Times are changing rapidly, and this is a first for many of us. Fear and anxiety of what’s next and what’s to come continue to linger. All of our worlds have been rocked in a frightening way. Businesses have closed and we have no real idea when they’ll reopen. We’re avoiding each other and have retreated to our homes.
It’s like something out of a movie.
Like many businesses around the world, your daily operations may have had to change temporarily but drastically. And although working on your social media may not be your top priority at this time, especially since there are many essential things to be considered, this doesn’t mean you have to be completely absent from the digital landscape.
On the contrary, in this time of social distancing and quarantine, people will spend hours on social media platforms. And that’s also where you should be. However, keep in mind that you have to be sensitive. Adjust your approach to digital marketing in a way that’s appropriate to the current health situation. It’s not about hard-selling and making a buck. It never should have been, and it certainly isn’t right now.
Whether your company has hit pause, has severely cut back on manpower, or has implemented the work-from-home setting, you can still keep your social media going during this very rough stage. Here are six simple and actionable steps to do so.
How to Maintain Your Social Media Presence Right Now
1. Rely on Old Blog Posts to Share With Your Audience
Instead of worrying about creating all new content, especially if the person who normally manages this isn’t currently working, you can share old blogs on your social pages. If your posts are evergreen — meaning your topics are still relevant and valuable — you can repurpose these and turn them into multiple content pieces. With this, you can spend less time stressing about what to create and more time on what truly matters to your business.
While these challenging times are definitely not a marketing opportunity, this doesn’t mean you have to go completely dark on your social media. And even if you may be hitting pause on some of your campaigns, you can still be creative with your existing marketing model and use this to fit the current health situation.
Check out how Seth (@dudewithsign) did what he always does – stand with a sign – to share some best practices and raise awareness on what the public can do during this time.
Use what you have to continue to stay in touch with your audience. This is about keeping your pages alive and active, plain and simple.
2. Share Inspirational Messages
Now more than ever is the right time for you to show the personal side of your business. People really need it. There’s so much negativity on the news and social media that anything you can do to counter it will surely help someone.
Adjust the tone of your messaging and focus on how you can add value to today’s changing environment. Hopefulness and positivity are much needed nowadays, so be sure to communicate messages of optimism and inspiration in any way you can. Whether they’re tips on how to work from home or guidelines on how to help flatten the curve, your social media posts should be relevant and sensitive to the current situation.
Note: This does not need to be strictly about business.
See how Nike reminded everyone to stay inside:
Nike managed to spread a really important message while simultaneously staying true to their brand: uplifting and empowering.
Here’s another good example: The cough medicine Mucinex reminded us to spread facts only while offering a simple tip for staying healthy.
More importantly, just like many others around the world, your company has people (including yourself) who are trying to navigate their way through this issue. So, it can be helpful to make them the main characters of your social media posts. For example, you can share pictures of your staff members – whether they’re working from home, social distancing when briefly outdoors, doing passion projects, or discovering new hobbies. They help keep the lights on. They keep your business going. Now’s a good time to give them the spotlight (although you should always make time for this).
What are you doing to make it through these difficult times? Are you giving back to the community in some way? What message can you share during this period of uncertainty? How about your employees? How are they doing and how are you helping them? Even with social distancing, we can still find other ways to connect, network, and come together. It just takes a little extra creativity.
Side Note: It’s Okay to Get Personal
Remember that it doesn’t have to be 100% business all the time. Remind your customers that you’re still human. And now is the time to establish and strengthen relationships by getting real and sharing your vulnerable side. It’s a good opportunity to really connect with people and form/strengthen these relationships. Everyone’s feeling this crisis right now.
3. Focus on What You Can Do for the Community
Adjust your messaging and concentrate on what you can do or what you’re currently doing to help out the community. On your social media pages, take time to share helpful and relevant information to your community that goes beyond just marketing.
Do you know of any grocery store that has restocked some toilet paper, hand soap, and sanitizers? Is there a local diner that’s offering free meals to whoever is in need of one? Are there fundraising campaigns that your page visitors and customers may be able to donate to? Are there makeshift clinics or health centers being set up in your town? Post about it and spread the good word around.
Similarly, if you’re in the position to do so, consider partnering up with other organizations and come up with campaigns that will contribute positive change — may it be for the front-liners, the community members, or the local businesses.
Whether it’s providing free breakfast like Heinz and Magic Breakfast or offering free delivery like Uber Eats, every contribution, big and small, can and will go a long way during these challenging times.
4. Continue to Provide Excellent Customer Service
Just because times are different doesn’t mean you should abandon your social media channels. In fact, you should be ramping up your efforts, especially customer service, as your followers and clients will have a lot of queries. From changes of operation hours and take away services, to delivery options and possible support opportunities, make sure you’re able to answer every question posted by your customers.
It’s also best to inform your patrons of how this health situation is affecting your business operations or the industry as a whole. Through banners on your website, newsletters or email blasts, or social media posts, make sure to share relevant announcements with your customers. This will help ease their panic and update them of your possible service limitations.
Here’s how Mercedes-Benz reminded people that no one is alone in this call for social distancing:
Always remember to stay genuine with your intentions in doing these things. Use this time to remind your customers that you’re always there for them and that you truly value them – and not for the sales they bring in.
5. Stick With Simple Tools
With so many things going on, now is not the right time to overthink your social media posts. You might especially be in a tough position if your usual social media person isn’t currently working. Have you been left to manage your brand’s social media on your own? That’s why it’s important that you take advantage of simple tools that will help you get the job done quickly and effectively.
One such tool is Canva. Canva helps you easily design and publish materials, with its free and customizable templates, logos, fonts, and graphics. It allows you to export designs as GIFs or videos. Moreover, it offers convenient sharing, viewing, and editing, as well as built-in commenting and approval – perfect for the work-from-home setting.
Canva is free and super easy to use. Plus, it easily integrates with e-clincher so you can streamline your content creation and have more time for what really matters (to you and your business) during this trying time.
6. Schedule Out Posts in One Sitting to Save Time
This is another tip that will be particularly helpful for small- and medium-size business owners who don’t currently have their staff working for them. Rest assured you can still keep your social media alive and kicking.
Even if you have a bit more time on your hands because of staying at home and social distancing, it doesn’t mean you should spend it all on your social media efforts. Rather, you can use this in other ways to support your community and be with family during this crisis.
Thus, be sure to maximize your time for work and plot out your posts all at once. To effectively do this, you can use a social media management tool like e-clincher to plan ahead and schedule posts across all your social media accounts. With this, you can save hours, stay organized, and focus your time, efforts, and resources on other essential matters.
The Bottom Line
During this unprecedented and challenging time, you must recognize that it’s okay to hit pause on some non-urgent marketing campaigns. Instead, you should shift your focus to ways that will help serve and support others. Think of your family, friends, community, the front-liners, your staff, your current and potential customers, and other businesses. They’re also struggling right now.
Whether it’s providing paid leave to your employees, offering free or discounted services to your customers, establishing fundraising campaigns with other businesses, or simply sharing inspirational and positive messages online, there’s so much you can do to help others during this trying time.
And yes, social media is powerful. So, you should take advantage of its power and your voice. Rally together with others and acknowledge that there’s a lot more to do beyond promoting your business. Now is the right time, the perfect time, to contribute to society. Bring about positive changes to people’s daily lives. We’re in this together!