By Cora Palumbo

We are approaching the one-year mark since Canada began instilling province-to-province restrictions as a result of COVID-19. The already digital era we are living in is increasingly dependent on our technology platforms to communicate. Now, more than ever it is important to revisit your organization’s online visibility to accommodate the times and stay competitive in your market. Social media is your best tool to uphold and increase your brand’s awareness and stakeholder loyalty. 

Use Instagram’s posting options to your advantage by posting high-quality images in a portrait mode with engaging captions and researched hashtags.

Here are some ways you can optimize your social media pages to thrive in times of adaptation:

  1. Update your bios to accommodate the current circumstances

Stakeholders will click on your profiles to access information about your brand, be sure to use this valuable space carefully. If your website has a COVID-19 specific page, this would be the place to link it. This space is precious and should always include a brief overview of who your organization is. Colours used in your bio, in photos for example, should be consistent with your brand. This visually guides viewers and allows for aesthetically pleasing visuals, which altogether contributes to a clean, professional feel to your page. Communicate any other key messages, campaign or timely announcement to reinforce your brand’s bio as a dependable source for updates. 

  1. Develop strategic themes for your social media posting

Organize your content into themes to diversify your posts, while communicating different organizational priorities. For example, have themes like community investment, education, promotions, announcements, etc. with corresponding hashtags to make the content easy to find, follow and understand. Align these themes with your organizational goals, using key terms from your company’s mission, vision and values. Pushing people-focused content is just as important as sales content. Many people’s circumstances have changed and/or remain unknown as a result of the pandemic, making promotional content socially insensitive if overdone. Try to find a balance of community engagement along with organizational promotion. Recycle through your themes to avoid too many posts about one topic in a month. By doing so, you will find it easier to gather and develop content when it is thematically organized. 

  1. Post engaging content with purpose

Using one of your themes, create a post that brings your brand’s personality forward and engages your stakeholders. Use the platform’s formatting intently: for example, on Instagram, post portrait-style photos to use as much real estate as possible for when stakeholders scroll through the application’s feed. By doing so, your audience’s focus will be only on your post for the impression and won’t be distracted if the next post is peaking through on the feed. Captivate your audience with questions, prompts or actions. This will help with algorithms and measuring engagement. Be sure to monitor what is being said by your audience, to catch anything that may be negative or is not well-received. Reply to comments in a way that suits your brand voice. Captions should be adapted to suit the times as well, for example, travel companies should avoid posting things like “Where I’d rather be!” with a photo of a tropical island. Instead, that same photo can be used to engage the audience, “What is your top bucket list destination? Let us know where you’d go and tag who you would bring along!” 

Revisit your profile often to update your bio, organize themes and monitor engagement to stay on top of your social media presence. The pandemic has kept us connected as everyone continually adapts to life online, making the digital space more relevant than ever. With consistent posting, strong brand messaging and call to actions, your social media pages can transform from simply existing to becoming your secret weapon in an online world. 

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