8 Social Media Tips for Stressed Business Owners during the Corona Crisis.
There's a bunch of stuff happening on social media (and in the world) right now. From a social media point of view, some brands are putting out top quality content, some have gone silent, some are panic posting garbled info, some are discounting their way out the door, and some are adding fear to people’s lives.
Let me take a moment to say, I’m not a social media specialist. I didn’t study it. I don’t have a deep understanding of media buying, lookalike audiences and other techy buzzwords that most people don’t know. But I’m a good story-teller, I “get” people, and I have a knack for knowing what’s good for social media, and what’s not.
Anywhoo… Here are a few things I have been thinking about that might help you figure out your next steps.
1. If you haven’t acknowledged what’s going on. Do it.
We’re all in this together. If you’re carrying on, pretending that things are fine, or you’ve gone totally silent, you’re going to push people away because it looks like you don’t care.
Even if you haven’t really figured out your “what’s next”. You can say something as simple as: We’re all living in a crazy world. And while we try and catch our breath and figure out our next steps, we just wanted to wish all of our followers well. Keep safe and look after yourselves!
2. But don’t go crazy.
That said, you can’t make every post a panic-post about negative sides of the situation, because all you’ll do is increase the stress levels and once again - push people away.
3. Make a change (and tell people about it.)
Business is not as usual. We are all adapting, changing the way we run our businesses, and how we look after our employees and clients’ safety. Write down what you’re doing. Then tell your followers. More on how to do this later. It will give them peace of mind that you are taking all the steps to keep them safe and (if possible) they may continue buying from you since they know you are cautious. If not, at least they will remember that you were a positive part of this experience and you’ll be top of mind when things return to “normal”.
4. Once you have made the list, make another one.
Cool, so you’ve made all the basic changes. Now it’s time to find some unique ones for your business. What are the little, smart, impactful things that you can do in your business that will make people go, oh that’s clever. How can you stand out?
At the moment in my area, coffee shops are still open. Motherland Coffee have a safe line that you have to stand behind to order.
The Press Bar & Grill Restaurant and their sister deli, Goldies, are offering a Call-to-Curb service. Order your takeaway and they’ll bring it our to your car with a bottle of sanitizer in hand, for a quick pshhh pshhh. You can either EFT in advance, use Zapper (an online scanning payment portal), or if you must pay by card machine: spray, pay, spray again. Simple.
5. Now that you’ve done 3 and 4, spread the word.
Now it’s time to tell everyone. Write it like a letter. Tell people what you’re doing, and why. The why is important. It can’t be because “the government said I have to”, show that you care. So speak from the heart, but keep it simple. Use good ol’ fashioned bullet points to list exactly what changes you’ve made. Put together a newsletter, say it on social. Spread the word far and wide. But don’t add to the panic. Show people that you're on top of things, that you'll remain on top of things, that you have a plan, and that, and I can’t repeat this enough, you care.
And remember, send those updates. Every time you do something new, start the process again and tell people.
6. Give, give, and give some more.
There are two types of business out there right now. Some are profiting big time (hello sanitizer companies). Some aren’t making a hell of a lot of money right now (hello everyone else). I’m included in the second bunch too, as all but one of my clients have put all their budgets for external strategy, branding and advertising consulting on hold.
So now what? If you are profiting at this time, how can you help those who aren't? (This is a topic for another day.) If you aren't profiting at this time, how can you be noticed and remain top-of-mind when people start buying again?
Look at your business. If there’s even just a part of it that you can offer for free, that will help people or make them happy, do it. Doing something like this will make you a light in the darkness. It will make your current fans adore you even more, and will help new fans find you. You might not sell to these people today, but you will in the future.
Remember, this doesn’t mean that you must just give away your entire business and make no money at all. Like me, writing this article. I am not giving away my full business offering, but it's something that I can do to help. So, offer one part of your business. When people come to use the freebie, they’re going to see what else you can provide, too.
- Yuppiechef, an online home- and kitchen-ware store, also sell online cooking classes that they’re giving for free for a month.
- Wild Thing Yoga have closed their doors. They recently launched an online paid-for platform, but they’re also offering one free yoga class every day on Instagram.
- Artist, Gal Shir, continues to sell as normal, but has made his colouring-in books free for download.
- Cheep App, a business I co-own, is all about restaurant specials. It's kinda like Tinder for your stomach. We're letting restaurants list for free right now and are pausing paid subscriptions.
7. Get Creative.
This is kinda connected to point 6. It’s just a way of looking at it from a content point of view. I had a great chat with friend and all-round brilliant creative, Miriam Leichtling. She gave me this great example. Her cousin sells lego. They didn’t know what to post on social media. She suggested they build a small piece of lego every day with their kids, film it like a tutorial, and share it. A) it gives people a welcome activity for their kids, B) It might sell product now or later, C) there’s nothing to lose, if no one buys anything, all they had to do was play lego with their kids, D) it’s kept them busy.
What can you do in your business that won’t make you lose money, but will help you create positive, useful and inspiring content, keep you top of mind, and keep your brain a little bit busy?
8. Please, don’t spread the panic.
Before you press that big SEND or POST button. Ask yourself, “is this going to make people panic?”, “Is this going to make life less or more stressful?”, “would I want to receive this message?”, “are those the BEST words I can use to create a sense of calm?”.
If in doubt, rethink, rewrite, and then make magic.
Ok, that’s all for now.
Keep safe, stay well.