With everything going on, you might have decided that marketing your small business needs to be put on the back burner for now. You probably think you have way more important things to do during these unpredictable times. I’m here to tell you that you are WRONG! While marketing looks different during a pandemic, it is not a smart idea to drop it completely. It’s really important to keep the momentum going. Eventually the pandemic will be over and you don’t want to be forgotten when that happens.
Marketing momentum is a real thing. When you put effort into your marketing, it moves your business forward. If you stop your efforts completely, eventually, you’ll halt to a stop. Then, it’s hard to get going again! Every little thing you can do, even if it’s small, helps keeps your business moving.
Let’s say you have a weekly newsletter that goes out to previous and prospective customers. Every week, these folks get an email from you telling them about your business. The pandemic hits and you find yourself unable to find the time to send out an email every week, so you stop sending out any. Now, your mailing list no longer has a reminder every week that your business exists and what you have to offer. As time goes on, your brand is forgotten and competitors that have kept their momentum going are now on the forefront of your customers’ minds. An easy solution here is if you’re unable to send an email every week, try every two weeks or once a month!
This email marketing solution is just one of the many modified marketing strategies you can utilize during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, not everything is this easy. One of the hardest things for small businesses to prioritize, even when there’s not a virus spreading globally, is their social media marketing strategy. There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to being active and interacting with your audience on different social media networks.
So whether you’re an established business owner that can’t find the time to start or keep up with their marketing or you’re just starting your business; here are some tips on how to use social media to your advantage when you’re pressed for time.
1. Be active for at least 30–60 minutes a day
For most larger companies, being active on social media is a full-time position. If you’re able to afford having someone be a Social Media Manager for 8 hours a day, go for it. Otherwise, try to be on social media for at least a total of 30–60 minutes a day. Any time you’re checking on your own social media during breaks, take a few minutes to like or comment on relevant content using your business account. This allows your interactions to show up to a wider audience’s feed. This is especially important for social networking sites that don’t have chronological feeds, like Instagram, where their algorithm partly sorts by your activity on others posts, not just your own.
2. You don’t have to always post lengthy, original content.
It’s not sustainable to only have original content on social media. It takes time and creativity to create blogs, infographics, whitepapers, etc. I’m not saying to NEVER have lengthy original content, but you can post low-effort original and non-original content in between.
The first example that comes to mind is industry articles. Chances are, you’re already coming across these articles, so why not share them with your social media audience along with some commentary? These types of posts are great to start conversations and share your company’s knowledge on the subject. Another easy content type are company updates. This can be company wide happenings or employee spotlights. This allows the audience to get to know your business in a different light.
Here’s a short list of other great, low-effort, content types you can post on any social media platform!
- Industry Tips/Expertise/Insights
- Minute Videos
- Open-ended Questions
- Holiday Posts
- Motivational Quotes
- Weekly Challenges
- Fill in the blanks
Each of these take minutes to write up instead of the hours longer-form content usually takes. The diversity of content also helps your social media pages have variety and hopefully more engagement.
3. Create a social media calendar or spreadsheet
This is arguably the most useful tool when creating and maintaining a social media plan. This can be as specific or as generic as you’d like, it really depends on how you like to work and plan! For EID Visions specifically, we use a spreadsheet to help us keep track of what we post and on which network. We usually fill it out on a weekly basis, but you can do it as far out as you’d like! Just keep in mind that what’s relevant now may not be relevant a few weeks or months from now! We keep the above list as a guide but also leave room for “in-the-moment” content as well. We find this is a great way to stay organized. You’re able to frontload the work this way and don’t have to worry as much about it.
4. Schedule posts in advance
Along with your calendar or spreadsheet, it may be useful for you to schedule out your social media posts instead of posting them manually. This is especially helpful if your audience is more active at a time where you aren’t able to post. Most social media networks offer their own native scheduling tool or you can use an all-in-one scheduling tool for all of your accounts like Buffer, Sprout Social, or agorapulse, just to name a few. At EID Visions, we prefer to schedule out just one week at a time on Buffer, so that our content is timely and relevant!
5. Follow other content creators
If you’re struggling to even find content to post and talk about on social media, we suggest following other industry accounts and subscribing to industry-specific newsletters and magazines. If other people and businesses are talking about it, it’s probably worth putting in your two-cents in too. As you find interesting articles and conversation points, make sure to throw it in your calendar, spreadsheet, or bookmarks for later.
6. Don’t focus on every single platform
With all of the tips above, if you still find yourself thinking you just don’t have the time to do any of it, we suggest only focusing on the social media network where the majority of your audience is and where your content makes the most sense. Some questions you may ask yourself: What is my target demographic? What kind of content am I capable of at the moment? Who engages the most with that kind of content? Which platform is the most fun? Which platform is the least time consuming? These questions and others will help you narrow down your scope and make your social media work more manageable.
7. Whatever you do, don’t stop!
We hope this list helps you keep those wheels turning, even if it’s not as fast as they could be. The important thing here is to adapt to your current situation and do the best you can. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and do your best to keep moving forward!
If you find yourself having the opposite problem and have more time on your hands than ever, check out my previous blog: 10 Easy Ways to Get Started on Marketing TODAY to get your marketing momentum going even further.