How to use social media to attract in-store customers after COVID-19


How small businesses can attract in-store customers after COVID-19

As more and more COVID-19 related restrictions on in-person activities are getting lifted, it is important for small businesses to keep their customers updated with the latest news as it relates to their business.


As a result of consumers spending more time on their phones, 1.6 trillion hours were spent on mobile devices worldwide in H1 of 2020, social media is a great outlet for small businesses to easily keep their customers up to date. Here are some tips small businesses can use on social media to attract in-store customers after COVID-19.


Announce the current phase of your reopening


Whether you’ve been open for a while or prepping for a reopening, announcing what phase your business is in is a crucial first step to getting more customers through the door.


Consider calling out specific aspects of your opening with a social media post:

  • Capacity

  • Outdoor offerings

  • Appointment openings

  • New store layouts or arrangements that encourage distancing

  • Information your customers need to know


These types of posts make it easier for your customers to know what’s going on at a glance.



Share your store hours


In addition to announcing your reopening, call out your store hours as well. Ensure your business profiles are updated with the latest changes to your hours.


Use story highlights or your bio on Instagram and pinned posts on Twitter and Facebook to keep the newest information at the top of your page and easy to find.

The Smith Tower Instagram profile showing their updated hours

Be transparent about your safety precautions


Empathy and authenticity have become more important than ever to customers throughout the pandemic. Be sure to consider both when sharing the health and safety precautions your business plans to implement.


Many customers still feel uncomfortable with going out, so do what you can to ease their fears. Highlight what you and your staff are doing to keep everyone safe.



Tip: Meet your customers where they are by using your social media marketing as a tool to engage and communicate with them. Use an Instagram poll or question box to address any concerns they may have.


Keep customers informed of the enduring changes your business made


In some way or another, your business likely had to make some changes to accommodate COVID-19 safety protocols. Another way to keep your customers in the know is to inform them of what your business will keep doing even after restrictions have been lifted.


While consumers are ready to return to the new normal in most ways, they may have grown accustomed to some of the changes your business made as a result of adapting.


Consider sharing updates and information on the things your customers might want to see stay:

  • Curbside pick-up

  • Delivery

  • Online ordering

  • Other hybrid & convenience options you used


To hear from your customers, use surveys and polls on social media to get an idea of what your customers want to see you continue to offer.


Have a sale or special


In-store sales or specials are another way to incentivize customers to come in and shop with you. Host a sale to welcome new customers and show gratitude for ones who were loyal during the pandemic. To get an in-depth look at using social media for sales, read our post on driving sales using social media.


You can also increase the awareness of your sales by advertising your reopening and specials with Facebook or Instagram ads. Ripl now makes it easier than ever to create a Facebook ad with our pre-made templates.



Use video

During COVID-19, video consumption on social media went up, so using this to your advantage may help sway customers on the fence of leaving the house.


There are a number of ways you can use video in social media to attract in-store customers:

  • Show behind the scenes video of cleaning and set-up leading up to reopening

  • Stream on Facebook or Instagram live on opening day

  • Film short customer reviews or video of customers happily and safely enjoying your service


Short videos like this can act as social proof that will build trust and encourage more customers to come in.



As you prepare for a safe and fun reopening, an intentional social media marketing strategy will help to attract in-store customers after COVID-19.


For more help building your strategy, download The Small Business Owner’s Social Media Playbook.