*This article was originally written for the Bergen County Professional Women's Network.
by Liza Fonti, Highlight Content, LLC
Creating content for social media posts and blogs is stressful for many small business owners on a normal day – throw a pandemic into the mix and we’ve hit a whole new level of “touchy”.
Should I post? Shouldn’t I post? Is it insensitive for me to be pushing my business now when so many are hurting personally, professionally, financially and health wise?
Not surprisingly, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. have reported significant usage increases during COVID-19. Your followers are online A LOT while they’re on lockdown. Should you post? Yes, you should. Staying connected is more important now than ever. However, during these times, you should be focusing your energy on thoughtful, meaningful content.
1. Offer your followers valuable information.During these unprecedented times, many are looking to keep busy, while learning and growing as individuals and professionals. Think about what you have to offer your community and share your gifts, whether or not it brings you immediate sales. Offering this information will help you build rapport with your followers; trust that they’ll remember you when things turn around. If you own a spa, feature a soothing DIY mask. If you own a bar, share your sangria recipe with your followers. (Don’t worry – knowing how you make a specialty on your menu won’t keep them from coming back to you once you reopen.) A local hairdresser that I love to keep up with on Instagram is keeping her followers entertained with fun, short tutorial videos and hair care tips while clients are unable to visit with her in person.
2. Be authentic.This is one of my favorite pieces of advice, even when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic. Don’t get me wrong - I appreciate a pretty, well laid out Instagram page more than most. However, it’s a good time to ditch the fancy filters (literally and figuratively), be honest and raw. Real is always appreciated. A great way to let your authenticity shine through is via video, whether it’s in your feed or in your stories. Let your followers get to know the real you behind your brand.
3. Engage. Engage. Engage.From my years of experience creating content and managing various social media accounts, I’ve learned that people just want to be heard – period. Don’t talk AT your audience - talk with them. Ask questions, encourage them to comment, let them know that what they say matters. If you’re genuinely interested in your followers, they will engage with you.
As you’re fumbling to come up with creative ways to market your products and services during this time, I encourage you to keep it simple. Just as we are pulled to be selfless in our actions, this is the perfect opportunity for us to be generous with our content and the information we have to offer our communities.
We rise by lifting others.
Do you need help creating content or managing your social media accounts? Let’s talk! firstname.lastname@example.org
Liza Fonti offers tips for creating meaningful content during these sensitive times.