In this blog, I’ll give you some tips that help you figure out what content to share on social media and how to adjust your plans when the unexpected happens.
When things happen in the world around us, we as business owners might feel like we need to either show up more for our audience or “go quiet” until things settle down.
I know you might be scared of saying the wrong thing. I know that you don’t want to offend anyone or make your audience feel like you’re just trying to sell to them.
And I know the world feels so uncertain right now. (As I write this, we’re still on stay-at-home orders to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the stock market is a rollercoaster ride, and businesses are trying to adjust to changes in the economy).
But when the world around us feels uncertain, we can still share a message that helps our audiences, clients, or customers know we’re still here for them.
Revisit brand messaging and values in times of crisis
You created your business for a reason, right?
Of course you did! And right now is the perfect time to revisit that “Why.”
If you’ve done any brand exercises, you likely have a mission and/or vision statement, as well as brand values. If you haven’t done this sort of brand exploration before, I highly recommend doing so now — especially during times like this.
While there are countless formulas to help you pinpoint your vision statement and brand values, here are some short-and-sweet exercises to help you get started:
YOUR VISION STATEMENT
My business’s purpose is to provide [ insert the tools/services/outcomes you provide or offer ] so that [ target audience ] can [ end result ].
MY VISION STATEMENT
To provide confidence, clarity, and inspiration to women business owners by providing actionable marketing strategies to grow their business.
YOUR BRAND VALUES
Choose 5-10 words that represent your brand and how you want people to perceive it. Keep it specific and unique (don’t just use “Happy” or “Smart”, dig deeper!).
MY BRAND VALUES
What does all of this have to do with how you show up on social media? It serves as an anchor to remind us where we’re coming from.
Remember: Times may be uncertain, but your brand isn’t.
In times of uncertainty and change, your brand should remain the same — with the foundations, values, and message it’s always had.
So don’t skip that last exercise if you don’t have a brand vision statement or core values! This will guide how you show up on social during times just like this.
Now, let’s talk about what you should actually be saying!
What to post on social media (when you don’t know what to say)
Should you still post content about your offers or products after a tragedy or major world event?
Can you post funny or sassy content to lighten the mood?
Will you seem tone-deaf if you promote yourself?
There are so many questions that come up around posting on social during times like this and I’m here to tell you a little secret, sister:
There’s no RIGHT way to talk to your audience.
It’s true in good times and it’s true in hard times. The way you show up is unique to you.
Your audience listens to you because of the unique voice, perspective, and business you have. So really consider what makes your brand stand out, and bring that to the forefront in times of uncertainty.
For me, I like to revisit my “Why” and my brand messaging so I know exactly what I want to bring to the world. For me, those values are helpfulness, beauty, community, and so on.
That means that I share content that is:
- Helpful (like this spring cleaning post)
- Beautiful (like my spring bucket list)
- Rooted in community (like the Sweet Life Sisterhood)
Most of all, I just want my ladies to know they’re not alone and that I’m in their corner.
View this post on Instagram
Hey sister, There’s no denying it: a lot is going on in the world right now, and it can feel scary. But you are not alone. 💖 While I know that things can seem dire, and you may be juggling concerns about your business, your health, your family, and your community, I believe wholeheartedly in the power of community. That’s why I am so humbled by the timing of our Sweet Life Sisterhood Week. This has been planned for months, and I know we all need it now more than ever. I hope a celebration of community, of you and me and all our Sisters, is a balm on your spirit right now. I know it is on mine 💓 If you’re not totally sure what Sweet Life Sisterhood is, it’s our amazing community... and Sweet Life Sisterhood week is our annual celebration! It’s a chance for sisters to gather online, to build each other up, and for new sisters to join the fray. Because you know what? We’re better when we’re together. Follow the link in profile to learn more about our sisterhood and some of the featured sisters and businesses within it! #bloomingbusiness #sweetlifesisterhood photo by @kristynhogan
Whatever your brand values are, whatever your vision for your business is, you can use that information right now to decide what you should be posting.
So right now, let’s do a little exercise:
Look at the 5-10 brand values you have chosen above (or that you’ve done in previous exercises).
What is ONE piece of content you could share that aligns with one of your brand values, and that honors what’s going on in the world right now?
It doesn’t have to be connected to your offers or how world events are affecting your business. But it does have to be connected to your brand.
Jot your ideas down in your notebook, or pull up a spreadsheet if you want. The idea is to just ground in your brand and make sure that you’re always coming from the foundation you’ve created for yourself first.
Now that you’ve done that, take a step back and look at what you’ve got.
I don’t know about you, sister, but that’s what I call a plan.
The key to always knowing what to say
OK, sister. By now you might have a few ideas about what you can post and how you can show up in a way that honors your brand and your audience.
But just because you have an idea of how to show up now, it doesn't mean you have a full plan.
As all of us business owners know, though, the key to success is to have a plan!
While most of my planned content didn’t feel right after COVID-19 hit, I didn’t just throw it out.
Instead, I tweaked my original plan to make sure that upcoming social media posts were going to connect with my audience and also showcase the consistency of the Amber Housley brand.
I also used my Fresh Squeezed Social content curation system to plan out new content. This framework is the one I use whenever I need to plan out content but struggle with what to say.
(Psst… Yes, this is a framework I really use in my own business to plan out social content. I use it all the time!)
In Fresh Squeezed Social, I walk you through how to get clear on who you’re talking to, what they want to hear, and when you’ll be sharing content.
You’ll also feel more confident and organized when you go to post something, especially if you’ve been doubting yourself before hitting “Publish.”
Most of all, this framework helps you showcase your values in ways that have so much impact.
A last note on showing up when things are topsy-turvy
Sister, I just want to acknowledge that present times are uncharted territory for all of us.
I know that it can feel awkward to share your message with the world right now, but I do believe we all need to hear it.
I also believe that we can all continue to show up — and just because you're showing up doesn't mean you're not scared, or sad, or affected by what’s going on in the world around you.
It means you’re providing consistency in a world that isn’t so consistent.
And here’s another truth I want to remind you of: Creating your content, planning it, and scheduling it are all still necessary.
If anything, having a plan matters even more in times of uncertainty. Especially if your business has radically changed or if you find yourself with a sudden slowdown in business.
With the Fresh Squeezed Social workshop, you can revisit your audience, your message, and what you plan to share on social media, so you can share confidently and without feeling sleazy or tone-deaf.
You can be more effective and clear about your offers, and you can feel more comfortable sharing your brand’s message and its offers down the road.
Because sister, this too shall pass.
How are you planning to show up until it does?