What can we learn during this pandemic? We’re figuring out how to stay productive and celebrate the good deeds of others.

This week, Chris Schultz-Buechner of Slipstream offers insights about maximizing her efforts during the pandemic, and Spencer Smith of AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies shares a three-step process for staying in front of your target audience during this unique time.

Chris Schultz-Buechner, Director of Customer Empowerment at Slipstream

As someone who works in an office environment every day, the idea of working from home to focus on a specific project is amazing. But, when you have to work from home every day because of a pandemic, things change pretty quickly. Over the past five weeks, I’ve experienced a full spectrum of highs and lows while working from home.

At the end of the day, I’ve found that staying consistent in my habits and having a plan are key to maintaining a sense of normalcy.

First, I haven’t changed my daily routine. I get up at the same time as I did before, I get my morning walk in, do a little creative activity, get ready for work, and then sit down at my computer. I start my day by reviewing my meetings and top priorities.

As a planner person, I use a daily paper planner to track my work and top priorities for the day and week. I start each day by reviewing what I must accomplish. I write it down and frequently look at it. At the end of each work day, I review which items were completed, and begin planning for the next day.

The big difference now is the added worry about what is happening in the world, and the uncertainty of when life will become more normal. And, helping other staff through this time does creep into daily tasks—but I do the best I can to stay focused and keep things moving.

We are all in this together and need to take one day at a time. I hope what I’ve learned helps you.

Spencer Smith, Founder, AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies

A 3-step formula to maximize your social media effectiveness – the Ben Franklin Strategy

Benjamin Franklin will never know this, but he gave you and me the only social media strategy we need: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

Said another way, produce content that will be interesting for other people. What Mr. Franklin didn’t know, back when he was printing newspapers, is that we’d all eventually have the ability to share whatever we’d like with the public whenever we want.

No longer are we limited by gatekeepers or those who might prevent us from being heard. This is both a good and bad thing, of course; newspapers & magazines have editors, TV shows & movies have producers, and social media has, well, nothing in the middle. Open a social media app on your phone, take a picture or type some words, tap the “post” button, and an irreversible process starts.

That’s the problem for a lot of us, isn’t it? What if you say something wrong/stupid/offensive? Those sentiments will forever be memorialized in the cloud, ready for everyone and anyone to see it. Returning to the idea of Mr. Franklin’s tenet, let’s ensure we do only the things worth reading (or watching). What are those things, you ask? The good that’s happening around you.

Recognize Good Deeds

As I write this, in the middle of the COVID-19 health crisis, there’s never been a better time for a financial services professional to look for the good she or he can highlight. You can find compelling stories about individuals, companies or communities.

Those in Mr. Franklin’s era had an arduous two-step job:

1.) Produce content worth reading. This is both difficult and time-consuming.

2.) Physically distribute the paper on which that content was written. This is also difficult and time-consuming.

Said another way, the distribution of the content (i.e., hoping people see what you wrote) was a harder process than writing the content itself.

That’s great news for you and me in our current era. Now, you can help ensure your content is seen through purposeful promotion in a digital world for free, at the push of a button. Unlike the days of finite paper, finite distribution, and a fixed audience (based on proximity to you), our ability to reach a worldwide audience is unlimited.

Three-Pronged Approach

Here’s a three-step process to help you stay in front of your target audience:

1.) Say what you’re going to do. This is as easy as a post on social media. “My team and I have an initiative to raise money for our local food bank. We’ll be hosting a virtual coffee session with the mayor, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, and the CEO of ABC Company here in town. Care to join us? Here’s the link to register.” This is your first touch with your target audience.

2.) Do that thing. Like in Mr. Franklin’s era, this is the difficult and time-consuming part. Create the content, or in this case, effectively document the content. In this example, you’ll be the one responsible for booking the guests, creating the agenda and moderating the panel.

3.) Show your audience what happened. As an epilogue to the event, share the results:

  • X number of attendees
  • Y amount of money raised
  • The notes from the panel discussion, etc.

This step is very simple compared to step #2. Take excerpts of the transcript or vignettes of the video and share them on your social media accounts.

Promote Your Content

Here’s an important consideration – you’ve become very familiar with the content you created. After you’ve completed a writing project or recorded a video, you know that content front and back because, hey, you originated it.

Once you’re done, if you’re at all like me, the last thing you want to do is revisit that same material. You just want to move on to the next thing, don’t you? That’s the exact opposite of what needs to happen. This is when the real work starts—the promotion of the content. Promotion, however, is so much easier than the creation. It’s time-consuming work, yes, but simple.

Think about the Hollywood production process (or Netflix, or anyplace that makes movies or series): Do everything necessary to create and produce a show, “tease” that the show is coming, and then send the stars of the show on a press junket to promote the movie/series. This tried and true process is what we should use as well, but I see so few people/companies following this straightforward and proven approach.

Say what you’re doing to do (simple), do something worth writing about (difficult), and say what happened (simple).

By adopting this three-step strategy, you’ll garner more attention from your target audience. And equally as important, you’ll remind your readers or viewers that you do what you say you’re going to do.

Many of us have great intentions, but until they’re codified in a written sense and shared with the public, those intentions don’t materialize.

Put Others First

All of us, especially now, are jockeying for attention in a crowded digital and social environment. By sharing good news about others, you’re effectively shining the spotlight on them and away from yourself. This is not to your detriment, however. Because we have unlimited media available with which to propagate the messages we choose, you’ll be in the tiny minority of people who are highlighting others first.

Good news, good acts, and good people are prolific, despite our challenging current environment. We’ve all heard of posts going “viral.” One way to help ensure that happens with yours is by adding a layer of virality—if you will—to your posts.

Focus on others with your posts. Then they will probably share your posts with their audiences. For example, the mayor, president, and CEO (from your panel mentioned above) will all share their involvement with your initiative. As a result, you’ll also get exposure to their audiences.

Will you adopt this three-step formula in your social media strategy?

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