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The world is chaotic now, there is no way around it. Certainly, we all wake up each day and aren’t quite sure what will come next. So, what exactly can we do about this?

I want to tell a short story about preparation. My dad is from Massachusetts and grew up playing hockey from a very young age. When I was 3 or so, my dad insisted that I also learn how to skate. Nevermind that I did not grow up in Massachusetts, have access to girls hockey leagues, or have the physique, talent, or focus to become a figure skater. No, the reason my dad insisted that I learn how to skate from a young age was so that I learned BALANCE. To be an athlete – a basketball player, a soccer player, dancer, martial arts – really anything – you must have balance. Knowing how to move your body, and knowing where your center of gravity is, so that at any moment – no matter what physical activity you are doing – you are ready to spring, sprint, or pivot –  you can do so without falling over.

That is what comes to mind right now with the chaos surrounding us. What does balance in social media mean? What does balance in business mean? If our business is super tall, and we get pushed – will we topple over like a top-heavy building? Or will we learn to bend our knees and shift our weight?

I’ve written down 7 tips that can help you gain your balance again – not all will work for everyone, because like there are many different types of athletes there are many different types of businesses. But these tips can at least help center you, and make it so that when you are ready to GO, you can.

Pivoting Your Social Strategy in Response to a Pandemic

  1. REMEMBER Remember who you are. Look at your brand, your mission statement, and the value you bring to the table. If you realize you need to dig in and write a more meaningful mission statement and figure out your WHY, now is the perfect time to do that. Companies that have a strong connection to their values and their why will hold on to their balance.
  2. FACTS Be aware of the facts: Get your news from your local leaders, industry leaders, and from the CDC. Stay in tune to the news – but give yourself a daily limit. Right now people are sensitive, so it is important to be attuned to current events. Reflect the facts in your content only if it is relevant, but avoid misinformation at all costs.
  3. PERSPECTIVE Shift your perspective – put yourself in your client’s and your persona’s shoes. What is their life like? Hell? Acknowledge that. You won’t get far by ignoring the elephant in the room, and your clients will appreciate the authenticity.
  4. PAUSE OR STOP-DROP-AND-ROLL THIS IS AN EMERGENCY It is advisable to pause, look at your goals for the year and review. Go through a business training (SWOT) analysis if you need to examine your positioning. Give yourself an afternoon every 2 weeks to check in on your analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. For example: restaurants and the service industry are severely impacted by these changes. However, a strength could be a charismatic chef that can go on youtube and start a channel. A strength could be strong vendor relationships, which will turn into unique business opportunities. A strength could be recipe writing and blogging. A weakness could be bad morale, a decrease in income, or a nonexistent online presence. Opportunities: SOCIAL MEDIA. Double down on the virtual tools that are available and free! Volunteer time for a greater cause. A threat could be Covid-19. Once you get honest and evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you are better able to make decisions because you know the facts of the matter.
  5. MANAGE YOUR TIME/BRAIN Set goals for the week, then adjust as you need to. Organize your days so that each morning you can tune into your audience and see what is needed from you. This is a project management trick, but especially now when time “doesn’t matter”, you still need to set goals for social media and execute on them.
  6. IGNORE THE HATERS NOW MORE THAN EVER Don’t worry about the trolls and grumpy people. Try tequila?
  7. BE REALISTIC BUT IT MIGHT HURT Be real: are you ‘essential’? Unfortunately, this pandemic rips the rug out from underneath us and exposes what is really ‘essential’ and valuable. Businesses that don’t have a clear value won’t survive very long. I don’t mean that businesses that are shuttering don’t matter – we all want delicious and amazing food from our favorite restaurants and gorgeous stores full of pretty things to browse and books to buy and so on! But the businesses that haven’t done a good job at communicating their value, of growing a community – those are the ones that are liable to tip over. Let me put it this way: for each category of business, there are competitors in a pool. If you, yourself had to choose ONE restaurant to eat at for the rest of your life, or ONE contractor to work with, or ONE auto mechanic to work with – you have one at the top of your mind. Not to say that the others don’t matter, and that during past circumstances, you wouldn’t be a patron of theirs. But this pandemic proves out that the businesses that have done the best job at forming relationships with people are the ones that will be supported, and others, perhaps not. Like having good balance, a business needs to have deep roots. And those take time, and effort to grow.

What happens right now if you are off-balance and are scrambling to get up? We recommend finding friends, leaning on a network. If you don’t have one yet – there are virtual conferences and groups that are thriving right now! Just because you are off balance right now does not mean you can’t regain it. We know you can, and you will.