Boris Johnson is well-known for his fancy way with words when it comes to giving speeches, but he spoke from experience when he described Covid-19 as an “invisible mugger”. True dat. The crisis sparked by the global pandemic has rippled through the fabric of all our lives, and made us think long and hard about just how resilient we are.
Business owners have been particularly hard-hit by the lockdown but the silver lining of social media has offered a way for them to navigate these tricky waters and even emerge stronger and smarter on the other side. on the other side. Recently, our Emma was a guest speaker on the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce‘s webinar series, Backing Brentwood Business. She spoke to Chairman Colin Barber about the Do’s and Don’ts of social media in a crisis.
Do make your social media a force for good
The general mood of the nation is we are feeling much more connected to our loved ones and there’s no better way to do that than via social media. For business, that means remembering to keep things human. We all know people who have been touched by the crisis, so it’s really important to keep your message caring and empathetic. Be a force for good.
Do find a like-minded group
Facebook groups are a fantastic place for businesses to communicate and share what they can offer at the moment, even if their physical stores are closed. Find one that’s properly adminned and not a free-for-all – you’re looking to add value, not be surrounded by “shouty” people. The sales will come.
Do rip up the rule book
Before the crisis, there were optimum times to send out posts: during the daily commute or after the dum, dum, dum, dums on EastEnders. But lockdown means your audience is at home and potentially consuming social media 24/7. Check out your chosen platform’s analytics over the last seven-day period and then use their cool tools to show ads when your (captive) audience is online.
Do be flexible
Every journey starts with a single step, but if that step is a great big shove prompted by a health crisis, it can sometimes be hard to see the upside. But it IS possible to pivot from a face-to-face to an online business using today’s wealth of user-friendly technology, and with our wide range of workshops, we can help get you started.
Do step out of your comfort zone
Hunkering down and playing safe might sound like a plan during a crisis, but it’s also an opportunity in disguise to try something completely new. Many business owners shudder at the thought of creating social media video posts but when faced with a captive audience that has WiFi and a host of free resources to play with, what better time to give it a whirl?
Take baby steps at first with an explainer video, a text-based animation explaining your business and what it does. Then as your confidence grows, step it up to a 30-second Facebook live clip, before moving on to a tutorial on YouTube.
Don’t spread yourself too thin
Remember when there were just four TV channels to choose from, then satellite telly came long and we all went wild? Social media’s gone pretty much the same way. Where once there was Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn there are not hundreds of platforms, all potentially offering ways to market your business. But be selective.
Find a social media platform that works for you and will get you in front of your ideal clients. It’s much better to do one really well and consistently than to try to be everywhere at once.
Don’t go against the algorithm
So, you’ve chosen your perfect platform but how do you make it work for you, rather than against? Busy business owners looking to use their time really effectively need to work in harmony with algorithms, the software behind social media.
Find a really great content idea, then tweak it to suit each platform, rather than auto-posting the same content everywhere. It’s all about identifying your ideal client and then using data to find out how who in your target audience consumes media on a particular platform.
Don’t avoid getting personal
Not every business owner likes using social media to tell the world what they had for breakfast, but it’s also okay to remind your customers and potential customers you’re a human.
We can’t please everyone on social media but if we stick to our brand values, our ethics, our tone of voice, the people who are in your tribe, the people who are in your ideal client sector, they will recognise it and think: “I want to work with that person, they speak my language”. Authenticity is key.
Don’t be camera shy
People want to feel that your business is still open, whether you’re online or have a physical store. When you put a face on social media boy, does it work. People like to see humans – if you’re nervous about putting yourself on social media, again, take baby steps.
Post a photo of you delivering to clients so they can see you’re still open. When we come out of this – and we WILL come out of this – you’ll have stayed front of mind to your customers and prospective customers.
If you want to know more about how to support your customers and receive tailored advice for your business book in a Discovery Call with us, so we can support you.