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Get Social Again | The Responsible Way

While the State of New York is currently on “PAUSE,” many local businesses are feeling the strain of this executive order. The restaurant industry specifically is facing difficult times as social distancing rules have limited their services to take-out and delivery. While some local restaurants had a tried-and-true take-out and delivery process prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many did not. As such, countless business owners saw no other option than to close their doors for the foreseeable future. Walking down main streets in the Capital Region, it’s hard to miss closure signs on front doors and not feel a pang of sadness.


However, on the flip side, it’s equally difficult to miss the rainbows drawn in chalk on just about every other sidewalk block. If nothing else, the splashes of color from the 518 Rainbow Hunt are reminders to remain positive in this uncertain time. This social movement, of sorts, also fosters a sense of community and allows us to “get social again”, but in a different sense of the word.

Here are a few ideas on how to lift one another and local businesses up during this difficult time – and do so responsibly!
  1. Like us, I’m sure your daily screen time has increased exponentially over the last few weeks. While you’re refreshing your Facebook feed for the 50th time in 3 hours, take time on the 51st refresh to leave a positive review on some of your favorite local businesses’ pages. Maybe your favorite hometown restaurant has temporarily closed its doors, but the influx of positive reviews will only help the business when it reopens and put a smile on the owner’s face (we know they can use more of those!) This is such a simple, yet powerful message that doesn’t require any monetary expenditure.
  2. Write a Facebook post that recommends a local business. Did you have a fantastic experience a few months ago, but just didn’t have the time then to share it with your followers? We bet you do now! According to research conducted by Market Force, 81% of 12,000 respondents surveyed from the U.S. and the UK confirmed that their purchasing decisions were directly influenced by their friends’ recommendations and posts. So yes, you’re opinions do matter and local businesses want to hear your (positive) thoughts!
  3. Alright local businesses and restaurants, now we’re talking to you! We’ve heard many uplifting stories about how community members are responding to help businesses by purchasing gift cards, ordering take out and buying store merchandise. However, to truly make the most of the situation, you need to meet them halfway. Your customers want to hear from you! They’re on social media spreading positivity and writing Google reviews to boost your online presence – you need to be active on those platforms as well. Social media ideas include posting light content about what you may be looking forward to in the future, or directing people to online promotions or sales. Offering digital gift cards? Provide a link. Offering a Thursday take-out special? Provide more information (and a link!)


Devising new ways to connect with businesses and consumers alike during this challenging period of time is critical. If you have a new idea, or hear about a new communication tactic, try it out. Start your own social movement like the #518RainbowHunt, and maybe Europe will follow in our footsteps this time!


Having been in business for more than 160 years, The Times Union is confident in its ability to provide expert level help to businesses as a trusted advertising partner. Does your business need help remaining social during these challenging times? Through our parent company, Hearst, and our four other sister agencies around the United States, we offer the individual attention of a startup with the resources of a large corporation. Check out our social media resources as well as our reputation management recources. If you have any questions about the Times Union Media Group or the Hearst Digital Agency and what we do, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.



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