In this blog we’re going to look at:
- What should you be doing on social media during this time and what should you be posting?
- Why it is important to stay visible
- What you should be posting right now
- How to create a plan for social media content
- How to generate ideas
- Some top tips
- How to use hashtags
You should then be armed with all the information you need to create a plan, generate creative ideas and feel more confident in knowing what to post and when to ensure you effectively communicate through your content.
You can also watch my Facebook Live video about this subject here too.
So, what should you be doing on social media during this time and what should you be posting?
There is a school of thought that during this time you should stay away from social media and not be using it as a platform to sell anything. It is insensitive and could be seen as profiteering. Well, this is wrong. It is not about being insensitive…it is about busting a gut to keep your business going. It is really important to shout about your business, communicate through your content and tell people about what is going on for you right now.
You need to keep talking to your audience and giving them updates, think if new and innovative ways to run your business to keep hustling and bringing in a few quid. I’m not saying every post should be a sales post (as that would be wrong) but it about sharing information that resonates with your customer and gives them an insight into your business. If you disappear, then your business could too.
If you get any negative comments, don’t worry – they people simply don’t understand. They probably don’t run a business themselves and understand what that means for small business owners. They may still be getting a wage, or working, or be furloughed. Just try to avoid any negativity from small-minded people.
There are things you can doing to be entrepreneurial during this time as well, to push yourselves out there when your competitors are not.
I’ve seen some businesses go very quiet during this time, others have been thinking about how they can provide a service to their customers and have changed the way they work, for example –
- restaurants offering food delivery – even delivering cocktails
- fitness classes going online – even yoga and meditation
- retail shops, selling products online – if not through your own website, via amazon/ebay/etsy
- Hairdressers giving tutorials
- Businesses using their 3D printers to make face masks
- Beauty companies making hand sanitiser for NHS workers
Obviously, I don’t have an answer for every industry to help them communicate through your content, and there will just be some people who can’t run their business from home, but it really is a time to be thinking of how you are going to maximise your comeback.
What to post:
- Turn off the scheduler, or be really mindful of the news and what posts you may have going out.
- Not too salesy – mix up your content and don’t just be posting sales posts all the time
- People buy people – be personal
- Think about what your customers want to know right now – give them some light relief
- What can people relate to – think about what everyone is going through and give them some light relief
- Drop in the odd sales post – at the end of the day you do have a business to run
- Think about what you are saying/photos you are using – are they insensitive
General content creation
People often get stuck when trying to think of what to post on social media. Why? Generally, because they have no plan. So, it is a great time to write a social media content plan.
You need to think about:
- Target customer – who are they, what do they want to know, what are they interested in? We don’t tell them what we want to share…we tell them what they want to hear/know/do. Also, think about what social media platforms they can be found on? If you are on Twitter, but they are on facebook you need to think about what social media platform you’re using.
For example – I had started using LinkedIn more as I work B2B and this is where my target customer is, but at the moment I’m using Facebook more as I think that’s where small business owners who need help are hanging out – hello!
- Key messages – what do you want to tell people. What makes you different from your competitors, what is special about your business? Write down all the things that make you unique (not good customers service…anyone can say that…what makes you really different and stand out?)
- Aims and objectives – what is the point of your business being on social media…what do you want to achieve from it? Do you want to grow your following, get more engagements, drive traffic to your website, get sales. Be really specific…you have to have an aim otherwise what is the point of being on there? Once you are specific you can really focus on what you are doing.
- Do what you enjoy – you don’t have to be on every social media platform, think about which one you enjoy using most and focus on that one J (but make sure your audience is there as well!)
How to generate ideas
Quite often people struggle when thinking about what they can post and stumble when trying to communicate through their content. There is no point just sitting thinking what can I post today, as it’ll take you much much longer and you’ll be brain dead. You need to plan…and here is a little guide as to how you can generate ideas for content…
- Start putting into a plan (could be a diary, excel spreadsheet etc) all the dates that are significant to you in your business – events you are attending, conferences, related events for your industry.
- Now think about the worldwide/UK events- Christmas, mother’s day, summer holidays, St George’s day
- Then research and add in any of those fun days or anniversaries – national gardening week, mental health awareness week, take your dog to work day, the big lunch – there is literally a day for everything. Try to keep them related to your business or you though.
- Now have a think about any days that are popular on your chosen social media platform #motivationmonday #toptiptuesday #wisdomwednesday #throwbackthursday #TGIF #followfriday
Once you add all these into the day to day mix, you have the basis of your content plan.
Remember that “people buy people”. People are nosey. People like to know the face behind the business, so if you can get in front of the camera, show people who you are and tell them your story, people will build trust in you and become your fans – often referring you on or sharing you work.
The other important thing is to find your tone of voice. For me it’s all about being Cumbrian, a Mum and a female business owner – these kinds of things make me relatable to my target audience and increases my engagement.
What is your online personality? Is it personal and approachable, formal and education, jack the lad with a bit of swearing thrown in?
I’d also start snooping on your competitor’s pages/posts or other people in your industry. I talk to loads of marketing people and comment on their posts, we share ideas and I can find lots of inspiration from them too.
See what works for them and see if you can adapt it for yourself – this is a really good place to start if you get stuck!
Use Instagram/Pinterest for inspiration too and Canva to make simple graphics for your social media too.
Another fab tool I use is called Buffer, which allows you to schedule posts in advance – this is great if you’re using more than one platform. If you just use Facebook you can schedule direct in there. The important thing with scheduling is to customize for each platform.
Phew that was a quick whistle-stop guide to give you a few ideas of what to post on your social media.
I do just want to say that it really does take hard work to grow your following on social media platforms – you literally have to spend hours working at it, experimenting and testing things out.
However, for small accounts, you can see real benefits from using social media if you want to target local customers.
I help many clients with social media management, but the accounts that do best are those that are 2 way – I share the strategic posts and they post the spontaneous/personal stuff – because no matter how much you want to forget about it…it does always need input from the business owner too.
You can also watch my Facebook Live Video about this subject too!