Why has it returned?
Can we talk about the last couple of weeks? What an incredible moment in history where we are being called to protect our neighbours by staying home. Self-isolation has forced many of us to explore alternative methods of communication. Two weeks ago live video was considered pretty uncool and way too big of an ask for people's short attention spans. Well... that changed.
Social Media is a tool and it's only as good as the way we use it.
Right now video chat has become a critical way for many of us to maintain our workflow. Through live video we can stay connected to our customers in a very real and honest way. If you do go live keep the conversation relevant to how you can serve your customers. Not sure what they need? Ask them. What you don't want to do is position yourself as an expert on the current state of the world. People are overloaded with information from reputable news sources and government agencies. Use your live video to remind people of your company values, what you are doing for your customers in the meantime and maintaining a hopeful future for when the world gets back on track.
How to prepare.
You can save your live video so people can watch the rebroadcast: on Facebook you can keep it on your feed indefinitely and on Instagram you will be able to keep it for 24 hours. Live video is not for everyone, but it's truly accessible. It allows us as businesses to connect with our clients on a very human level during a time when 6ft is as close as we can get. Stay strong and be well.
Pictured above is the Broadway Theatre with their message "Wash Your Hands and Love Each Other" during the first week of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Be a good citizen.
Part of owning a business means being part of the community. No business survives without the tremendous support of the people here in the city. The success of our businesses is so deeply connected to the welfare of our community that it’s impossible to separate them. Being a good citizen means voting, understanding the specific needs of customers and playing an active role in advocating for positive change.
Pictured above is our beloved river valley and the Delta Bessborough Hotel.
Context is key.
Inspire people with your local love and show off the city. Stock photography is tricky since it will never give context to your images and videos. When you are creating content, you should always be looking for opportunities to let your audience recognize the setting. The more familiar content can feel, the better it will perform. Get creative, it’s doesn’t always need to be a shot of the majestic Bessborough. Show off neighbourhoods, local shops and familiar faces.
Pictured above is the new building for OUT Saskatoon.
Business and community.
Under ideal circumstances our city's non-profits run on tight budgets and with minimal people power. During a crisis their resources become even more precious. As local businesses we need to find ways to support the community organizations working tirelessly to make our city a better place. Collaborations, donations and volunteering are simple and scalable ways to make a difference.
Pictured above is a mural by @pineapplesforprimeminister on the back of Foster's Shoes off Broadway.
Work with local creatives.
We all need art for our websites, publications, promotional items, physical spaces, etc. Finding people in the community who can create relevant work for your business is huge. Not only does it support our local economy, but it also allows a creative in YXE to deliver art that is sensitive to the community we live in. A local artist understands the nuances of our culture and can reflect that in their work.
Pictured above is the quirky neighbourhood of 33rd Street in front of Glitch Gifts and Better Off Duds.
Know who you are.
People say that Saskatchewan is a fly-over province. That people often overlook us nationally or internationally. Embrace your weirdness. It’s so important that we are transparent with our audience. Don’t try to make your business look like something it’s not. The things you think no one will be interested in are the exact stories that will endear your most loyal customers to your business for a lifetime.
What can we learn from a clown about making inspired social media? Maybe nothing, but I’m tempted to suggest slightly more than nothing. You see when clowns explore they do it through creativity, empathy and vulnerability. I’d argue the best content needs just a sprinkle of all three of those magic ingredients. Wouldn’t you?
The creative process.
As content creators we often work under a certain amount of pressure to produce amazing work in a comically short time frame. It’s easy to fall into bad habits and feel bored with that we are producing. The process becomes a bit like a conveyor belt just pumping out more and more stuff. I ask, how can we spark our creativity when we need it most? Believe it or not, there is a creative process and it’s as unique as you are snowflake.
When are create content we always know what we want to say, but it’s the how we say it that’s way more important. Empathy is a key aspect of clowning and content. It’s sympathy in action. It’s looking at your audience and not just seeing them but helping them. Without this ingredient we can’t expect to connect digitally or beyond. It’s curiosity that allows us to observe the situation closer and begin the practice of understanding another perspective. I mean, how many viewpoints have you considered because there exists far too many to count. So, let’s choose to examine at least a few.
Where do ideas come from?
When we were kids, we could turn a wooden spoon into a mighty sword and engage in a monumental battle against good and evil. Until it got taken away to finish making dinner. Being at play is where ideas live. Allowing yourself to be free of function and explore things with a non-judgemental lens is where your mind begins to invent. In clowning there is an innate sense of curiosity and whimsy. Allowing ourselves to freely experience emotions is a powerful and productive tool when developing ideas. Remember, there is no spoon.
We live in a world that requires protection. It’s difficult for us as individuals and as businesses to put ourselves out there genuinely. So how are we able to be vulnerable, sounds impossible right? Well it requires a safe space, room to breathe and flourish. Finding this place is key to allowing yourself to open up and access the good stuff. This is where you can begin to truly develop the foundations of the most meaningful and connected concepts. Once you are able to unearth these gems, you can begin the process of polishing and preparing them for an audience.
To create is to make something that has never existed before. There’s nothing more vulnerable than that. -Brene Brown
Created by T Squared Social. We are a Saskatoon based social media agency with a focus on education, content creation and management. We love making great content and helping people with their social media.