“What on earth can I say?” has never been more of an issue than in present days as we face the biggest challenge of modern times. Is it better to just remain silent, or should we carry on regardless with that stiff upper lip that us Brits are famed for?
There is that feeling of awkwardness present, in the same way as when someone close to us suffers a bereavement, of what can we say that will support, whilst not appearing insensitive? But, if your business relies upon social media, a total blackout of your social media presence could spell disaster.
So, how can you remain using social media, whilst being cognisant of these challenging times? Here are my top 5 tips on getting your social media content right.
1. Pause the scheduler
Many of us rely on scheduling tools to get our marketing messages out there. However, how many of us, when we prepare and schedule content a week or two in advance, can remember exactly what we have scheduled? Pause that scheduler now! The most innocent of articles and posts may appear in a different light during a crisis. Instead, just talk to your audience as one human to another. The advantage (if you can call it that) of the current challenges we face, is that we are all in it together, so we are all experiencing the same emotions of fear, anxiety, overwhelm etc.
There has never been a better time to show your human side and show that you understand the issues and trials of your target audience. For example, if your target audience are mothers of school age children, you can talk about trying to run a business whilst the schools are closed, perhaps in a humorous way. It’s all about connecting with your audience on that emotional level, whatever that emotion might be.
2. Don’t ignore the situation
Following on from the previous point, when challenges strike on a national or even global scale, many of us will have the feeling of, “I don’t want to bring my audience down” But remember that social media is never about you! It’s about the wants and needs of your target audience. What do they need to hear from you right now? It could be that’s the reassurance of “Business as usual”, it could be some humour to lighten their mood. Only you know your audience, but concentrate on social media content that is reassuring, inspirational or amusing. If you’re an Instagram user, there are some amazing inspirational quotes out there, so perhaps share those to your feed, but remember to always give credit with any curated content and tag the original source of that content.
3. Don’t be afraid to sell
Those of us that sell products or services online may feel it inappropriate to continue promoting our business products and services during times of hardship. However, this is not about “profiteering”, this is about not only providing the goods and services that people want and need, but about keeping businesses, together with all those who rely on that business, afloat. Consider for one moment, the people that rely on your business for their livelihood – that could be employees, freelancers, manufacturers, quite apart from your family. In keeping your business going, you’re actually having a positive effect upon the economy and people’s lives. My advice would be to be open about it. If you receive any negative comment online, then explain that you care, but that you also care about the many people who rely on you.
In addition, I would suggest balancing any promotion with a free offering. Give something of value to your audience away. Perhaps “100 ways you can…” or a free trial of your online course. However, any free content should always have a sales intention behind it. Don’t feel bad about this, it’s entirely up to your audience if they want to take advantage of the freebie and then walk away at the end of it, or if they want to make that purchase.
4. Create valuable social media content
With everyone currently forced into isolation, it may not be possible for your business to operate as it normally would. Now is the time to think outside of the box. How can you still run your business, but with “adapted” or different offerings? Think about how you can create a different and unique angle that will resonate with your audience. Many hospitality businesses, for example, are opting for delivery or “drive-through”. Fitness instructors are offering online classes. This is an opportunity to be so much more creative in your business! Could you create a membership group, giving your audience that feeling of an exclusive “club”, could you create craft kits with how-to videos? How could you flex your business to adapt to these challenging times?
5. Be supportive
It goes without saying that now more than ever is a time of collaboration. Consider how you can work with other businesses. Perhaps produce a round-up of relevant content and share it, tagging all the contributors. This is a great way of increasing reach as well as demonstrating goodwill.
Yes, times are challenging, but people are still spending money. It’s about reframing our thinking and delivering what our audience want in a slightly different way, perhaps. Above all, concentrate on the value you can bring to your audience. That could be with a free offering, but it could, equally, be the reassurance of “being there” still, of continuing to tell your story and demonstrating in some small way that life is carrying on and normal services will resume shortly.
In case you are stuck at home, with nothing to do, you’ve exhausted Netflix, you’ve finished the Chocolate Hobnobs and you’ve completed the search for the last remaining pack of loo roll, then don’t forget you could be using this time really well, by investing in the Everything Social Membership Group. You’ll find we are a merry little bunch, and putting our spare time to good use, learning about effective social media.
There are videos on Marketing, on creating graphics, on social media generally, an entire course on Instagram and the same for Facebook about to drop, so why not join us? It costs £15 a month and as well as the course modules, you’ll get access to our private Facebook group, where you can ask me about your business and get answers to those burning social media and marketing questions.
For more information or to sign up, just follow this link.