As lockdown begins to ease across the world, we have been considering how to communicate your reopening post-lockdown message via social media. All shops in England are now allowed to open, but with strict safety measures. Other sectors such as hospitality and hairdressing are expected to open in July, depending on Government guidance. Considering these changes, as the world continues to adapt, we have put together 5 key tips on how to use social media to drive customers back to your physical locations.

1. Give advanced warning

The sooner you communicate your reopening post-lockdown to your community, the sooner they can organise their visit. Make sure you build excitement about your reopening with an eye-catching post, with a clear date and time available in your caption. This could be a well-designed graphic or a video announcement from your founder or CEO. The more buzz you create, the wider your message will spread. Liberty recently posted a beautiful illustration of their iconic store reopening in London.

2. Reassure your customers

It’s vital that you clearly and succinctly explain the new safety measures in place for visitors. This could be done in a blog post, which you link to via social media, or in the social media post itself. What is expected of the customers? (A face mask, temperature check, 2m social distancing, no cash payments, etc.). What can they expect from you? (Queueing, hand sanitiser, additional cleaning, appointment booking availability, parking, etc.) If you choose to display this in an FAQ blog post, you could feature different question and answer scenarios across social media on the build-up to your reopening. IKEA recently posted a new Instagram Story Highlight titled “Welcome back” detailing some of the key changes to their shopping experience in a series of animated Stories.

3. Showcase changes visually

Use social media to show your customers about your changes. Seeing the changes you’ve made will reassure your audience. They will be able to see the proper protocols are in place, which will give them the confidence to visit.

This could be photographs of your staff serving, any new changes such as screens or new queueing systems.

Wilton Wholefoods recently reopened their market stall and showed an image of an employee wearing gloves and a customer wearing a mask. This type of photography is certainly going to be very normal to see over the coming months. It instills confidence, that although the situation may not be “normal”, you’re not taking any chances with the health and safety of staff of customers.

[Photo courtesy of @spencer_mulholland]

4. Be responsive

Now is not the time to leave your notifications and messages unchecked! You need to be as responsive as possible to any questions, concerns or feedback you receive from your social media community. This will them confidence. It could also spark some interesting ideas about how to make your physical location even more appealing to visit. Try to set a process of checking your social media feeds. We recommend checking them at least twice a day. Ensure that you are online when your posts go live too, rather than scheduling them and not checking for feedback.

5. Entice with offers

Give your customers an extra nudge to visit you by offering them a discount or special in-store offer. We love Pret’s 20 coffees for £20 voucher, which is available to purchase at their participating takeaway stores. This is a great way to keep your customers loyal and to celebrate your reopening.  

6. Bonus tip!

Don’t forget to keep pushing your online shop. (Pssst we have an online shop featuring a whole array of on-demand social media training courses). There are many customers who simply have no interest in visiting physical locations yet. Or they are vulnerable and are still waiting for healthcare advice. Make sure they are not forgotten and still feel part of your community. You could do this by adding a simple, “If you don’t feel comfortable heading out yet, then we are still very much open for business online!” We hope you have found these tips useful. Have you got any others? We’ll be getting the discussion going in our Facebook Group, the Avocado Social Media Hub. Alternatively, if you need any help communicating your reopening post-lockdown please get in in touch.