In the midst of the COVID-19, the economy is crumbling.

Experts expect that 3 million people will lose their jobs before July.

During these troubling times, small businesses are expected to face the worst of the impact. That includes your favorite local eateries and downtown mom-and-pop shops.

Closures may seem inevitable, but there is something you can do to help. It’s up to the locals in their respective areas to help prevent small businesses from going out of business.

Read on to learn 5 easy ways that you can support small business before it’s too late

1. Support Small Business Instead of Chains

Before your local shop owners need to turn to a bankruptcy lawyer, you can help directly by shopping at their stores.

Despite the self-quarantine regulations, you surely still need to stock up on everyday items like groceries. Perhaps you even need items you wouldn’t usually as a result of the quarantine.

Instead of shopping at large chains like Amazon or Walmart, try to get the items you need from local businesses.

Larger chains have billions to their name and aren’t nearly as threatened by the pandemic. Plus, fewer people are supporting local businesses at this time, so it should be easier to maintain safe distances from other shoppers at those locations.

2. Merch It Up

Another way to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic is to buy their merch.

While this applies to bands and musicians struggling during this time as well, lots of local businesses have merch available. From coffee shops to record stores and restaurants, you likely have more options than you realize.

Many of these types of businesses sell mugs, shirts and other special items with their logos on them.

3. Look for Takeout and Delivery Options

Although locations are closed for dine-in eating, a lot of local restaurants are doing their best to provide you with other options.

As a result, you can still get to-go food from many of your favorite locations. In fact, a lot of locations that haven’t in the past are now offering free delivery. So take a night off and order in for the good of the community!

You don’t have to worry about getting sick from these options either. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued statements explaining that as long as you wash your hands before and after, you can’t get the Coronavirus from Takeout or Delivery.

4. Shop Ahead of Time

Do you want to help support small businesses but don’t need what they’re offering right now? Then shop ahead of time!

There are so many events throughout the year that people have to shop for, including birthday parties and holidays. You can support local shops now when they need it most by buying ahead of time.

Don’t know what you’ll want down the road?

Go ahead and purchase a gift card instead! You’ll support the economy without collecting a lot of items at once.

5. Spread the Word

If you’re like a lot of people struggling through these times, there’s the chance you don’t have the money to help where you’d like to.

If this describes you, you can still help.

Just spread word of the businesses you think others should support through friends, family, and social media. Others might not realize what businesses are still open and struggling.

Do What You Can to Help

No one could have anticipated how drastically COVID-19 would impact the economy and especially those most vulnerable.

You can help support small business in your neighborhood in a variety of ways. Whether you choose to buy their products or merch, practice curb-side options or even just spread the word, you’ll make a world of difference.

To stay safe, be sure to come back for the latest news in your area.

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The Unbreakable Rules of Social Media Marketing

The buzz surrounding Social Media Marketing would seem to suggest that it is the ideal way for any individual or business to increase their online presence.

Now, Social Media Marketing (SMM) firms are springing up like mushrooms and devotedly spreading the message of the importance of social media like Facebook and Twitter.

But is this form of marketing worth the hype? One thing is for certain; social media has now indeed become a favourite choice of platform for marketing a plethora of products and services.

But to succeed in the highly competitive SMM arena, one has to go far beyond the so-called tried and tested methods of “community engagement” to turn the marketing campaign into a success. This is where the golden rules of marketing come into play.

The unbreakable rules of social media marketing

So what are the fundamental rules that can lead to a successful SMM campaign? These are not overly complicated or time-consuming methods, but simple ways that are often ignored by marketers.

Rule 1: Content is king

Yes! Marketing on social media is unlikely to succeed by posting fluff content with little or no value. To gain attention from the audience, your content needs to be unique and through provoking.

The ideal way to engage the audience while building your brand reputation is by posting quality content on a regular basis, which is not just a collection of information from other websites.

Try to match your content to your product and your market, as this will have the most chance of being well received by your audience as well as generating revenue.

An example, this post on The Canvas Factory blog, about photographic techniques. Great match to the product and the audience, no doubt it performed well.

Rule 2: Listen more

Far too many social media marketers are involved in making posts on such a frequent basis that they forget listening to the feedback of their audience. Y

our marketing campaign will fall flat on its face if it does not aim to build a rapport with the public and fails to deliver what they want. It’s very easy to buy likes on Facebook but getting people to participate on posts or conversations is an entirely different ballpark.

Rule 3: Be genuine

You’re probably saying to yourself “what’s up with all these clichés?” but this rule is as important as any other. You would want your marketing campaign to be community driven and genuine in its approach.

What does this mean? It means you’ll have to interact with the audience as a human and not a corporate gizmo. If you truly want organic likes and followers, your marketing strategy better involve prompt replies and round-the-clock help.

A great example of failing to be genuine can be found in the ‘Fresh in Our Memories’ promotion from Woolworths on Anzac day. Huge backlash, huge miss.

Rule 4: Expand your reach

Don’t just put your all your money on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube because there are dozens of other social networking sites that you can leverage.

To make the most out of your Social Media Marketing, utilize different platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumble, and others. You may be shocked when you find out how much all these lesser known social networking sites can contribute to the growth of your online presence.

Rule 5: Give it time

If Rome wasn’t built in a day, you shouldn’t expect your brand to be known throughout the world at the same time. No, you’re not building a city but what you’re doing is going take time and effort.

An effective SMM strategy always focuses on attaining long-term results and seeks to establish a reputation by consistent service. If you can prove that your business is trustworthy, followers will automatically increase.

Final words

If you follow the five unbreakable as mentioned above with a passion and have the presence of mind to adapt to changing scenarios, it shouldn’t take you long to establish your business as a reputed online identity.

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