It’s a difficult and uncertain time we live in. Perhaps worst of all, there’s no way to know when this will end or what will happen after it does. However, we’re also given this opportunity to shift our focus on what truly matters – to connect with the community and to contribute in ways big and small. With the power of social media, now’s the best time to reach out and keep in contact with each other, not for business matters, but genuinely and personally.
Let’s find out how you can use each platform to connect with the community and foster a positive impact in any way you can.
How to Connect With the Community, One Platform at a Time
Repurpose Your Content
Don’t think too much about making new content, especially if the person who manages your social media isn’t available. Instead, repurpose your existing evergreen posts and turn them into content pieces that fit the current social situation. This will help you save time and resources, and focus on reaching out to your community.
Here’s how you can repurpose your content:
- Pull out the best sentences from your previous posts, combine these with appropriate images, and publish this on Facebook.
- Transform existing content into different media — such as an infographic, newsletter, podcast, presentation deck, or videos.
- Update blog posts to incorporate new information, stats, or sources.
Essentially, use what you have to keep your pages alive and to stay connected with your audience.
Utilize Community Help
Facebook rolled out its Community Help feature, where people can volunteer to pick up someone’s groceries, ask people to run an errand for them, or contribute to fundraisers within a 50-mile radius of their location. With the platform having over two billion users, this feature will make it a lot easier for people to request or offer help in their communities.
If you know of a business (or you yourself are one) who needs help – like medical clinics that need masks or groups looking for volunteers to distribute relief goods – do post this on Facebook’s Community Help hub. Similarly, you can offer free assistance such as meals to front liners in your community or virtual workout for those looking to exercise from home.
Remember, every contribution you make can go a long way during this tough time.
Share Positive Messages
With so much negativity and uncertainty going around, it’s helpful to provide messages of hope, inspiration, and optimism through your IG posts. Complement your high-quality photos with valuable captions that are sensitive and relevant to today’s unpredictable environment. Feature your employees and how they’re working from their homes or are handling social distancing. Offer supportive posts and advice targeted to help people who’re navigating through this challenging time.
Check out how psychotherapist Alyssa Mancao pivoted her content to inspire people to positively handle the situation.
Keep in mind that this is the time to form and strengthen genuine relationships with your audience, not by promoting your business but by being real and personal.
Leverage the Power of Stories and Live
During this tough time, take advantage of these powerful media to connect with the community. Use Stories to share best practices on how to be productive when working remotely or how to stay fit and healthy while indoors.
Do IG Live sessions with your team members and invite your audience to ask questions or share quarantine stories. Post IGTV videos that provide inspiration for viewers, reminding them to keep powering through.
All of these will help assure people that someone is there — with and for them.
Check Out Co-Watching
Staying indoors and isolated is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you’ve been at it for weeks now. Knowing this, Instagram has launched Co-Watching in an effort to keep people in contact while social distancing. This feature allows users in DM conversations to check out saved, liked, and suggested content together – all while video chatting.
To stay connected with your audience, consider saving a collection of your posts and discuss with your top fans via Co-Watching. You can also use this tool to set up video calls with your employees, incorporating fun and humor in an otherwise gloomy call.
Be sure to use this Co-Watching thoughtfully. It’s not a platform (or the time) to promote your business and offerings. Rather, it’s supposed to close the gap of regular social interactions that many are missing out on right now.
Start Uplifting Challenges
More and more people are participating in social media challenges, while they’re staying at home, self-isolating, and helping “flatten the curve.” From the #StayAtHomeChallenge where people showcase their imaginative ways to pass time indoors, to #SafeHands where participants demo the right way to wash hands, these are creative ways to stay connected and to spread awareness on strict measures to be followed.
Assess your brand’s offerings and come up with fun and engaging challenges while sharing tips and best practices. If you’re a food brand, start a #FoodForTheDay campaign where people can share their healthy homemade recipes. Or if you’re a cleaning service, orchestrate a #CleanYourHome challenge where people can share how they disinfect their homes.
Skew Your Tweets to What You Can Do
Do you know when your local grocery restocks their essentials? Are there restaurants that offer free meals at least once a day? Are their open spaces that turned into clinics or temporary shelters? Do you know of communities that need immediate help or campaigns that your audience can contribute to? Tweet about these, include relevant links, and help connect people who need help and can help.
Help reduce the impact of unverified social media noise by sharing factual tips to your followers. This is the time to focus on how you can help your community.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
With so many changes happening on the daily, your followers will have a lot of questions for you. From modified services to support or assistance opportunities, you should always be there ready to answer any queries from your customers.
You can also keep them updated with relevant real-time tweets of how your business is changing and coping with the current health situation. Keeping them in the loop will help ease their feeling of uncertainty and give them the confidence that you’re still thinking of them during this time.
Share Informational Videos
Take advantage of your brand’s following by sharing creative and informational videos that are catered to today’s needs.
Here are some content ideas you can consider:
- How to properly wash your hands
- How to clean your cellphones, keys, and other small personal belongings
- How to keep the interior of your house clean
- How to check and verify the ingredients of your cleaning products
- Proper hygiene for your pets that go outside
Make sure you do proper research before creating any video to ensure that your content is reliable and authoritative.
Bonus tip: For added community engagement, ask your viewers and followers to share their own tips, which you can use as the basis for your next videos. Also, if you intend to monetize your videos, consider donating the profits to relief efforts and health services in your community.
Maximize Their News Shelf
YouTube launched a new section on its homepage that’s dedicated to news, stories, and related information about the ongoing health issue, so everyone gets access to helpful and accurate content during this trying time. Using its massive reach and global popularity, YouTube wants relevant and useful content to be most visible and accessible on its platform, to help promote better awareness and prevent the spread of misinformation.
When you share videos on the platform, make sure your sources are cited in their news shelf – meaning they’re factual and trustworthy. As a brand, you’re responsible for sharing only truthful content, to help minimize the risk of spreading fear and anxiety to the greater public.
Post Hiring Needs
Unfortunately, many people have lost their jobs in the recent weeks. Likewise, hiring for the “essential” roles has become more challenging than ever. To help, LinkedIn is offering free job posts for selected organizations – healthcare, supermarkets, warehousing, and freight delivery services – who need to find skilled workers to fill critical roles.
If your business belongs to any of these industries, do post hiring positions that need to be filled immediately. If you know of companies that are eligible for this offering, recommend this opportunity to them. Doing so will allow you to help people who’re looking for a job, and assist employers searching for front-line workers.
Use and Share Their Learning Services
Seeing the dramatic rise in the curve of people seeking educational courses during the past three weeks of quarantine, LinkedIn is offering free learning courses to help people adapt to the new (temporary, maybe) normal. These include courses on staying productive, building relationships when you’re not face-to-face, using virtual meeting tools, having a healthy work-family balance, mindfulness practices, and stress management. They’re also offering curated learning paths for job seekers, educators, talent acquisition professionals, and sales professionals.
Make sure to use these free tools for yourself and employees, to ensure that you continue to learn and grow even amidst this challenging time.
Everyone is struggling and trying their best to adapt to this new reality. As such, the best way to connect with your community is to focus on how you can help, serve, and support others in need.
Using social media, there’s definitely a lot that you can do to connect with the community. Use Facebook to repurpose your content, share accurate information, and connect people who’re requesting and offering help. On Instagram, remember to share positive messages through your posts, engage with your audience through Live and Stories, and keep in touch with your employees with Co-Watching. Use Twitter to start uplifting viral challenges and to continue providing customer service. Utilize YouTube to share informational videos, and LinkedIn to access free job posts and learning courses.
Now more than ever is the time to contribute to society and connect with the community – not as businesses, but as genuine individuals who care for one another. Let’s do our part, in any way we can, to bring light and positivity to people’s lives. And together, we can fight and get through this tough time.