Echoing our previous blog, “Leadership in Crisis,” it is important as a business, event, nonprofit, etc. to be a leader in your community especially when things get chaotic.
Right now, we’re all practicing physical social distancing but that doesn’t mean we can’t be social with our community online. There is no one-size-fits-all solution on how to effectively communicate to our followers during these unprecedented times but we’ve compiled some suggestions on how one might avoid poorly-timed messages and instead create meaningful content that ultimately helps the people who have been supporting you pre-COVID-19. No one can predict what’s coming, we’re all trying to take it one day at a time and we’re all essentially figuring it out as we go, and that’s ok. We’re going to be adjusting to this new normal, together.
So, moving forward, when creating content for your social media platforms, be that calm leading voice, be honest and be authentic with your followers!
Take a deep breath and look at any content that you might’ve had previously planned. We understand this likely took a lot of time to create but in the best interest of your event, brand, product etc. you’re likely going to want to rethink this scheduled content and instead tailor any content to reflect the changing needs of consumers right now. We suggest keeping the overall health and safety of your communities top of mind and remember to be sensitive to that in your content.
We suggest you do this by:
- Examine your messaging to ensure that your calls-to-actions are appropriate. For example, if you have some messaging about gathering together, especially in large groups of people, it’s not the time to promote this so let’s save it for a different time.
- Check out what kind of photos and videos you’re posting, do they demonstrate people congregating? If yes, we suggest looking for another piece of material to attach to your messaging.
- Re-think releasing any non-essential press releases, product development and or launches.
What Type of Content Should You Post?
There’s a lot of uncertainty and chaos right now, but it is important for you and your business to stay focused and be consistent on your brand’s identity. It’s all about relevance. Your content should be authentic and relevant to your business! Here are three types of content that you can create to post on social media during these uncertain times:
Take this as an opportunity to illustrate the compassion and personality of your business. Find ways to surprise and delight your following by breaking up their timelines with inspiring content. Spread the joy! Use this time to strengthen those connections with your community. Here are some examples of inspirational content:
Inspiring quotes: We shared this quote by Winston Churchill earlier in the week, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” And we couldn’t agree more and definitely think it applies in terms of social media content!
Feelgood stories: Who doesn’t love a feelgood story? Take this time to find those stories within your organization, talk to the people on the frontlines, find ways you may be able to help your community, or promote ways that others are doing so. Be human, tell stories! Storytelling is ingrained in us, as Islanders. Help your following feel those warm and fuzzies inside!
Ways you are or others can support your community: This is a big one! Supporting local businesses is more important than ever right now. The small business community on the Island is taking a big hit and we need to use the power of social media to support them in whatever way we can. When crafting upcoming content think about how your organization supports local? Can you share a story about your experience with local vendors, sponsors, suppliers? Are there people in your network that you can do a shoutout too? There are a number of ways you can use your organization’s social media platform to support your peers. Take some time, think about it and be creative!
Again, the content should make sense with your organization, event, or product so that’s why it may take some time to think about the ways to craft content around supporting local businesses, people, events that align with your overall messaging.
In this example, Discover Charlottetown created a “Local Goods Guide” for Charlottetown and beyond for those looking to support local businesses while still getting our essential needs.
Ask yourself how your business can help the people in your online community in this current climate. Can your organization offer direct support? Can you adjust the way your consumers engage with your business? For example, no-contact curbside pick-up options, free delivery and online workshops. Ask yourself, can my organization offer something like this? Here are some examples of Resourceful Content Ideas:
Some Island restaurants are now offering curbside pick-ups options or free delivery. Some Island retailers and crafters are offering online shopping parties and free local delivery.
When the world is everchanging like it is at the current moment, keeping up with the most up to date information from your government, community and others in your networks are important. If your organization has important information to share, it’s great to use graphics like the Prince Edward Island Government page has been doing. They’ve been the ultimate resource for Islanders during this time.
Maybe your organization can provide free classes or workshops to your people. During these anxious times are you able to provide people with resources to help them get through? In this example, MODO Yoga Charlottetown is offering free exercise classes through Instagram Live. They also have resources on their website for other classes that can provide their community the option to still practice within their own homes as they’re not able to put classes on in their facility at this time.
Is there an authentic way for you to be helpful to your community? If so, what knowledge can you and your business share? Here are some examples of Educational Content ideas:
Be forward-thinking, you know your community, provide important information to your people that make sense and keep them educated and in the “know”.
For example, the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce is a major voice of business on economic issues and they’re providing updates educational content are great content not only for their members but, the Island business community.
How-Tos on effectively working from home: Balance Consulting, an Island startup, has pivoted some of their business offerings in this time. Are you able to pivot your content? This allows you to create more content for your online following to learn more about what you offer. The help and support you offer to your people now in their time of need will be remembered and benefit you in the long run. As mentioned above, use the power of social media to strengthen relationships with your community.
Tips and tricks content:A lot of people are trying to navigate this new norm right now, so if your organization can offer some Tips or Tricks content to help people adjust to the new normal, this could be information for a blog post, a social media campaign, maybe a weekly video, the delivery is up to you!
In this example, Inc. Magazine shared a timely article on ways to stay productive during COVID-19. While this is great information, your organization might be able to offer something different and or more tailored to your organization’s overall messaging but still providing that valuable information to your community.
As we mentioned at the beginning, there is no one-size-fits-all solution on how to effectively communicate to our followers during these unprecedented times.
But, what we do know is that how you choose to adjust your social media plan right now can have the ability to positively impact how your organization will show up in six to eight weeks time. This is the time to refine your social media communication plan. We’re just covering the tip of the iceberg here and hope to cover more topics like this as things evolve.
And speaking of evolving now is your time, if you choose so, of course! Have you always wanted to start a blog? Do a Facebook Live or create a video for IGTV? We’re a prime example of this. VMG has always wanted to produce more of our own content but we simply didn’t have the time. But, we’re taking the opportunity to flex some different muscles and dive deeper into things that have always been on the “wish list”. We encourage you, our family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, acquaintances in our Island community to do the same if you can!
Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read our blog and we want you to know we’re thinking of you at this time and that we will get through this together with the hopes of coming out as a stronger community in the end.
Shelby & Leah
Versatile Management Group’s, Social Media and Marketing duo
Shelby is a visual thinker with a strategic mindset. She thrives in a fast-paced environment and no matter the task, completes it with a smile.
A social media enthusiast and savvy strategist, Leah works hard to ensure VMG’s clients are leaders in the emerging Influencer marketplace.