On the evening of March 26, Jersey City Tech Meetup broke ground in previously uncharted territory by holding its first-ever virtual online meeting, utilizing Instagram’s Live feature.
Hosting regular online meetups will most likely become a regular feature of this group moving forward, although monthly in-person get-togethers will recommence as we all eventually get back to pre-Covid-19 conditions, when in-person restrictions are lifted, the organizers said.
Cohosts Ben Yurcisin, the Meetup’s lead organizer, and Joe Cameron, founder and CEO of JLC Social Marketing (Hoboken), were in high spirits and set a positive tone right from the outset.
JLC Social Marketing offers its clientele social marketing services, including the tracking of specific ROIs (returns on investment) for the money spent. The company also offers online classes in skills such as how to boost online posts for maximum impact.
The meeting that evening focused on various tips and tricks for negotiating the current environment.
Below are some of the key takeaways from the virtual chat, which included an audience Q&A session at the end of the hour-long session.
Some observations and suggestions:
budgets are often the first expenditures that get chopped at the onset of difficult
- Some service-based businesses may not be a good fit for translating their skills and offerings to the online world.
- If you own or manage a business that has closed its doors, you need to do more than ever to engage with your customers and remain top of mind.
lesson for many companies is that they need to have diversified products and/or
service offerings — both brick-and-mortar and digital/online.
- This is part of “future-proofing” your organization.
to JLC Social Marketing, we are likely to experience a “tsunami” of consumers
coming back into the marketplace once the current situation ends.
- Therefore, as a business owner, you
should be thinking about how to best position yourself to capitalize on that
- Send emails out now to let customers know that you’re still there and thinking of them.
- Work to expand your email list now, especially if you are a brick-and-mortar business, as having a large email list will allow you to communicate with your customers even if your physical doors are locked.
- Therefore, as a business owner, you should be thinking about how to best position yourself to capitalize on that wave.
positives will come from this.
- Many people will have more time to
take a breath, step back and think about their respective businesses, and to do
some longer-range planning.
- Many are working from home, so the time that was previously allotted to commuting is now available for planning ahead and learning new skills, among other constructive endeavors.
- Reevaluate your goals and make sure they are properly aligned.
- Capitalize on having more time to create content, such as videos, for future use.
- Many people will have more time to take a breath, step back and think about their respective businesses, and to do some longer-range planning.
- Practice getting comfortable in front
of the camera for video calls and content creation.
- Use the time to virtually train your employees.
- Improve your social marketing skills.
- Think about ways you can help others, offering something for free that will help your community alleviate current pain.
- Build more trust for the future, as others
will remember that you were there for them during the tough times.
- Sell gift cards for future use, and maybe discount them as a way of giving back.
- Don’t be afraid to tell your followers and customers how they can help your business. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.
- Create an advance social media content calendar for planning future posts.
- Here are some recommended tech tools that
you can utilize when operating virtually (for now and in the future):
- Instagram Live
- Facebook Messenger and Facebook Live — good for showing your face and catching up with friends and family
- Houseparty — a relatively new social app
- For videoconferencing:
- Facebook and Instagram have a lot of free instructional workshops and training tools online.
- Now is a good time to catch up with people you haven’t spoken to in a while, to make sure everyone is OK.
- During difficult times, you can still
help businesses without any money changing hands.
- For example, you can share and like their social posts, also leave genuine comments.
- Now is a good time for businesses to conduct fundraisers and to help others that are more impacted.
- Other suggestions: