‘Unprecedented times’

It’s a phrase you’re likely to have heard at least once a day since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold earlier this year, and over the last six weeks we have seen a huge shift in how businesses handle their day to day operations, adopting a ‘digital-first’ approach where possible.

As someone who works in social media, it has been interesting to see how businesses have reacted – either by increasing their social activity, adapting their messaging and tone accordingly, or by going off the radar completely. I’ve been a long-time advocate of the power of social media, and as the nation now begins to cautiously think about releasing lockdown, it’s important that businesses that have found their stride with their social media activity keep going. It isn’t going to be ‘business as usual’ for a long time to come, and social media will continue to be a crucial part of the marketing mix.

I’ve pulled together some tips to help you get the best out of your social media once the lockdown has been lifted.

Keep Talking

Social media has always been a noisy arena so make sure you stand out. That doesn’t mean posting poor quality content multiple times a day, but talking about the things your audience wants to hear about. Has the way your business deals with customers fundamentally changed post-COVID? Tell them! Is it business as usual? Tell them! Don’t forget to share relevant content too, whether it’s industry news or content from a fellow business, engaging with 3rd party posts will help to avoid your feeds looking too much like a broadcast channel and can help spark conversation.

Be Organised

If you tell yourself you’ll sit down every day and think of something to post, it probably won’t happen. Try and create a mini ‘content calendar’ that plans out what you want to say. Of course there will be things that are time-sensitive and can’t be planned too far into the future, but if you want to regularly post about a product or service, dedicate a few hours each month and write it all down. There are templates you can download, or I prefer to use an Excel sheet. Depending on the size of your business and the amount of content you have, you might want to invest in a scheduling tool. Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social are popular ones, but there are plenty out there for different platforms.

Do the Housekeeping

Why not use this time to check the basics of your personal and professional profiles? Make sure all your information is up to date, check links work and make sure you’re connecting with the right people. It sounds obvious but this is something I’ve seen slip time and time again.

Go Live!

The pandemic has prompted some businesses to adopt the interactive features available on social platforms. In the first week of lockdown I had my pick of Facebook Live story-telling sessions and sing-a-longs (for my 18 month old), online fitness workouts (for me) and pub quizzes (for my husband).

This is arguably one of the most nerve-wracking parts of social, but as face-to-face contact in businesses may be some time off, it’s a brilliant way to make yourself known and often helps to build trust in your brand.

(On a side note, if you’re a social media enthusiast like me then check out the brilliant Social Circle, which has started to host its monthly meet-ups on Instagram Live and other platforms).

Over the coming months businesses will need to get to grips with the ‘new normal’ (there’s another phrase I bet you’re sick of hearing), and embracing social media for your business is going to be a very important part of that.

I’d love to hear from business owners who have harnessed social media during this time and hear how it has (or perhaps hasn’t) worked for them. Feel free to comment below or drop me a message. 😊

Stay safe everyone.