Run a 5-Step Social Media Scan
by Erin King

If someone had walked up to you at the ISPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas last September, and told you how much our lives were about to completely change, would you have believed them? I don’t think I would have! Let me ask you this: Just as you’ve had to evolve the way that you live and work and eat and learn—have you also evolved the way that you are now posting about your business, your brand, your products and services?

As you have probably noticed since reopening your spa, what “worked” pre-COVID-19 doesn’t exactly translate in these emotional, tumultuous times. But there’s good news: the world needs the health and healing benefits of the spa industry now more than ever before. (I just had my first (masked) massage in four months and it sounded like some-one was stepping on plastic bubble wrap packaging! It was incredible!) Friend, if you’ve found yourself stuck with pandemic posting paralysis, it’s time for you to take an hour and per-form a social media scan to make sure you’re on track in today’s pandemic world. Here are five questions to guide you through this critical marketing exercise:

1. Are my profiles updated, polished and relevant?
Let’s start with the most basic of up-dates. For example, if your brick and mortar location has now gone mobile, are you clearly explaining in your bio exactly how customers and clients should book and purchase from you safely and efficiently? As local rules are a moving target and changing often, so too should your profile reflect how you are adapting to what is and isn’t pos-sible. Pin top content to the top of your profile to explain quickly and clearly how you are modifying your business model to serve your community.

2. Are my posts selling or serving?
Now is the time to unschedule all of the “post just to check the social media posting box” posts. Product announcements and pushy promos need to be carefully examined for efficacy. You can still have fun with your content, but make sure you are keeping in mind what your customers really need from you right now. They need help. Mental, emotional, physical and financial help. How are you showing up to make them smile? Give them relief? Offer hope? Share light? Are you educating? Enter-taining? We are all craving human con-nection and there has never been a better time to focus on posting about people over products. Stories of employ-ees, stories of customers, stories of re-invention. Comeback stories. Good human stories. Serve your audience by providing the content that will have them stop their scroll, lean forward and smile.

3. Do my visuals still make sense?
Examine your photos, videos, quotes and graphics to ensure they reflect today’s current reality and not “the way things used to be.” For example, images of a solo (aka socially distanced) person using a product or receiving a service are more realistic and relevant than a large group of customers laughing, talking and touching. Handshakes and hugs and group gatherings are elements of life we all dearly miss, so make sure you’re sensitive that your imagery is moving the dialogue forward. You want your imagery to positively communicate the possibility of tomorrow, not the nostalgia of yesterday.

4. How am I working with influencers?
In times of great uncertainty, we turn to those we trust for guidance and recommendations now more than ever! Take a look at your influencer relationships, whether they are customer influencers or paid partnerships, and make sure that you are creating new ways for them to share your story with their followers. Is there a way you can get creative by sending them a product or offering a service that is solving the unique challenges of a COVID-19 world? For example, I was having headaches from a pinched nerve and was dying to get a massage, but I didn’t want to risk exposure by going to a spa. So, I tried my first at-home Zeel massage experience, and the therapist suggested that we set up her table outside on my back porch so that we would have more airflow. Knowing she was wearing a mask and that we had the outdoor breeze helped me to actually relax and enjoy the ex-perience instead of being worried about the risks of transmission. I had her snap a photo of me outside on the massage table and posted it to my followers, tagging Zeel. Dozens of my followers responded saying this was such a great option for lowering their risk, increasing their comfort level and helping them stay healthy. Is there a way that your spa or brand can bring the experience to the customer? Can you find a unique solu-tion for a COVID-19 problem? Can you rethink your influencer partnerships so that you are not just a storyteller, but also a storyseeker? Sometimes finding someone else to tell your story more credibly than you can is a more power-ful way to be heard.

5. Am I experimenting with posting times?
For most of us, our schedules are completely different than they used to be. Even though we’re spending more time behind screens and more time on social media than ever, many of us are also juggling new responsibilities at new times. For example, if you have customers and clients who now have kids at home—who pre-COVID-19 used to be at school or camp during the day—they might now be spending their screen time later at night after their kids head to bed. If your mid-day posts aren’t getting the traction they used to, test some later posting times to capture those parents who are in need of stress relief and self-care messaging after a long day in quarantine.

Performing a pandemic social media scan will ensure that your hard work and efforts online result in you and your business not just surviving, but thriving. Hang in there. Sending you light and love!

ERIN KING is the Amazon-bestselling author of Digital Persuasion: Sell Smarter in the Modern Marketplace, an international keynote speaker and a three-time entrepreneur. She founded Socialite Agency—the world’s only social media firm specializing exclusively in live events—and has previously spoken at several ISPA Conference & Expos.