The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. New terms like “social distancing” have become part of common conversation and practice, as well as “quarantine” and “flatten the curve.” Work arrangements have changed as many employees were introduced to the concept of working from home (and another new term – “telecommuting”). Even the nature of social media has changed.
People want different things from social media now, and even use social media at different times than before the pandemic disrupted work and family schedules. If your solopreneur business is to stay connected with your audience and gather new followers, you will have to pay attention to post-COVID-19 changes and adapt your social media strategy.
Here are some suggestions:
The public is done (and I mean DONE!) reading about the latest unhelpful statistics and death tolls from the coronavirus. They are also way past surface messages that do not address current trends and needs. Moreover, they want to be heard. Engagement is way up on social media due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home measures, school, and business closings. And engagement means two-way conversation, not just mindless scrolling and browsing.
Your beginning move in adapting your social media strategy is to spend a good deal of time just listening to the voices of your audience. Don’t just read the reactions and comments on your posts; click on follower profiles and pay attention to what users are sharing on their social media. Discover what is important to them in these new and trying days.
Dial Up Helping, Dial Back Selling
You may use social media as a major selling channel, but right now is not the time for heavy sales tactics and messages. Many people are cash-strapped as a result of being out of work. Many more are learning to focus on the essentials. While you shouldn’t stop offering products or services, how you offer them is key. Your focus should be more on how you can offer help than sell a product or service.
Provide as much value as you can for free. Lengthen your sales funnel and invest more in helping as many people as possible with your knowledge and experience. A percentage of users will eventually become customers when the time is right and spendable income increases. Help your social media followers through this difficult time and they will likely reward you later.
Repurpose Your Best-Performing Content to Increase Relevancy
You already have content that brings major wins in your arsenal. You know what those pieces are and why they strike such a chord with users. How can you repurpose this content to increase its relevancy during this time?
How can you make it:
- Easier to locate
- Easier on the eye
- Easier to consume
- Easier to use
- Easier to remember
- Easier to share
- Easier to understand
- Easier to apply to current situations
It may be a simple repackaging effort is all you need. Maybe just add some new, relevant ways to apply the knowledge in light of current circumstances and new normal. Maybe republishing it in a different medium (podcast or video) can open doors to new users.
Research and Reschedule Publishing Times
Several of the big names in social media and digital marketing routinely publish “definitive” works on when to publish what on which social media platforms. Plus, you’ve likely experimented with the best times to publish your particular content on your chosen platforms. Guess what? All that time and effort may likely be out the window.
Although social media usage is way up, life and work routines are altered in massive ways. This affects how and when users are accessing and participating on social media. What works now, and when it works, is like a tangled ball of yarn. Some of the aforementioned giants are republishing new studies on this (here’s a good one from SproutSocial), and you would do well to do some experimentation on your own based on their findings.
Primarily, during the listening phase we mentioned earlier, you should pay attention to when your followers are posting and commenting on different platforms, and to what type of media they are the most responsive. Those clues can be invaluable when crafting your own new posting schedules.
Make Sure Your Content Fits the Current Context
You likely cannot go back and rewrite all your content to fit the current content and make new applications, but as we suggested above, doing this with your sugar stick content is always time well invested. Some of that revamping may mean changing the way some things are written to fit into new societal norms.
This includes your images and videos. An article about how your service can benefit users during the pandemic, paired with images that do not reflect social distancing, is an obvious and immediate disconnect. This can send messages that are not completely appropriate
Social distancing has changed our perceptions (and reality) about a great many things. It’s easy to rely upon your repository of brand imagery for social media, but in doing so you may unwittingly be sending a message that’s not wholly appropriate. These small things can mean much in showing that you identify with your audience.
Focus on People Over Brands
This thought was already strong among social media users before the pandemic, but all the more now that people are affected by it individually. People care more about people than they do about brands, companies, and big business. Now is the time to showcase the human side of your business; if you are a solopreneur, this should already be a major part of your social media strategy. Allow users to get to know YOU.
Share stories about people as much as possible right now in your social media posts. Share what is relevant, important, tasteful, and appropriate. Be real without being completely transparent. In this day and age, sharing too much can allow the wrong audience to locate you.
Posting on social media with a purpose is key to maintaining old connections and gaining new ones. Humanity, relevancy, transparency, exceptional value, and empathy in your posts will take you far post-COVID-19 and beyond.
Need help with your social media strategy? Schedule a strategy session or get a free marketing audit from Solopreneur Solutions to take your small business to the next level.