Covid19 has thrown our daily lives into disruption and many small businesses are currently shut or trading with restrictions which are highly likely to continue for some time. If this is you then you’re likely to be struggling for content ideas to help you remain at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
Here’s some simple content suggestions (with examples and tips), focussing on the key things social media users are seeking right now - connection, community, fun, distraction and value while also trying to help maintain awareness in your business.
Words that are keeping you going (be sure to acknowledge the source)
Your new working set up
Your new daily ‘routine’
Hello this is me introductory post
The weather - seriously us British LOVE this topic especially if it’s unusually glorious or abysmal!
Real life right now and how you’re feeling
Reflect on the last week/few weeks
Sharing things that interest you
Pets, kids, books and cooking/food
Seek opinions (on your business ideas or something more personal)
Support others - shoutouts for other businesses or accounts keeping you going, offering supportive services etc. I’m loving Megan Rose’s ‘Lockdown Limbo’ right now.
Create and run an Instagram challenge
Use your skills for the good of others - talented local photographer Sharon Cooper is taking ‘doorstep photos’ helping the people of Hitchin create lockdown memories, raising money for charity and giving herself a sense of purpose through what she does best.
Tips your audience need from you right now
Tutorials, how tos and what not to dos!
FAQs you’re being asked currently
Sharing articles or industry news that will be helpful to your audience
Old blog posts or videos that you might be able to bring to life again with a ‘new spin’ on them
Example: makeup artist. Makeup bag makeover - throw out the old, keep hold of the essentials or talk about how to look good on Zoom (can’t be just me needing this right?!).
Run a competition (within the guidelines obviously which you can find here)
Plans and ideas - if you have them and are happy to share
Trivia and facts
How you got to where you are today
Testimonials and reviews you might not have shared yet
Example: event business. Share a photo of your empty prosecco or doughnut wall you’ve just invested in and ask your audience how many they need to get them through the next week!
Share something that made you laugh
Share humorous tweets and posts that you know your audience can relate to
Create a funny image
Or video and include the outtakes!
Think about other ways you and your audience can have some fun
Example: hairdresser. Share a photo of a bowl and depending on your customers/target audience get them to tag someone whose parents thought this cut was acceptable or encourage them to only use this for cooking and not hairstyling no matter how long lockdown continues!
Context is key, don’t shy away from what’s happening. I’m seeing too many businesses talking about ‘hot summer holidays’ and ‘events’ when these aren’t likely to happen for a while. This doesn’t mean you can’t post what you want to BUT you do need to spin the post to the current situation. e.g. turn ‘perfect event finger food’ to ‘who wants to eat one of these when we can get together again?’
Plan week by week. The situation is changing daily so planning week by week is a good idea right now, if you’re planning further ahead be ready to stop or adapt your content.
Keep things as positive as you can. I’m not talking Insta perfection (I’m very much for keeping it real) but be mindful that we’re all worried about what the future holds. As much as possible keep the majority of your outlook as positive as possible to help your follower feel supported. This doesn’t mean you can’t share the days you’re feeling not so bright because we’re all having those too but try to keep them in the minority.
Don’t misuse stickers in stories or hashtags for extra exposure. That ‘Thank You Hour’ sticker is not for you to use for your business promotion.
Think more carefully about the visuals you’re using including stock ones. Happy gatherings of people in close proximity are unlikely to be your best choice (unless looking back nostalgically). If you’ve got an event that’s now online, using a photo of everyone attending a previous workshop together in a room isn’t likely to be your best choice. Similarly ask yourself if a professional photoshoot visual you want to use in a post really relates to what’s happening now; are you able to take a more realistic one yourself right now (Brand photographer Elodie Guige has some brilliant tips for doing exactly this here)?
Be human. Being less business in tone, telling more stories, relaxing the need for perfection and being authentic and real is more important than ever before.
Case Study: Public House, The Vic, Hitchin
Closed doors could have meant that The Vic went quiet on social media but they have in fact maintained nothing short of a phenomenal presence on social media. How? They’ve stood by their core values and built content around this - events, community, a welcoming atmosphere and good food and drink and combined this with the connection and distraction that we‘re seeking.
A weekly Facebook live pub quiz, requests for pictures to decorate their windows while they’re shut, liveish music and running a drink knockout tournament in their Instagram Stories has kept them at the heart of their community. This also cleverly reminds us of the quality drinks they serve and they’re not going to let us forget their incredible food either and have challenged their followers to replicate their Saturday brunches. Throw in a bit of humour and the odd IGTV where Jim chats drinks and if a social media trophy existed for ‘doors closed lockdown content’ The Vic would win it by a mile. Don’t just take my word for it, take a look for yourself.
If you need help with content for your business in the current climate get in touch via my 'contact' page.