While the world is in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are forced to close, citizens are asked to stay home, whole industries are laying off their workforce, and social media marketers are rightfully worried about their jobs, businesses and losing their full-time income.
If you are a social media manager in the United States, there are several ways you can get help if you are laid off or if you’ve had to shut down your business. Even those who are freelancers and self-employed may fall under one of the several relief packages.
While these stimulus checks, small business loans or other relief efforts might not replace lost income altogether, these available options might allow you to ‘float’ until the tides have turned.
As the community manager for all of our Social Media Pro communities, I’ve seen my share of heartbreak in the last month.
- An agency owner who specialized in the travel industry lost 95% of his clients in one week.
- An in-house social media manager was asked to work from home, but then work dried up and was laid off.
- A freelancer who worked on a project basis lost several prospective clients, leaving no new projects in her path.
- An influencer and speaker who saw all of his speaking events cancelled with no new business for the foreseeable future.
How To Move Forward in Uncertain Times
In times of uncertainty, people look to the helpers, those on the front lines.
What can we learn from them? What can we learn and implement from those who are on the frontline of the pandemic, those who are in the trenches, fighting for lives?
What can we learn from the superheroes of the coronavirus pandemic?
Superheroes, per definition, are
I’d like us to think of ways to apply these superhero characteristics to marketing and social media.
How To Be a Social Media Superhero
Social media superheroes are among us. Have you encountered them?
I see them every day; on Facebook, on Zoom, on Twitter and elsewhere!
Some hid until now, others have been visible superheroes all along and didn’t need a pandemic to step in to help.
If you are ready to be a superhero, take note and take action.
1. Be A Leader aka Stay Positive
“The Caring Commander“
To be a social media superhero you need to be a leader. Leaders lead by example. In the social media world that means do what you tell your clients they should be doing;
- Be visible.
- Don’t be tone deaf but instead pivot your online language and messaging.
- Adhere to social distancing guidelines, and show your leadership while doing so!
- Spread hope, not fear.
- People will watch what you do, not just what you say.
Those who’ve started new Facebook groups, held Zoom meetings, set up coworking spaces, offered mentorship, interviewed experts… I see you!
2. Nurture And Help Current Clients
“The Serving Shepherd“
While some social media managers might have lost a client, or two, my wish is for you to hold on to your clients with all your might. How can you accomplish this?
Be the servant leader. This is the perfect time to build up goodwill.
This does not mean you need to discount your services, instead, offer to do more for the same monthly fee to pull your clients through these trying times.
- Do they need an e-commerce site because their brick and mortar store is shut down? Help them out.
- Would they welcome a strategy session to pivot their marketing? Offer to add it, for free.
- Do they need to restart a few marketing ad campaigns? Help ‘em out by not charging extra for the new ad sets you have to create. A little goodwill goes a looooong way to keep a client.
- Does your client want to take their classes online? Teach them how to use Facebook Live or Zoom and support them by answering tech questions or training them.
In other words; help them reach their audience where they are now!
Help your clients be the superhero to their clients and customers. Don’t sell, but support!
3. Reach Out To Your Online Community
“The Exemplary Exec“
Look for opportunities to connect with your online community! Be professional and positive online in the public view. If you need a pouting session, or a good cry or rant (and don’t we all from time to time) do it in private!
Your fellow marketing professionals are in the same boat as you. Most likely, they are facing the same struggles you are facing. But airing your dirty laundry online will do nothing but damage your reputation and credibility! While it might take years to build up a reputation, it can take 1 minute of bad judgement and a bad social post to tear it all down.
Do this instead: get on podcasts, do interviews, give advice, be visible and be a leader. Help those who seem lost, confused, scared and worried.
4. Share Skills With Your Local Community
“The Compassionate Conductor“
Did you know your social media management skills are in high demand? Things we take for granted and just ‘know’, others struggle with.
I put out a personal post a few weeks back, offering my local friends some help and advice with online tasks during this pandemic. I was surprised to immediately receive two private messages asking for help.
One was a friend who works for a local yoga studio and they were struggling to figure out their new marketing strategy and how to take their in-person yoga classes online. Another one was a local teacher friend whose in-person job interview was changed to a Zoom interview. She asked for tips on how to conduct such an interview and I was able to help guide her. Good news; she got the job!
Be that compassionate conductor; give of yourself to your local community. Our skills are desirable and needed.
5. Prepare Now for Better Times Ahead
“The Prepared Pioneer“
What better time to be a superhero than to help prepare for a better future! Prepare yourself and your business, as well as your clients now, for what’s coming next.
As people will come out of their places of self-quarantine, and businesses reopen, any preparation and planning you do during this pandemic will pay off!
- create an online course
- write blogs
- learn a new skill
- plan your year
- write a book
- take photographs
- clean up files
- edit videos
Work on your own brand for a change and kick some butt!
This is The Time to Learn New Skills & Certification
As mention in the previous paragraph, this is a great time to learn new skills. As you have more time on your hands, figure out a way to add a new certification to your resume!
Here are some ideas of new skills that can be gained by social media managers during this economic downtime, as well as new certifications to add to your resume.
- Graphic Design
- Facebook Blueprint Certification
- Google Adwords Certification
- Social Media Pro Certification
- SEO skills
Whether you use these skills now, or later when the economy picks back up, learning something new will accomplish several things during this time of uncertainty. It will keep your mind sharp, your hand busy and your future bright!
Much love to all in our social media community affected by this pandemic.
~ Dorien and SMPro team
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.