10 Positive Actions To Take On Social Media In The Current Coronavirus Crisis

There’s no denying that this is the weirdest of times for us all.  Whether you’re having to juggle working from home with your children there, stop the routines you’re so used to like going to the gym (and the pub!), having financial concerns or the threat of business closure, or even suffering from coronavirus.

It may want you to hide away from social media, not knowing the right approach to take for the best.  But I suggest the opposite.  Social media can offer a place of solace and togetherness right now.

So, here’s ten positive actions I suggest businesses take on social media right now.

 

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE IT

It frustrates me when you read posts saying how it’s “business as normal” for them.  No matter what situation you have found yourself in as a result of this crisis, it is not business as normal for anyone!!  We are having to change the way in which we live our day-to-day lives.

So, acknowledge that this is the case for your audience.  Yes, social media can offer some form of escapism.  Or add humour to the situation.  But this can still be done while acknowledging what’s going on in the world.

Simply starting your post with things such as “let’s not mention the C word for 1 minute!” to lead in to your non-coronavirus related post.  Or a “I think we could all do with a laugh at the minute” to lead in to your humorous post.

The important thing is you don’t act as if nothing in the world has changed.

 

  1. BE VISIBLE

No matter how this has impacted your business, if you want your business to still be operating when this is all over (and one day it definitely will be), it’s important to stay visible and don’t let your audience forget you exist.

You don’t have to post as often as you used to.  I have definitely reduced my volume of content creation, mainly due to the time constraints of having my three young girls at home all day on my own.  But also, I understand that many of us aren’t feeling all that creative right now.

If you’re stuck for ideas of what content to share, the first thing I would be asking is ‘how can HELP.’

 

  1. HELP

If there’s one type of content that is definitely working right now, it’s content that provides help, support and guidance to others.  We all have new needs that we didn’t have before.  And new questions we are struggling to answer.

Do a brainstorming session of how you can help people right now through your content, with the knowledge you have.

There are needs and wants for:

  • Keeping children entertained in the home
  • Keeping fit at home
  • Managing nutrition on limited resources
  • Cooking restaurant standard food at home
  • Home cocktail making masterclasses
  • Understanding furloughing of employees
  • Managing productivity when working from home
  • Home hair dying when you have only had it done at the salon
  • Self care
  • Managing anxiety
  • Selling in difficult times
  • Managing finances
  • Learning new skills
  • Managing boredom
  • Overcoming insomnia

You get the idea!!!  We’re all faced with new needs, so how can your business help with those.  For example, a restaurant could provide guidance on how to cook the perfect steak.  A beauty salon on how to perform your own facial at home.  A bar could teach people how to make cocktails.  Just because you’ve been forced to close, doesn’t mean you have to stop posting.

 

  1. ENGAGE

I think it’s really important we stay connected with others while we are isolated in our own homes.  Social media offers such a big opportunity for this.  Simply taking a bit of time out each day to comment on the posts of those you follow will both help you feel a bit more connected to the outside world, but to also build relationships with those you engage with.

You can also look at different ways to engage, such as sending voice notes or video messages, to add a more personal touch.  This will definitely give a boost to those you send them to.

And, commenting on other’s posts will also help increase the engagement on your own posts.  Stay connected.

 

  1. SELL

Selling is tricky at times like this isn’t it?  I say times like this.  When have we ever had a time like this?!!!!

But, businesses have to survive it, and still need to make sales.  I think many businesses assume that their audience have no money or no inclination to buy right now.  And an assumption is exactly what it is.  There are still people earning every day.  And they might be more inclined to buy right now, depending on what you sell.

I usually suggest an 80/20 split with your social media content, with 80% being non-sales posts and 20% being sales posts.  I don’t see that as being any different right now.  Your sales messages will probably need adapting though.  You may need to point out that you are still operating and still need to make sales.  You may want to adapt your message to suggest why this is something that they might need right now.

You may also want to consider running an offer.  You don’t have to dramatically reduce you’re pricing.  Again, it’s an assumption that people don’t have money right now.  But, it could be a good idea to run a deadlined offer for something that could be really helpful to people right now.

For example, I’m currently running an offer to join Planet Social Media for only £1, to help businesses learn more about how to grow their business on social media (which I think is becoming more and more important to businesses, especially those who have had marketing budgets slashed and are having to rely on free or low cost methods).

Remember, there is a big difference between profiting (which keeps your business going) and profiteering, which is taking advantage of others in a time of need (such as those people who bought loads of hand sanitizer then sold it on ebay for ridiculous prices).

 

  1. GO LIVE

Have you noticed there seems to be an influx of people going live at the moment?  I think partly it’s a need to connect with others beyond our four walls.  I also think people are more in need of openly communicating.

If you’ve never gone live before, or have a fear of going live, now could be a good time to break through that fear.  The majority of the audience for a live broadcast watch the recording after.  So the first few times, you could decide not to share the recording of the live and limit your audience while you get confident in doing it.

You could also schedule lives that are relevant to your audience’s needs.  Let them know you’ll be going live and the time/date and suggest they add it to their calendar, or add a countdown on Instagram stories for them to get reminded.  You can then prep the main points you want to discuss.  It’s a great opportunity for your audience to interact directly with you and ask questions.

 

  1. SHARE SELFIES

Social media has always been about people.  But again, I think this is more important than ever.  Remind your audience who the people in your business are.  They may not be able to see you face-to-face, but they won’t forget what you look like!  It adds a much more personal touch to your social media.  People want to hear from people right now, not stock images.

Show your face!!!!

When taking selfies, lighting is important.  You want to stand near a natural light source.  Cloudy days work best rather than direct sunlight.  You can also use apps like Snapseed to improve your image and add features such as brightness and lens blur.

 

  1. OFFER SOMETHING NEW

It may be that you’ve offered the same product/service for years and years but are unable to sell it right now.  Let’s not use the word ‘PIVOT’ because everyone else is!!!  But it could be that you add a new offering and share it on social media.

This could be as simple as a takeaway service if you’re a restaurant and never offered it before, delivering home hair dye kits if you’re a hairdressers, creating an at home pamper package, switching your in-person training delivery to online, creating a new online course, running online exercise classes, and so on.

I’m sure you’ve seen many businesses add a new offering to allow them to continue in the current situation.  And you may be able to as well.  Social media is a great place to share what you are now offering.  AND, you can continue to offer it once this is all over.

 

  1. BE INSPIRED

I’m finding social media a place of inspiration lately.  For good news stories.  For businesses doing their part to support those on the front line.  For quotes to lift you up.  For humorous memes on this whole crazy situation.

Social media can definitely be somewhere to lighten the mood and remind you about the good going on in the world.  It may just get your creative juices flowing when you see others creating inspiring content.

 

  1. LEARN

Many of you reading this will find more time on your hands.  Which offers a great opportunity to learn new skills in your business that will put you in a solid position when all this blows over.  Jot down everything you’d like to learn about for your business, and then seek out the social media accounts that will help you learn that information.  Also look for books, podcasts and online courses that can help you achieve your learning goals.

You will probably want to relate this to your particular situation right now.  For example, you might want to learn how to turn your business from offline in to online.  Or, if you have been forced to temporarily close down, now is the time to be learning as many marketing skills as possible to help you grow quickly when you are able to reopen.

If you’re looking to grow your business using social media, then I definitely recommend taking advantage of the offer to join Planet Social Media for only £1.

 

Wishing you all good health.  Stay safe and stay home x

Day In The Life – Working From Home

I thought I’d document what a day-in-my-life looks like when working from home, rather than out delivering training.  I always find it intriguing what people actually get up to behind the scenes, so thought I’d give you a sneak peak behind my business doors!

No two days are ever the same!  So, I wrote down everything I did on Thursday 17th October.  And this is what my day looked like….

5:00 – Alarm goes off.  I’m an early riser and an early to bed kind of girl.  I head to the gym so that I’m back before my husband leaves for work at 6.40am.  My day goes so much better if I get to the gym but it doesn’t always happen.  Especially if one (or more) of my three girls have been up in the night!

6:30 – Home!  Usually the two oldest (4 and 6 years) are up by now.  Their dad heads to work and I get them their breakfast, then head for a shower and get myself ready for the day.

7:00 – The busiest hour of the day!  Gently ask* (*shout) repeatedly for the older two to get themselves dressed.  Help youngest with shirt buttons.  Do their hair and get them to brush their teeth.  Wake up youngest (just turned 1 year).  Nappy changed, dressed and give her a bottle of milk.  Gather school and nursery bags with whatever is needed for their day.  Drop off youngest at nursery and then the other two at school breakfast club.

8:10 – The calm after the storm!  Usually feel like I should be at least half way through my day by this point!  Have my breakfast and a much needed cup of tea and plot out my day.

8:30 – Work begins with webinar prep.  On this particular day I have a webinar at lunchtime that I have yet to write.  I keep them short and simple.  So it doesn’t take me long to prep a few slides for the webinar.

8:45 – Blog promo.  I wrote a blog post the day before so spend a few minutes sharing it on social media.

8:50 – Social media learning.  I have a read through articles about different areas of social media and create some posts to share about any ones I think will benefit my audience.  This is a crucial step for me in keeping up to date in what’s new in social media.

9:10 – BREAK!  I tend to work in 40 minute chunks.  I set a timer on my phone, then put my phone out of reach so I’m not tempted to procrastinate!  I then take a 10 minute break away from my desk before the next 40 mins!

9:20 – Client work.  I needed to create some social media processes for a client who was passing over the social media reigns to someone new in their team.

10:00 – BREAK!

10:10 – Emails.  I usually have a quick scan of my emails in between sets at the gym so I know if there’s anything important I need to respond to straight away.  If not, I wait until about this point of the morning, to avoid the temptation of spending all day checking in on emails.  I then create some Instagram stories.  The remaining 30 minutes of this ‘chunk’, I spend engaging with people on Instagram.  I’m really trying to increase my efforts on Instagram at the moment, so try to spend time on there every day engaging with other peoples’ posts.  And I’m definitely seeing more success on Instagram as a result.

10:50 – BREAK!  During which I put on some make up and sort out my hair ready for being on camera for my webinar.  My husband also gives me a ring now so I chat to him while I do it.  If he rings me during the day, I usually bounce business stuff off him.  It’s hard to manage everything going on in your head when you work on your own.  So he’s my constant sound board!

11:10 – As I look semi-presentable, I take a few different selfies to use in future social media posts.  I then record three videos, under 1 minute long each, to use for social media posts.  I create these on my phone using the Clips app, so that they have subtitles on.  I’ll share them out over the coming two weeks, so that’s my short video recording done for a couple of weeks.  I then get ready to go live with the webinar.  I load up Zoom and check the background of my video stream, load up my slides and wait for the webinar attendees to arrive!

12:00 – WEBINAR!  This one focuses on how to stand out and be different on social media (if you missed it, you can get the recording HERE!).  I’m trying to host more regular short lunchtime webinars.  They’re great for showcasing my expertise and building my email list.  And I always repurpose the recording as well.

12:30 – BREAK!  This one’s a big break.  I don’t get all that much time to get stuff done for myself, so sometimes I take a long break during the day to tick off my personal to-do list.  I have my lunch then head out to drop-off returns at the post office, pick up a dress I ordered for my daughter’s christening, buy some socks for the girls to take to school the next day for the homeless, and get some food for the dog!!!

14:00 – Email check and responding.  Respond to comments on my social media posts, and replies to my comments on other peoples’ posts.

14:10 – Edit the webinar recording and begin uploading to host site.

14:20 – Set up for video recording.  I like to create a different set up for IGTV and YouTube videos, compared to my short social media videos.  I have studio lights and a camera on a tripod.  I record the audio on a separate mic.  So, it takes a bit of time to get it all set up.  When it is set up, I try to record at least 4 videos.  I usually share about one a week on both IGTV and YouTube, so this means I won’t need to set it up again for another month.  All didn’t go to plan.  The camera battery was dead so I decided to just record on my phone instead to get the job done.  And, one of the bulbs on my studio lights was flickering so I improvised with my SAD lamp instead!!!  Things don’t always go as you had planned them to but that doesn’t mean the time needs to go to waste.

14:40 – BREAK!

14:50 – Recording time.  I get my four videos recorded.  I usually change clothes between each video to make it look like I recorded them on different days (insider tricks!)!

16:00 – Get the webinar recording out to those who registered but didn’t attend.  Call back someone who rang earlier in the day (I use a call handling team).

16:15 – I head downstairs to get some dinner on the go.  The girls all come home hungry, so it’s important I have something ready for them to eat!  I sometimes remember to put something in the slow cooker that morning.  Today was not one of those days!  I take my laptop downstairs with me and watch a training video for something I need to learn for the project I’m launching in February.  I also email back and forth with my accountant about my VAT return and end of year accounts, and do a final email check.

17:00 – Head off to pick up the older two from after-school club then the youngest from nursery.  Get them home and fed.  Their hero returns from his day at work!  Then it’s the usual bath, book, bed routine.

19:00 – All kids in bed.  I usually have a tidy up and make sure I’m not coming down to a pig sty the following morning.  Take the dog for a walk.  Then I spend an hour reading a business book.  This is a new habit I’m trying to keep up, as I find TV pretty dull and always feel I’ve achieved nothing in the evening.  Chill for a bit then….

21:30 – BED!  Told you I went to bed early!

 

 

Hello, it’s been a while….

I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA on my blog.  There is one very cute reason for that…

Introducing my third daughter, Nancy!

Nancy is now 5 months old and I’m back working again, so I thought it only right that I start with an update blog post.  Then, from next week, I will start creating your usual blog content with social media and business knowledge and ideas!

A few things that have changed round here:

  1. My social media content

Maternity leave is a great head clearer.  To take some real time away from the business and not have the mental capacity to even think about it is definitely advised, though maybe don’t do anything as extreme as having a baby for the sake of that time!

And one thing it made me realise was that I needed some focus for my own social media content.  I now have a theme for every working day of the week.  If you head over to any of my social media (links in top corner!) you’ll soon pick up what the theme of each day is all about.

2. My Instagram stories

Instagram has always come pretty far down my own social media list for my business.  But it’s my absolute favourite for personal use.  So, I’m giving it a much bigger focus for the rest of this year.  Which means, if you want to hear me ramble on a bit and share a bit of my working and sometimes not-working life over on Instagram stories, then go give me a follow on Instagram!

3. My online courses

I have created 9 online courses that are sat there ready for you to devour.  So, over the next few weeks, I will be loading them up to my site and putting them out there for you to get your hands on!

4. My learning days

I’m going to be running regular ‘learning days’ this year!  This is where you have the chance to have me to yourself, 1:1 (or 1:team!) online for an hour and a half, and we can focus in on your social media activity!  The sessions are recorded so you can watch them back at a later date.  More to be revealed very soon…!!!

5. TRAINIng and speaking

And of course, I will be doing what I’ve always done – speaking at business events and delivering in-house training.

So, life will continue as normal but as a family of 5 now (6 if you include our Westie Ned!), which means it will be a slightly busier normal!!!  It’s great to be back!

Something you might be interested in…

It’s pretty rare for me to sell in a blog post.  I usually keep them focused on sharing knowledge and giving you ideas for improving your social media activity.

But, I’ve got something pretty exciting coming up, so I thought I’d break with the norm and let you know about it!

I’m currently in the process of planning a social media event.  I’m going to be holding it in Manchester in November.  And it’s going to be focused on SUPER SUCCESS!  It’s not an event for social media beginners.  There’ll be no basics included.

This event is designed for those businesses who want to up their social media game, to stand out more, to do things differently to their competitors, and to generate more business through social media.

BUT, I’m not quite ready to let you book on it just yet!  So, for now, all I’m asking is that you register your interest by adding your details to the form below.  And then, you’ll be the first to know when it’s ready for booking!

Being Authentic [VIDEO]

Authenticity is the buzzword of the moment when it comes to social media.  Are you being authentic on social media?  Never has there been more opportunity to be authentic.  With Facebook Live, Periscope and Snapchat, businesses who are being authentic are ahead of the game.

This week’s vlog is all about authenticity.  You can watch the vlog in the video below:

Tagging LinkedIn Connections [VIDEO]

Did you know that you can tag your connections on LinkedIn and organise them in to groups relevant to you?

In this week’s vlog, I discuss how to tag your connections and then filter by tag to help you send messages to those connections.

 

Give Them What They Want

This weeks VLOG is all about giving your Target Audience what they want!

Last week, I talked about knowing who your target audience is.

This week, I’m stressing that point even more! I spoke at an AAT event for accountants, and focused on the fact that their potential customers would rather hear about growing their business than about VAT regs!!

Sometimes its actually about being interesting to your target audience!

 

 

The Only Marketing Steps You Need This Year!

We all know that Marketing is something every business strives for.

To achieve the best Marketing for your business this year, follow these easy steps to Marketing heaven!

The use of Marketing has established itself as one of the most dominant ways to increase customer population in today’s market.

Here are the steps you need to incorporate into your marketing campaigns this year; how many are you already using?

Document your strategy
If you want to be more effective at content marketing, document your marketing strategy!

Having a verbal strategy is a great first step. However, as the research shows, it pays to take the time to write it down: 60% of those who have a documented strategy rate themselves highly in terms of marketing effectiveness, compared with 32% of those who have a verbal strategy.”

Time to invest in visual content

For Marketing content to be truly “creative” and successful it’s important that it’s visually arresting, not just pleasing.  Every day consumers are handed with well-designed marketing offerings, with good colour schemes, professional imagery, and nice fonts. All the pieces truley break through to the consumer as well as introducing something unexpected.

Stick with The Big Three
The Big Three of social media are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Quality content posted on these three is paying bigger dividends than ever before. Everything else on the social network is basically chump change. But, keep an eye on the up-and-coming venues like Vine and Snapchat. These upstarts are becoming more and more valuable as their audience becomes more dependent on mobile devices like smartphones.

Focus on using Information that is Informative and useful
Customers don’t want to be force fed advertising copy anymore. They are looking for information that is both informative and useful. You, as a marketer, need to find ways to locate and curate information that your clients both want and need.

Always remember, your marketing is only as good as your content — so invest in your content!