Never before have we experienced such a life-changing situation as the Covid-19 pandemic. All nations, generations, industries and business size have had to make quick decisions to minimise the impact of their business and staff, while also looking to stay on course as much as they can to grow their business.
Of the many tools available to us, those that have seen the most seismic change in usage stats are video conferencing apps, such as Zoom and Webex, and social media usage too.
So I have 3 words of advice for any business who does (and who doesn’t) use social media to build a community around their product or service: Be more visible!
Starting with ‘Why’
· In March 2020, Virgin Media reported that the UK’s internet usage during the day had roughly doubled during the coronavirus lockdown.
· In April 2020, We Are Social concluded that 50% of internet users between the ages of 16–64 are spending longer on social media since the lockdown started.
· According to Ofcom’s annual news consumption report in 2019, half of the adults in the UK now use social media to keep up with the latest news.
If more people are spending an increased amount of time on social media, including more of your audience, for inspiration, information, entertainment, and more, you can either be there to help them, support them, guide them through this global fog, empower them, chat with them, inform them, make them laugh, make them feel inspired, or you can leave it to your competitors to do it. It really is a simple as that.
Turning to ‘How’
· Use the News
I don’t mean sharing or retweeting the headlines and news stories from the BBC, 10 Downing Street, and other sources. I mean taking the news, getting rid of anything that might not be as relevant to your audience, and be the go-to social media account that provides the news that is more specifically relevant to them.
· Ask More Questions
If it’s relevant to your audience, ask them how furloughing is affecting their business? How has your audience been forced to change their business since the lockdown started? What good news stories have they experienced since the lockdown started? Take what is in the news today and ask an open question about it in a way that is more relevant to your audience. Although, as engaging as these questions may be, they’re also a bit…samey. Try to stand out, add personality. Be more visible.
· Engagement = Conversations + Shares
Likes are okay. But that’s it…okay. They’re like virtual high-fives. And no one falls in love over a high-five. People fall in love over conversations, so look to drive more of them. Also encourage others to share your content because they are inspired and/or entertained by it, not because you’ve asked them to.
In times of overwhelming uncertainty and worry, social media can become a good friend, which is how you create true influence. Don’t be marketing, self-promotion, or advertising. Be a friend to your audience. And with more of your audience spending more time on social media, be more visible too.
How are you staying visible to your audience? and what are the best examples of engagement you’ve come across from those you follow?