The pandemic has brought us a shift in how we spend our time. At home, with social lives dried up, we’re cleaning out closets, painting rooms, and finally getting around to organizing those old photos.
At work, you might be spending less time handling the normal flow of customers. It’s prime time to use the downtime to clean house and do the projects you never had time for; the perfect time to finally focus on digital media marketing projects. Here are some suggestions, if you find yourself wanting to use wisely the time on your hands.
1. Clean up your Facebook page
Just posting on social media is time consuming. Who has time in a normally busy schedule to do Facebook housekeeping? That cover photo you put together three years ago? Change it. Then go over to Canva or PicMonkey and create a couple cover photos to put in the hopper for the future. Get rid of any duplicate pages that you’ve abandoned. If you have multiple pages for different aspects of your business, consolidate them. Look over your About section and make sure it’s complete, up-to-date and accurate.
Incidentally, Canva has a nifty Facebook Maker, a quick and easy tool for making custom Facebook covers. Choose a template for the layout you want, and use your own photos or choose from the free stock photos in Canva’s stockpile. It’s all included in Canva’s free account.
2. Clean up your Twitter
Check your profile. Is everything current? Change your cover photo and profile picture to freshen things up. Check your bookmarks and get rid of anything that you no longer want to save. (Remember bookmarks? They’re not designed to be a set-it-and-forget-it feature.) Go through the list of people you’re following and unfollow anyone who doesn’t currently fit your needs. Create lists to organize your favorite influencers for quick reference later.
3. Start an e-newsletter
The number one reason people don’t have an e-newsletter is that they don’t have time to write the content. If this pandemic has you seeing less of your regular customers in a normal setting, you can reach them via an e-newsletter.
Start by making a list of topics and categories you want to cover every month in your e-newsletter. Make another list of content ideas. Slap some dates on them, and you now have a strategy and a plan. Get on MailChimp or another email program and design a simple, easy-to-use template. Start to populate your mailing list with customers, potential customers, friends and associates.
The first issue of any e-newsletter is always a chore. After the first few, you’ll be speeding through the process. And you’ll be glad you took the time to get it off the ground when you had the time.
4. Start blogging
If ever there was a time to Just. Do. It. it’s now. If you’ve been putting off starting a blog, maybe the best way to start is to not strategize and plan, but to just sit down and write the first blog post. Get the words down on paper and get the first post out there. You’ll be inspired to set a strategy, put together a schedule and follow through.
5. Try a new social media platform
Taking on a new social media channel takes time. Figuring out the pros and cons, choosing one, learning the format and tools all require some time and energy – and enthusiasm! This might be the time to do it.
If you’re a writer or in a book-related business, this is a good time to jump into Goodreads. Update your book list, start conversations, and connect with others. If you’re a published author, do a Goodreads Giveaway promotion. Goodreads is a beloved social media platform for readers of all kinds, and is a great community.
Pinterest is a great secondary social media platform if your business is in home décor, art, food, fashion or gardening. A word of warning: Pinterest is so visually stimulating, it’s addictive. Once you get on there, you might end up spending more time than you had planned. (There are support groups. 😉
6. Experiment with different kinds of posts
If your normal schedule only allows you to follow your pre-set posts, use these extra hours to play around with different types of posts. Take some photos of some of your products and feature one every week. Or explore using humor or unrelated topics just for fun. See what works!
7. Work on getting new followers
On Instagram and Twitter, that could mean just sitting down and following people you want to be followed by. Not everyone follows back, but many will. When you reach the threshold (Twitter will tell you that you cannot follow any more accounts because of the ratio of followers to followees) dig back through your list of accounts you’re following and find some early ones you can live without; unfollow them to leave space. Be aware, though, that too much following and unfollowing in a short period of time might put you in Twitter time-out. Don’t go crazy.
On Facebook, you can get more followers by sending requests to your personal Facebook friends. Go to your business Facebook page and click on Invite Friends on the right.
8. Take a step back
Without breathing room in our schedules, we often fail to take a step back and look at the big picture. Look at your business social and digital media from an outsider’s view. See any ruts? What would you do differently if you were to start from scratch? Switching things up will reinvigorate your mindset when it comes to digital media marketing.
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Diane Laney Fitzpatrick of Digital Content and Services helps small businesses DIY their social media and digital media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.