There’s no doubt about, 2020 challenged small businesses in every way imaginable.

Simply Social Management, one of Australia’s prominent social media agencies announced the launch of the ‘Simply Social’ App, a digital platform providing a holistic, humanised and cost-effective service to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of social media marketing.

Only in ideation seven months ago the launch was expedited in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the agency experienced a surge in ad-hoc requests for low-cost social media advice and services from panicked business owners.

The advantages of social media are clear, however, for the many business owners who lack confidence or are unable to invest in expert services, the current tools available are overwhelming for many to navigate and implement effectively.

Underpinned by a microlearning approach – an alternative method to traditional training – the dashboard offers a scheduling, preview and re-arranging Instagram posts tool, expert advice on how businesses can leverage Instagram through regularly updated ‘how to’ videos and access to exclusive podcast interviews with like-minded leaders across various industries.

The decision to centre the ‘Simply Social’ App around Instagram resulted from research conducted by the Simply Social Management team which found 92% of people surveyed spent more time on Instagram in comparison to other social media sites, and 81% prefer to use Instagram to keep updated on news and trends.

The side effects of people all over the world living in self-isolation will impact their values and what they choose to consume in the future. A recent survey highlighted 65% of Australians are influenced by how brands are responding to the pandemic and their likelihood to buy that brand in the future.

Personalised, empathetic engagement from brands has become an expectation, and businesses who will thrive are those who acknowledge the problems customers are facing every day and provide real-time solutions with added value. This challenging time also presents a unique opportunity for businesses, if given the right tools, to survive this pandemic and beyond.

To find out more about the story behind the app, I recently had a chat to Simply Social Management Founder and Director Indianna Roehrich.

Congratulations on this amazing new venture! What inspired you to launch the app?

Thank you Liz. The Simply Social™ App felt like a natural next step to expand the Simply Social service offerings.

Given the new times we are all currently in, businesses need to adapt to the ‘new normal’ in order to survive and they require social media support. Social media platforms such as Instagram, are there for businesses to use to connect best with their customers, raise brand awareness and in turn generate sales. Businesses just need to be shown ‘how to use social media, simply.’

As an agency, we have a lot of small businesses approach us on a regular basis, when the second lot of restrictions in Melbourne set in we experienced a surge in small businesses requiring assistance in helping them get started on social media. 

The ‘get started’ words were what drew me to launch the Simply Social™ App. So the day after the Grand Prix was cancelled in Melbourne, I took myself down to the local Officeworks, picked up a whiteboard, and began mapping out an idea for an App. I asked myself “If I were a small business owner or a budding entrepreneur, what content would I want to have access to and which elements would I need to get me on my way.”

You want to be inspired (that’s what our Podcast section is for). Sometimes you need to bounce an idea off someone (that’s what our 24/7 access to a team of real, social media specialists feature is for), and a successful business plans out their social media (that’s what our planner tool is there for). 

Naturally, I want to help every business thrive on Instagram, and developing an ‘all in one Simply Social™ App’ was the best approach.

So how does the app work and how can businesses take advantage of it?

There are so many incredible features available to utilise on the Simply Social™ App. 

Planner: Use Simply Social™ to plan, schedule, preview and re-arrange Instagram content. Once your content is planned, your post will be scheduled into your calendar and you will be alerted when your post is ready to share.

Analytics: Keep track of analytics over 7 day and 30 day overviews. Including; impressions, reach, profile views, follower count, website clicks, text messages and email contacts.

Education: Learn the best social media practices through videos tutorials including; social media tips, tricks, trends and how-to’s.

24/7 Chat: Access to a team of real, social media experts to assist with anything from a simple question on image editing to guidance on navigating a crisis.

Podcasts: Listen to exclusive podcast interviews with leaders across various industries.

Community: Connect and contribute with access to the private Simply Social portal Facebook group, an online community to share news, ask questions and follow the latest social media trends.

Memo: Jot down any ideas, notes or social media ‘to-do’s’ in the traffic light system memo section. Simply tap the circle to mark your memo status. Green for go, amber for in progress and red for not complete.

If you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, building your own personal brand or even if you work in the social media industry, it’s a great place to upskill and also connect with likeminded people.

For a limited time only you can experience the Simply Social™ App on a 7 day free trial. Offer ends November 18, 2020. Available to download in 175 countries via the App Store and Google Play.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges facing business as we start to rebuild post-lockdown?

Restoring confidence back into business owners and back into the community. In some cases it may feel like starting from scratch again.

You have to try and take the good with the bad.

Lockdown may have been a great chance to redesign your logo, renovate your shop and even re-evaluate the way to do business in the new normal. If you have the ambition and drive to get back up again and give it another shot, you will be just fine. I hope people feel inspired when using the Simply Social™App.

What have been some of the most crucial lessons you have learnt yourself as a small business owner during Covid-19?

One of my favourite sayings is ‘get comfortable with being uncomfortable.’ Running a business isn’t always smooth sailing however, times like these are where you grow stronger. 

In some ways Covid-19 has been a blessing in disguise, as it’s given me a chance to stop, think and get creative again. 

What hopes do you have for the App now that you have launched?

The Simply Social™App is available worldwide and I’m really looking forward to connecting with everyone who uses the App. The 24/7 chat feature allows users to ask questions to our Simply Social team at any time. Being available to assist and offer our expertise to people trying to grow their brand in a simple format, is something I’m really looking forward to doing.

The saying used to be, ‘content is king’ I feel now ‘community is king.’ I  hope to keep growing a strong social media community within our ‘Simply Social’ Facebook group. Great things happen when people collaborate and come together. That’s going to be powerful in itself when businesses return back in the new normal.