How to adapt social media plans through times of change
How to adapt to your audience through times of change
You have a plan, your business and livelihood is all based online but the experts and data shows you that people don’t want to be hearing from you right now *sadface* - so how do you adapt and what do you do?
At the time of writing this, we’re experiencing the aftermath of a major event. The general feeling is that most people don’t want to be sold to right now and feel it’s inappropriate to continue on social media with business as usual.
They’re there. But they’re there to keep up with news. Stay in touch with loved ones. And share their thoughts and the day-to-day.
But for some people, social media is how you grow your business. It’s your livelihood and the food on the table. So some have asked why it’s considered different for a Facebook business, when if we were in a regular job, we’d be back at work.
What does your audience want?
The answer is, for Facebook, Instagram or any online business, you need to know your audience.
Here’s the thing... If we need something from a shop, service provider, a library, a real estate agent or *insert whatever you class as a regular job*, we go there or we call them during their work hours. On the flipside, they call and visit their customers during their work hours.
Guests that overstay.
But if the owner or manager was to start coming to our house everyday, slipping things under our front doors and asking us to part with our pennies… we’d start to get annoyed.
So it’s only natural that there’ll be times where we should think about a change of plans.
One of these times would be when people are focussed on more personal and private matters. If you didn’t, and continued to be that guy that visited everyday uninvited, what would happen at our house is… I’d lock the gates so you can’t get to my front door!
If they were really annoying or I felt they were particularly intrusive, then I’d probably lay a complaint.
What’s the online equivalent of locking the gates?
The equivalent of locking your gates on Facebook or Instagram, is unfollowing a person, a page or leaving a group.
The equivalent of laying a complaint on Facebook or Instagram, is reporting them or the post.
Analytics show an increase in unfollow’s and reporting.
At the moment, analytics show that people on Facebook are unfollowing and reporting posts and pages for selling during darker times (thank’s for the head’s up Tracey Hazelwood from Virtually Marketing).
You’re in my bubble.
If you’re in my bubble, you’re in my personal space.
Facebook is in homes, in family rooms, bedrooms - it’s 24/7.
A Facebook or online business is not a daytime gig like a regular job, In fact, any business that has an online presence should be mindful and appreciate that we are privileged enough to be invited into the personal space of our audience and online community when they choose to follow us. We get into their personal space and time.
Let me explain.
It would be considered disrespectful or pushy for a boss from a regular job to continually put work under noses at all hours. And I’m sure we’ve all experienced when a shop or business makes it known that it’s closing time. Especially when people walk in a few minutes before home time!
Facebook doesn’t close.
We have to remember that Facebook doesn’t close. And usually the primary reason for someone being on Facebook is to keep in touch with family and friends. Following online businesses is never the first reason.
Although every platform is different. LinkedIn for example, seems to be business as usual. But it’s also not a platform for keeping in touch with loved ones. It is a place for the workplace. A place for sales. For drumming up business. Linkedin is different to Facebook. Facebook is different to Instagram.
Do what’s right for you.
So if you’re confident that you’re audience wants to keep seeing posts about sales when there may be more pressing matters or reasons why other businesses are slowing down their approach, then DON’T STOP!
Do what’s right for you. What you decide aligns with your values and how you want to run your business is totally up to you. That’s the beautiful thing about being in business.
Personally, I feel uncomfortable posting on Facebook at the moment.
This blog was originally written as a reply to a comment on Instagram. And it relates to a post about how to continue on with business activities while being sensitive to others and change in darker times. You can see the post here if you really want to.
Adjust to the climate.
There are many people who rely on social media for income though. Like some of my clients do. So we’ve looked at ways they can adjust to the climate, continue with business as much as possible but still feel like they are being sensitive and empathetic to their audience and what they may be going through.
People let us into their private lives, support our businesses, engage and learn from the content we share. It’s our job to know them well enough to understand when to give them the space they want or need. And finally…
You’ve heard it before but I’ll say it again. Social media is rented space. Anything, at anytime could happen to any of the current big player platforms so it should only ever be a place to serve your community and audience while you drive traffic to a mailing list and ultimately your website.