By Jo Overty
If your business were a shop, would you have a well-trained staff, a replete stockroom, but an unkempt window, not reflective of the items you sell or what you stand for?
The answer is a resounding no.
For most businesses, their social media channels are their virtual shop windows. Yet some are, understandably, neglected, as busy owners struggle to find time to re-dress them.
Businesses in the Isle of Man are adapting at a phenomenal pace as Covid-19 forces them to reshape their offering.
Now, more than ever, time is a precious resource for businesses. Especially smaller operations where the owner fulfils every function a larger company has people assigned to, marketing and ‘manning social’ included.
Which makes it all the more important to use your time on social media to good purpose.
For businesses that have paused, and are starting up again, this is a good time to refresh your shop window to good effect.
And to consider whether the Covid crisis has altered what you tell those customers.
WHO ARE YOU?
What is your business’s personality? Do you want customers to see you and your product as safe, secure, adventurous, innovative, even playful? Make sure that is reflected in your social media output.
KEEP IT TOPICAL
What do people care about today? Just as you wouldn’t sell a barbecue in a snowstorm, be in the right place at the right time and align your messages with what your customers are thinking about and talking about that day, whether it be the virus, the financial impact, the hot weather, or something else in the news.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
What else is going on? Just as the start of the Covid crisis wasn’t the time for frivolous marketing, so, as we emerge, people seek optimism. Even the time of the week affects marketing. We have our serious heads on on Mondays but, by the weekend, want things to be a bit more light-hearted.
TAKE THE PULSE
What do you stand for? Increasingly, people choose to give their hard-earned money to businesses that fit in with their own ethics. Does your ethos come across loud and clear on your channels? Do you highlight your good work, supporting charities, or reducing plastic use, for instance?
How can you attract the casual passer by? Social media is an overcrowded place and people’s attention is scant as they scroll. So your posts need to grab attention, just as a real shop window on a busy high street needs to stand out to entice in someone who is striding along.
START AT THE END
Last but certainly not least, when posting, think of the end result. What do you want people to do, or to feel or say about you, as a result of your social posts.
Messaging impacts on customers’ heads, hearts or pockets – or, occasionally, all three – so work out which of these you are aiming for, before using a few more of your valuable minutes online.
Jo Overty MCIPR was a founder member of the Isle of Man Government’s social media user group and has worked in communications for 32 years.