Nothing can make a social media manager want to reach for a bottle of antacid faster than his or her team mentioning the word “pivot.” After all, engagement on social media takes time, and a pivot can happen in the blink of an eye. Where do you start, if you have to pivot? Pivot, if you’re not already aware, means a dramatic change in direction. Startups face other issues, too.
Realize that a pivot is not the end of the world. You may think that all your relationship building efforts have gone to waste, but realize that that’s not true. You have strengthened your abilities at building relationships, and you still may be able to engage with some of the same people, although maybe in different ways. So take a few deep breaths. And maybe a large glass of chardonnay. Or two. You probably do not need to start from scratch.
You may still be connected with the same organizations, but maybe connected with different people in that organization. Ask:
- What is the reason for the pivot?
- Who will your new audience be?
- Can you leverage your existing audience?
- Is there any overlap between the new and the old audience?
Maintain Some Transparency
Think back to a time when you had a favorite radio station. One day, you turn on your favorite mariachi station and you hear hard rock! Ay, chihuahua! Que pasa? Will your audience feel the same way when they tune into your social media “station” and suddenly hear a different tune? Yes! So mentioning beforehand that there will be a change is generally a good idea unless you want your audience to say hasta la vista!
Have Realistic Expectations
Any pivot is going to require more work, and a flexible attitude. Your content will have to be reworked. This will take time and effort. The entire team may need to be involved. Prepare for a few late nights. Also realize that you may be able to repurpose some content.
Get help from others on the team. They are struggling to reformulate their ideas at the same time that you are. Don’t expect to have all the answers right away.
Have You Had to Pivot?
Has your team drastically changed their path overnight? How did you handle it?