly, you’re creating content for them that they may not have the time to make themselves as they are working the hustle and bustle of busy re-opening. Secondly, your content is sentimental, when businesses feature their followers’ content it shows community support and customer appreciation. Lastly, you’re showing your social media followers that this business has your support and encourages your followers to support them as well.

2. Engage with social media posts

The closed parts of our community have been waiting for so long to serve their valued customers again. And re-opening is no easy task! Prepping shopfronts, creating sanitation stations, organising their shops for social distancing, getting employees back to work after potential loss of staff, and so much more we don’t see behind the scenes.

So, if they have time to also create a post — engage with it. Drop a double-click, a comment, or even a share. Help their algorithm.

Algorithms are different depending on the platform. But think of them generally like a snowball effect. The more engagement (likes, comments, shares) a post gets, the more the algorithm sees it as good content and it will appear on more individual social media feeds.

Including @tags, using a business-specific hashtag, and featuring a business on your social media story are all also great ways to further engage with not only their posts but their business pages as well.

3. Leave a positive review

If you haven’t already done this for a business you appreciate, do it! This is the best way to provide word-of-mouth marketing for them. You can leave reviews for businesses on their Facebook page or on Google (if they’re registered). Reviews can give businesses a big credibility boost. It helps their online reputation and exposure. Businesses with more reviews appear more promptly for local search engine rankings.

Local businesses

Keep an eye out for your community providing support through content creation, engagement, and reviews. We have some articles to help you get back into your groove.
1. Understand how to partake in social listening so you don’t miss a beat from your audience
2. If you’re feeling a little out of touch with your social media platforms and need some inspiration.

We’re all looking forward to restrictions easing and a taste of normalcy. So, while we get this precious time together, let’s remember to be patient and follow precautions. We’ve all been using social media and other digital platforms to stay connected over the last year. Let’s now use our platforms to showcase some life and support for our communities.

Are you struggling to navigate being back open and are seeking professional marketing help? Contact us today to see how we can take you to the next level, while you focus on what you do best.

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