There’s no denying that this is the weirdest of times for us all. Whether you’re having to juggle working from home with your children there, stop the routines you’re so used to like going to the gym (and the pub!), having financial concerns or the threat of business closure, or even suffering from coronavirus.
It may want you to hide away from social media, not knowing the right approach to take for the best. But I suggest the opposite. Social media can offer a place of solace and togetherness right now.
So, here’s ten positive actions I suggest businesses take on social media right now.
It frustrates me when you read posts saying how it’s “business as normal” for them. No matter what situation you have found yourself in as a result of this crisis, it is not business as normal for anyone!! We are having to change the way in which we live our day-to-day lives.
So, acknowledge that this is the case for your audience. Yes, social media can offer some form of escapism. Or add humour to the situation. But this can still be done while acknowledging what’s going on in the world.
Simply starting your post with things such as “let’s not mention the C word for 1 minute!” to lead in to your non-coronavirus related post. Or a “I think we could all do with a laugh at the minute” to lead in to your humorous post.
The important thing is you don’t act as if nothing in the world has changed.
No matter how this has impacted your business, if you want your business to still be operating when this is all over (and one day it definitely will be), it’s important to stay visible and don’t let your audience forget you exist.
You don’t have to post as often as you used to. I have definitely reduced my volume of content creation, mainly due to the time constraints of having my three young girls at home all day on my own. But also, I understand that many of us aren’t feeling all that creative right now.
If you’re stuck for ideas of what content to share, the first thing I would be asking is ‘how can HELP.’
If there’s one type of content that is definitely working right now, it’s content that provides help, support and guidance to others. We all have new needs that we didn’t have before. And new questions we are struggling to answer.
Do a brainstorming session of how you can help people right now through your content, with the knowledge you have.
There are needs and wants for:
- Keeping children entertained in the home
- Keeping fit at home
- Managing nutrition on limited resources
- Cooking restaurant standard food at home
- Home cocktail making masterclasses
- Understanding furloughing of employees
- Managing productivity when working from home
- Home hair dying when you have only had it done at the salon
- Self care
- Managing anxiety
- Selling in difficult times
- Managing finances
- Learning new skills
- Managing boredom
- Overcoming insomnia
You get the idea!!! We’re all faced with new needs, so how can your business help with those. For example, a restaurant could provide guidance on how to cook the perfect steak. A beauty salon on how to perform your own facial at home. A bar could teach people how to make cocktails. Just because you’ve been forced to close, doesn’t mean you have to stop posting.
I think it’s really important we stay connected with others while we are isolated in our own homes. Social media offers such a big opportunity for this. Simply taking a bit of time out each day to comment on the posts of those you follow will both help you feel a bit more connected to the outside world, but to also build relationships with those you engage with.
You can also look at different ways to engage, such as sending voice notes or video messages, to add a more personal touch. This will definitely give a boost to those you send them to.
And, commenting on other’s posts will also help increase the engagement on your own posts. Stay connected.
Selling is tricky at times like this isn’t it? I say times like this. When have we ever had a time like this?!!!!
But, businesses have to survive it, and still need to make sales. I think many businesses assume that their audience have no money or no inclination to buy right now. And an assumption is exactly what it is. There are still people earning every day. And they might be more inclined to buy right now, depending on what you sell.
I usually suggest an 80/20 split with your social media content, with 80% being non-sales posts and 20% being sales posts. I don’t see that as being any different right now. Your sales messages will probably need adapting though. You may need to point out that you are still operating and still need to make sales. You may want to adapt your message to suggest why this is something that they might need right now.
You may also want to consider running an offer. You don’t have to dramatically reduce you’re pricing. Again, it’s an assumption that people don’t have money right now. But, it could be a good idea to run a deadlined offer for something that could be really helpful to people right now.
For example, I’m currently running an offer to join Planet Social Media for only £1, to help businesses learn more about how to grow their business on social media (which I think is becoming more and more important to businesses, especially those who have had marketing budgets slashed and are having to rely on free or low cost methods).
Remember, there is a big difference between profiting (which keeps your business going) and profiteering, which is taking advantage of others in a time of need (such as those people who bought loads of hand sanitizer then sold it on ebay for ridiculous prices).
Have you noticed there seems to be an influx of people going live at the moment? I think partly it’s a need to connect with others beyond our four walls. I also think people are more in need of openly communicating.
If you’ve never gone live before, or have a fear of going live, now could be a good time to break through that fear. The majority of the audience for a live broadcast watch the recording after. So the first few times, you could decide not to share the recording of the live and limit your audience while you get confident in doing it.
You could also schedule lives that are relevant to your audience’s needs. Let them know you’ll be going live and the time/date and suggest they add it to their calendar, or add a countdown on Instagram stories for them to get reminded. You can then prep the main points you want to discuss. It’s a great opportunity for your audience to interact directly with you and ask questions.
Social media has always been about people. But again, I think this is more important than ever. Remind your audience who the people in your business are. They may not be able to see you face-to-face, but they won’t forget what you look like! It adds a much more personal touch to your social media. People want to hear from people right now, not stock images.
Show your face!!!!
When taking selfies, lighting is important. You want to stand near a natural light source. Cloudy days work best rather than direct sunlight. You can also use apps like Snapseed to improve your image and add features such as brightness and lens blur.
OFFER SOMETHING NEW
It may be that you’ve offered the same product/service for years and years but are unable to sell it right now. Let’s not use the word ‘PIVOT’ because everyone else is!!! But it could be that you add a new offering and share it on social media.
This could be as simple as a takeaway service if you’re a restaurant and never offered it before, delivering home hair dye kits if you’re a hairdressers, creating an at home pamper package, switching your in-person training delivery to online, creating a new online course, running online exercise classes, and so on.
I’m sure you’ve seen many businesses add a new offering to allow them to continue in the current situation. And you may be able to as well. Social media is a great place to share what you are now offering. AND, you can continue to offer it once this is all over.
I’m finding social media a place of inspiration lately. For good news stories. For businesses doing their part to support those on the front line. For quotes to lift you up. For humorous memes on this whole crazy situation.
Social media can definitely be somewhere to lighten the mood and remind you about the good going on in the world. It may just get your creative juices flowing when you see others creating inspiring content.
Many of you reading this will find more time on your hands. Which offers a great opportunity to learn new skills in your business that will put you in a solid position when all this blows over. Jot down everything you’d like to learn about for your business, and then seek out the social media accounts that will help you learn that information. Also look for books, podcasts and online courses that can help you achieve your learning goals.
You will probably want to relate this to your particular situation right now. For example, you might want to learn how to turn your business from offline in to online. Or, if you have been forced to temporarily close down, now is the time to be learning as many marketing skills as possible to help you grow quickly when you are able to reopen.
If you want to learn more about marketing your business on social media, I have added an 8 module course on this topic to Planet Social Media. And you can currently join for only £1!! You can find out more about the course, and join Planet Social Media to get access to it, here.
Wishing you all good health. Stay safe and stay home x