Social Marketing During a Crisis: Prepare to Surf

Social Marketing During a Crisis: Prepare to Surf

showing up on social media when everyone else has gone In

My family moved to Hawaii when I was in the 7th grade. We lived on the south side of Oahu and across the street from Ewa Beach. I never learned to surf, although I did try several times. I just loved spending hours out on the water watching surfers catch wave after wave. The “Golden Hour” was the best time to be out there. Right at sunset.

When the waves died down, many of the surfers would head in to party on the beach or go home, but those who had the patience to stay out on the water, were often rewarded with more big waves.

I think of this every time I go to a movie and insist on sitting in my seat until every last credit has rolled across the screen because I have been rewarded with seeing great bloopers or shorts that the filmmakers put at the end as a gift to those who were patient. (I know there are websites now that will tell you if the movie has anything worth waiting for, but I never check. I sit and wait, mostly to torment my family.) Here is one of the best from Monsters Inc.

Right now, a lot of surfers have paddled back to shore and are heading in because their business has slowed or come to a complete stop during COVID-19. During tough financial times, many people cut all marketing and then they sit complaining that their business has been killed by the crisis. I want to urge you… stay on your board. Stay out in the water. When that big wave comes, and it will, you want to be out there in front ready to ride.

surfers heading in dont stop your social media during crisis

Here are 3 Things You Can Be Doing on Social Media While You Wait for That Wave to Come:

1. Start showing up on your social channels via LIVE video.

Whether it’s Instagram LIVE, Facebook LIVE, YouTube LIVE or even Periscope (to go LIVE on Twitter). Go LIVE! (If you have been approved by LinkedIn earlier in 2019 you can go LIVE on LinkedIn as well)

LIVE streaming allows you to connect on a different level with your audience. It is where you are actually CONNECTING personally, not just promoting or sharing information. Sure you can (carefully) promote or share information, but when you’re LIVE you can actually have conversations with your audience. Answer their questions. Call them by name (which often freaks people out because they suddenly feel EXPOSED as if they were suddenly put on camera in their underwear) and let them know you see them. Use a tool like StreamYard to add branding elements and be able to have multiple people on screen together.

Don’t just go live once. Schedule a live broadcast at least once a week. If you can pick the same day and time it will help others start to expect it and even put it on their calendars. Be there for your community. Ask how people are doing and what you can help them with. If you are wanting to promote something, make sure it is something that would be truly helpful to them at this time.

I was listening to a podcast by Mark W. Schaeffer and he said communicating with your community during a crisis is like being at someone’s funeral. It’s great to ask, “What can I do to help?” but it’s not ok to ask, “Would you like to buy my latest book?” Be wise and be considerate of what people are going through in these difficult times.

2. Make sure you are staying active on your social channels daily.

You might think you don’t have anything to say right now, or that you don’t want to be promotional at a time like this. When we say show up, we mean share helpful and interesting content daily. Maybe it’s a poll, asking your audience what books or podcasts they are enjoying right now. Maybe it’s a tip that most people don’t know.

Ask how you can help. Ask how people are doing. Share what you’re doing to stay active or what you are learning during this time. Write down the top FAQ’s that you hear about your industry and answer them one or two a week. There are so many ways you can show up right now. Stay out there and be visible.

3. Go through your older content and look for ways to repurpose it.

Do you have a blog that lists several tips? Perhaps you can elaborate on it and turn it into a helpful tip sheet to use as a lead magnet. Can you take a topic you wrote about years ago (or months ago) and create a new video or podcast on that topic with a fresh twist? Make a commitment to reviving one old piece of content a week. You probably have a treasure trove of content. [check out this old blog post of mine about mining your attic to repurpose and create new content].

This is the time to be planning, stay active, and watch the horizon. You should already start to see the swell happening. If you are staying in front of your audience and offering helpful tips and resources, you can bet this is going to be a great ride … perhaps your best GOLDEN HOUR yet!

I’ll see you out there… SURF’S UP!

surfer in wave be ready for your business to come back

@GinaSchreck