Recently I ran a member only event in our eWomenNetwork Australia chapter, it’s a conversation style event, with great discussion and really valuable information, with a focus on social media for business.
The theme for the event was a question, and I thought I would share it here.
What do you believe is the one thing a business should do on social media to not only survive but thrive during this pandemic?
THE BACK STORY
Prior to running the event, I wanted to reach out and ask both my general community and my business buddies my question.
The feedback blew me away, I had literally dozens and dozens of replies.
Results came from the community as a whole, business owners, friends, colleagues…lots of people who have been employees and not necessarily in the entrepreneurial space, of which I was so grateful for.
The reason why I was so excited with this is simple…all the answers came from people who are my clients, and ideal customers…nothing like hearing from the people who matter!
Questions like…’ how has the pandemic affected businesses?’ and ‘What do we think we should be doing to stand out on social media?’
James Short – Owner of The Calm Nest and GoalsTribe kicked off the conversation with a really good point. For years there have been so many businesses who when asked about using social media for business, say things like… “Oh yes, that’s something I’ve got to get around to, or ‘I’ve got to do it eventually.”
What James believes is that, since February/ March this year, as we moved into the pandemic things (insert the preverbial) started to hit the fan real quick in relation to, “What do I do?”.
But what we’ve found is that pre-COVID, it was all around aspirations, it was all around the bigger picture, it was all around goal-setting in relation to what was posted on social media.
It’s more about survival. It’s about how do we get through, not the next month, or next year, but today… tomorrow.
And what this has done to social media and business is ask an important question… How do we shift our content and messaging from that aspirational stuff to what is relevant now? At the same time as going through a lot of mindset stuff of overcoming fear, overcoming overwhelm, and how to be relevant in your audience’s viewpoint.
Because so much more content is being consumed while people are in lockdown…and people are still in lockdown in certain areas.
The question, of course, is how do you stay relevant, front of mind, and provide value to people, to your audience in these times?
The days of five-year plans, and your ‘best year yet’ are totally on the backburner.
An example of this is a website and app’ developer who told us…”We’re not talking, on our content, about building websites and apps. We’re talking about how to manage cash flow with clients. How to do this with clients, even through this pandemic?”
It’s plain and simple…how can you help your audience right now?
James went on to say it’s not that you want to be totally COVID-centric, which means just focusing on COVID, it all comes back to the ideal client.
SPEAK WITH YOUR PEOPLE
What are they going through?”
I’ve had two friends in the last two weeks with businesses, who have closed their doors. One was a well known business in London…they have literally shut their doors.
Then there are those who are deflated, stressed and holding on. Being in Far-North Queensland I have spoken to various business owners, some are doing ok, and others…well they tell me they are holding on with a thread…waiting to see what happens.
Sounds like the rest of the world to me.
What are your ideal customers thinking? What are they feeling?
If you are not sure…ask them.
TACTICS TO THINK AND ACT ON RIGHT NOW
Tactic #1 Obviously every single business owner wants business growth.
How does this play out during a pandemic?
My thoughts on this are to focus on what you’ve got.
Pre-COVID there were many a marketer and salesperson pushing lead generation and finding ways to get more people into your marketing funnel.
What I am saying is to focus on what you have…all those emails and connections you have made over the years, and let’s not forget focusing on building your community online.
People will come to you, when they know you, like and trust you, and if you’ve already got a community, it’s about how to build it whilst other avenues of growth are not active.
There are loads of places to build your own online community, Facebook and LinkedIn groups to name a few. If you don’t want to start your own, do some research and choose three that are in alignment with you…and not the one’s where all your competitors hang out.
For example, if my time is limited and I am working hard to grow my community whilst in lockdown, hanging in a social media marketing group may not be the best use of my time.
Why would we say grow a community?
Because your people will tell other people, and they tell other people, and then you’ve got this whole community that you can help, guide, and inspire through these times. They will say “Hey listen, I like what I’m hearing, can you help me in this area?
Tactic #2: Show Up and be consistent
Now back to the post I put up and the dozens and dozens of comments.
There were a number of people from the general and business community who said to show up and be consistent.
My question to James on this was simple…What does consistency mean?
The caveat here is this. If you are not showing up consistently, the algorithm will not be kind.
With that said, if you’re not posting much at all, take a little time to get up to daily.
I asked James what was his secret to consistency? How do you stay on top of your game?
James’ advice is simple, it comes down to planning, to mapping out, even just a couple weeks of content.
Pro Tip: A great tip to work out what to post about is to take a look at what conversations you’ve been having with your customers and clients, what are their pains, what are their gains, what are the jobs they want to get done?
Review this every week on a Friday… Who have you spoken to throughout the week? And what has been their frustrations? What have been their concerns? What do they want?”
There’s your content right there.
Tactic #3 Google Alerts
See what is being written for your industry, what is trending?
This is a free service and super easy to set up, to get a notification to any articles that are written.
BOOM receive a notification, and it’s an easy way to share what we call curated content, please make sure you say something of your own opinion, and why you are sharing it.
And it’s free, guys. Google Alerts. I’m just going to grab my phone guys.
Even if you’re only one week in advance…plan, plan, plan… it could be a motivational quote, it could be an article or blog, or a video.
It’s not so much about the type of content you post, it’s more important to be consistent, relevant, and providing value for your audience.
Tactic #4 Tips from the general public, after all, they ARE your customer.
Be visible and communicate effectively, remembering the diversity for the customer. Not everyone is tech savvy.
Support each other without expectation of reciprocation.
Don’t presume everyone out there knows about you, who you are and what you do.
Make better videos that separate you from the rest.