How to MacGyver Your Social Media

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During the past few weeks I’ve heard the word MacGyver used several times. Before Covid19, I’d rarely heard the term used, and never as a verb. If you look up MacGyver on Wikipedia, you find this: “With skills that are only limited by his creativity, Mac saves the day using paper clips instead of pistols, birthday candles instead of bombs, and gum instead of guns. And those sound exactly like the types of skills we need right now, as we’re all making do with whatever we have around the house. As far as social media, clients don’t want to appear tone-deaf, so they’re asking to limit salesy posts. For social media managers, it’s more work, and it’s also a creative challenge. We’re using the virtual version of paper clips, birthday candles, and chewing gum for content creation.

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Pivot to Sensitivity and Away from the Hard Sell

Right now, nobody wants to hear about diamond rings and cruises (especially not cruises!). They’re in a kind of survival space, where they want to hear about things that will help them survive in the long term. And as the crisis wears on, we’re moving up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The first week, everyone was dazed and bought all the toilet paper and bleach. The second week, all the frozen vegetables and eggs were gone. By the third week, the stores had replenished some of their supplies. By now, in the fourth week, we’re seeing more products on the store shelves. By the way, you might like Maslow’s Unbelievably Strange Hierarchy of Social Media Needs.

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Using Virtual Duct Tape

For those of us scrambling to create good content or social media posts, we feel like we’re stapling and taping stuff together in the hopes that the content will be good. None of us was prepared for Covid19. What do we do now? For me, going back into the archive of content and reusing those posts that are soothing and calming works well. Now that we’ve been in lockdown for a month, this is starting to feel more normal. And while we’d like to go back to the way it was before, that will never happen. Perhaps it’s a good thing that it won’t, since we’re more focused than ever on helping each other. Wouldn’t that be a good thing to continue?

Improvization and Inspiration

Since it seems that MacGuyver’s main strength is to improvize, many of us probably feel in alignment with him right now. Whether we’re looking in the frig trying to figure out what to make with three eggs and some pickles or avoiding a trip to the store, we need to be inventive. I’ve seen some wonderful examples of creativity lately. For example, people in my neighborhood have stocked ourĀ Little Free Library with canned food, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. Kids have been making inspirational drawings in chalk. Adult makers have been sharing patterns for masks, personal protective equipment, and 3D-printed widget to help doctors. People have been cooperating, for the most part, and helping each other. If that’s part of the “new normal,” then I’m all in.


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