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Make the Most of Quarantine with These 5 Social Media Tools

September 24, 2020

It’s been over six months since the quarantine began. You’re surviving, you’re figuring it out one day at a time. By now, you’re probably glued to the Slack channels to maintain some sanity with your coworkers, or you’re looking forward to another Zoom happy hour to take the edge off, and maybe, you’re downloading another meditation app hoping this one really works better than the last.

But you know where you’re really spending most of your time? It’s okay to admit it - you’re on social media!

We know this to be true because we have the stats to prove it. According to the Harris Poll conducted between late March and early May 2020, 46% to 51% of US adults were using social media more since the lockdown began. 

Graph of US Adults Using Social Media More Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, March-May 2020

Personally, you may feel this is irrelevant because we’re still unpacking global pandemic trauma, but as a business owner and entrepreneur? This is the prime time to bounce back on your social media game. Let’s dig into the strategy first, then we can talk about the 5 content ideas that can bring it to life.

The Quarantine Strategy: What Does It Look Like?

    • Engagement first, ROI second: We all know that ROI is necessary, but during COVID-19, it’s time to dial it back and instead focus on the engagement - likes, shares, comments, and clicks. If you’re looking to social media for an escape, you’re most likely not going to swipe up or check the link in bio. 
    • Education: When promoting your business, lead with educational material that your followers can read or view. People are looking for answers and some might be changing their careers entirely. 
    • Company values and advocacy: In the last six months, we’ve seen a lot of changes happening across the nation. As a business, you can use this time to advocate for what you believe in, and show empathy to your audience. 
    • Ask for support! It’s a tough time for everybody, so it is definitely okay to be vulnerable in your messaging. Get your followers involved with supporting your business or other small businesses. 

So now you have the framework. Here are 5 key content ideas that can weave these principles into the quarantine fabric.

1. TikTok

If you haven’t downloaded TikTok yet, are you even doing quarantine at all? TikTok now has 800 million active users worldwide and has been downloaded over 2 billion times on the App Store and Google Play. So if you want to crank up the engagement even more, this fast-paced app gives that opportunity while appealing to younger Millennials and Generation Z.

Create 15-second multi-clip videos, and show a personal side of your brand. Make sure to use appropriate hashtags to make it easier for followers to find you. You will also need to untoggle “Private Account” so your profile is public. Since it’s a new app, take advantage of it’s wild west nature - you can create a video with very little following and still receive a significant amount of views.

Takeaways: 

    • Choose from several filters, backgrounds, fonts, sounds, and effects when making your videos.
    • Share easily to Facebook and Instagram stories or posts, as well as other platforms. TikTok already has integration for Instagram and YouTube, so you will need to connect those accounts first. 
    • You may have heard about the viral challenges and funny videos floating around your other feeds. Don’t be afraid to create your own! 
@emmataylor_k

italian family quarantine dinner in honor of italy and their losses ❤️🇮🇹 ##thedrop ##ButterGlossPop ##theworst ##MySkinandME ##quarantine ##coronavirus

♬ Ratatouille - Amsterdam Klezmer Band

 

#RealLifeatHome Challenge

2. Instagram Reels

Instagram listened and observed, and now they have their own answer to TikTok: Instagram Reels! Released in August 2020, Reels allows your brand to get creative with 15-second content, and like TikTok, they offer different sounds, effects, filters, and backgrounds. You can post directly to your feed, and the Reel will be stored in its own section on your Instagram page. To reach a wider audience, make it available to the Explore space.

Takeaways:

    • Unlike its TikTok competitor, Reels has less creative tools to use.
    • However, with the Profile Grid, it makes it easier for your followers to go back to your Reel and continue engagement. On TikTok, you’re more likely to get distracted by another video that pops up right when you open the app.
    • If you already have an Instagram following, this is your chance to change it up with more authenticity, humor, and innovation.

Related: Set Fire to Your Instagram Engagement

3. Carousels

This content idea has been around for a while, but when your audience is looking for a quick lesson or solution, Carousels are most ideal. With a quick swipe left, you can show your followers a how-to process or tips and tricks. Later.com shows a perfect example of a carousel with educational messaging focused on connection and COVID-19:

 

Takeaways: 

    • You can post up to 10 photos on Instagram.
    • You can share to Facebook and LinkedIn, but Twitter only allows up to 4 photos. 
    • Here at Trusty Oak, we love to use Canva to make our carousels, and there are several themes and shapes to use for a consistent design.

4. The Donate Button

It's a charitable time for brands, whether advocating for others or for their own businesses. Here are the many ways you can add a Donate Button to gather funds for those in need:

In between fundraising, you can also create a statement on your platforms to show you’re reaching out and that you’re present. As you can see, there are several ways to create awareness or directly raise money on social media. 

5. Pivot on the Hashtags

Consider changing the tone of your messaging by using an alternative hashtag to show solidarity during COVID-19. Then, pair that hashtag with the appropriate content and create a campaign. For example, at Trusty Oak (pivoting from our usual #KeepGrowing), we began The Better Together Series: Virtual Coffee Chat a few weeks after the pandemic hit, and we used #BetterTogether to promote collaboration while educating our audience through a series of webinars.

Here are some content ideas to pair with a pandemic-conscious hashtag:

    • Share Zoom meeting clips or screenshots in Stories.
    • Post a photo of a team member homeschooling their kids.
    • Share videos of employees participating in virtual events.
    • Share any lifestyle content that reflects what is happening at home.

Trusty Oak 5th Birthday Celebration Screenshot

Trusty Oak 5th Birthday Celebration Screenshot

Remember, since the workplace, our economy, and hiring practices are changing during this time, we might as well lean into work-from-home content any way we can. Your audience is already on social media, so let’s meet them there with engaging activities, empathy, and solutions. 

About the Author

Lauren Lyman

Lauren Lyman is an experienced freelancer in administration and social media management. Lauren originally began her career in academia, aspiring to work as a university professor in music history and classical flute while holding several customer service and office coordinator jobs along the way. In January 2019, Lauren began working for Trusty Oak as a virtual assistant, helping her clients build their social media brands and project manage their marketing goals. Then, in March 2020, Lauren was hired as Trusty Oak’s Social Media Manager, a role that has helped her grow significantly and especially under the Trusty Oak leadership team. In her spare time, Lauren plays her flute for her partner’s studio session work as well as for other independent musicians and producers.

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