Tips and tricks to navigate the new social landscape
For many of us, the start of quarantine feels like a century ago. Long gone are the days of breaking out the sourdough starters, daydreaming about sipping cocktails inside our favorite bar and asking ourselves if we’re too old to try that new TikTok dance. It feels as though we’ve transitioned from naïve optimists to weathered soldiers, haggard by the perils of an apocalyptic war. But in reality, the daily fight is more like making the morning trek to your at-home office chair which severely lacks in lumbar support than riding into battle.
With no clear end date in sight and quarantine burnout hitting us in full force, it can be difficult to determine the best methods and messaging to reach potential customers on social media who have seen and been through it all. This leads those of us who have active channels to run to ask, “What am I supposed to post? Is anyone even listening?”
While the answers will vary from business to business, it is possible to maintain healthy engagement levels with your followers and even to gain some new ones! Below are a few tips and tricks to help you navigate the world of pandemic posting.
- Be mindful of current events
While using eye-catching photos and snazzy copy are key to creating attention-grabbing posts, if you don’t take the time to observe the current social media climate, your updates will fall flat. Even worse, your posts may come across as tone-deaf or outright disrespectful, especially in a time where empathy is more important than ever.
Carve out time in your day to study up. See what type of language is performing well on each platform and what types of posts are gaining the most traction in your industry. Conversely, pay attention to what’s tanking or getting backlash. If you’re already an avid social media user, take mental notes of what you observe instead of mindlessly scrolling.
People are craving connections now more than ever, which may be a reason why people are spending more time and sharing more on mobile messaging since the start of the pandemic. Embrace this in your posts and find ways to connect with your audience on a deeper and more human level.
- Do your research
While 2020 will be remembered for a lot of things, it will also be marked by Merriam Webster’s addition of the word ‘doomscrolling,’ or the compulsion to read bad news online, to its watch-list for potential dictionary inclusion. With this never-ending news cycle of gloom, it can feel like a daunting task to create content that will stand out from the rest while resonating with the people who’ll be interested in your business. But far more important than reaching a large audience is reaching the right audience and learning how to connect with them.
Fortunately, you don’t have to fumble around in the dark to find out what your audience looks like and what their interests are. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have insights tools to tell you more about your audience, such as their ages, gender, what times they are most active, and more. Poke around and see what you can find out about your followers, then tailor your posts towards them. Post during days and times when they are online, find out if your followers prefer photo posts vs. videos, and see which of your posts garnered the most engagement and use them to inform your direction moving forward. Creating a tone that both falls in line with your brand and is appealing to your audience can help your followers snap out of their doomscrolling daze.
- Explore new methods
As people have had to adapt how they communicate in their daily lives, how we engage on social media has changed too. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen a rise in features like live streaming, video chat, and gaming. Around 1 in 5 parents with young children say they have created videos on apps like TikTok because of the outbreak.
While the future of TikTok is uncertain, there are plenty of other features on your favorite social apps you can explore and use to get creative. Try posting more to Facebook and Instagram stories and take advantage of interactive add-ons like polls and countdowns. Go live and interact with your followers in real time. Create more video content or call for user generated content to share to your own channels.
Now is the time to step out of your comfort zone and offer your followers the interaction they’re looking for. Find out what new and exciting methods you can use to show off your business and let your followers get to know you a bit more in the process.
Caroline Morris is an Account Coordinator at Bond Moroch.