Navigating your social content during a crisis is something that almost all business owners and freelancers won’t have prepared for – especially not a pandemic.
In the current climate, it can be difficult to know how to communicate and sell in a way that doesn’t come across as opportunistic. Now that the dust has settled slightly and we’ve had some time to adjust, it’s probably a good time to review your social channels and look at how you can pivot your content during a crisis. Creating and planning content for several social channels can be challenging at the best of times, so if you’re worried about what you should be posting and sharing at the moment, here are some tips that I’ve found helpful over the last few weeks.
Don't feel guilty about promoting your services
Small businesses and freelancers are taking the biggest hit financially, and people are wanting to support us more than ever during this time. Don’t feel guilty about selling your services or products – especially if you think they could be useful in some way. Tailor your language to be more sensitive and communicate honestly with your audience about how Covid-19 is impacting your business.
Time sensitive content
This is something that we’re all living through together so it’s important to address it in some way every now and then. Whether it’s an honest update on how you’re coping or a more light-hearted, relatable post. Try to stay on top of any relevant government updates that your audience would be interested in i.e. funding options for the self-employed or nursery/school closures. Studies show that people are craving support from brands that help them feel more connected to each other, so if you time your content well, you’ll be able to really foster that sense of solidarity and usefulness.
As things can change so rapidly, it’s more efficient to plan your social content on a week by week basis.
Start by creating a list of relevant topics and content ideas that align with your brand. These should still be timely and sensitive but actively demonstrate your values and brand personality. As our co-working space has closed, our content is now geared in the direction of continuing to celebrate freelance women/founders, starting a Work From Home takeover series with our members, and talking more about our online membership for those who might need it.
"Instagram Live was used in so many creative ways as it's such an authentic way to communicate. Florists doing flower arranging workshops, Stationery brands doing handwriting practise on stories, yoga sessions and bake-alongs"
Engage with your audience and build community
Find new ways to connect with your audience, whether that’s starting a newsletter, a podcast or even sending postcards/letters to your clients.
In those first few weeks, Instagram Live was used in so many creative ways as it’s such an authentic way to communicate. Florists doing flower arranging workshops, Stationery brands doing handwriting practise on stories, yoga sessions and bake-alongs.
If you’re terrified at the thought of going Live, utilise Instagram stories and the interactive functions, or film an IGTV video on something you think your audience would like to see.
Do an Instagram tidy-up
Use this time to organise your highlights, update your bio and let people know if you’re still open for business, do a follower clearout and refresh your links.
Instagram can sometimes feel like a popularity competition so if you feel overwhelmed looking at what competitors and other businesses are doing, it may be an idea to use that mute function temporarily. Take a step back from it all so that you can think about how you want to pivot your business instead of what you think you should be doing.
You may come to a point where you feel like you’ve run out of content such as imagery orthings to talk about. Photographers are now doing headshots over FaceTime and you can post your items to product photographers or,if you’ve got some extra time, you can learn how to take your own content at home. As for content topic ideas, it’s best to stick to your three main content strands going forward (when we’re no longer talking about Covid-19) to help you stay on track and promote your message/product.
We don’t know what our economy will look like after Covid-19 but if we’ve learnt anything, it’s that our businesses need a strong online presence. When this is all over, we’ll remember the brands that responded well and consistently communicated with their audiences. Once you’ve built that level of trust with your community, you’ll be able to get back on your feet in no time. They’ll want to support whatever you do, even if your business model has to change – as long as it’s related in some way.
While your social channels might not be your first priority at a time like this, it’s important to remember that these platforms can offer key opportunities for business and communication with your clients and audience. It’s an opportunity to ensure that your social channels help you get back to business as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Helping sole traders
Asto can help you manage your business admin when you’re on the move. Send invoices, record your expenses and get paid sooner