With much of the world on lockdown for the foreseeable, social media has become more important to businesses as both a way of supporting their communities and helping to keep them afloat financially during these tumultuous times.
With this in mind, I wanted to offer five quick tips for ways that smaller and medium-sized businesses can use social media effectively over the next few months.
Don’t post if you don’t have anything to say.
It’s tempting during this time to either keep to your regular social marketing content or to post more than usual given that many of us find ourselves with more free time on our hands.
People are scared and adapting to an unprecedented way of living, now is not the time to tell them about your new product launch (unless it’s actually useful for right now) and definitely not the time for any April Fools content!
I understand that everyone is trying to make a living, and I’m not saying halt all sales-based posts completely. I’m saying make sure that they are necessary and …
If you do have something to say, make sure it’s accurate and appropriate for now.
In these changing times, we need to adapt our tone of voice.
This doesn’t mean every post must be sombre and joy-free (quite the opposite) but it does mean think carefully about how your posts will be received.
When you’re creating posts always try and think about how they can be helpful to the people reading them, even if you are directing them to a sales link.
I don’t recommend sharing news about the pandemic via business accounts at all, but if you are going to do this, please make sure that any third party content you share is accurate.
There is a lot of misinformation flying around to help combat this you should check any information before sharing. Infotagian is a new site that has been set up to fact check any news/claims about Covid-19.
Use this time to get to know your audience.
Finding the time to write a proper social strategy without a dedicated team is hard to do, but if you find yourself with some downtime now is a great time to take the first steps towards this by running a social media audit and starting some audience analysis. If you have the time/budget, I recommend doing some social listening to understand customer issues and pain points during the pandemic.
There are many free tools available to do this, depending on which platforms you are using.
By gaining a better understanding of your audience you’ll be able to identify common interests, which in turn will allow you to…
Create content that is useful/Support your social media community.
Social media is not just for marketing; it’s a really useful community-building tool – and community building is key to a good social media strategy.
Think about what you’ve learned about your audience.
- Are they concentrated in one physical location? You could share content about how to get involved in local initiatives.
- Are they interested in a particular product? If you are a maker of things, you could ask your followers to leave comments letting others know of their other favourite maker accounts to support.
- Do many of them share a similar profession or field of work? Ask them to share challenges they are having in the current climate and if other followers can offer advice.
Share positive things!
The world is a scary place right now, there is a lot of news and not much of it seems good. People are being inundated.
If you’re doing something to help, or you know of someone else who is, let other people know!
Stories of positive action and hope are even more important during this period of isolation. (This works better if the news you’re sharing is local or specific to your audience, I’m not suggesting you turn your account into a ‘good news memes’ only feed).
As things change and a path forward becomes clearer I suspect we will all be adapting our social media strategies to make the best of the new normal we find ourselves living in.
I am currently writing a complete guide to Social Media for SMEs in the Age of Coronavirus. It will include:
- more detailed information on running audits,
- creating simple social strategies
- using content pillars
- tone of voice
- using analytics to guide you
- community management tips and tricks to ensure your posts are seen by the right people.
Please sign up below and I will email you when it is available (hopefully in the next two weeks)
Until then, stay safe, stay home, and stay well.