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The coronavirus is changing our lives.

This is a very tough time for many of us business owners.

And for families.

Around the world.

It’s rough.

I know some of you had to close shop.

I know some of you are putting things on hold.

And many of us are staying at home, to keep everyone safe.

What to post on Instagram now?

What to say? Or not say?

What to write in your captions?

If you are a business owner, know that your customers are on Instagram now more than ever

They’re not deserting you.

They’re just putting their lives on pause for a while.

And they are still here, watching what you say and what you do.

You might have a new purpose now.

What you post on Instagram might be different.

But what you post still matters

Because once we make it on the other side of this rough period, people will know who to turn to: you.

They will trust you. Because you kept going. You kept providing value. You kept showing up.

So what to post during this time?

Sit down, relax. I’m about to go deep and share A LOT of tips.

Let’s dive in.

1. Acknowledge it

Don’t feel like you have to avoid it.

If the situation weighs heavy on your mind and you feel like you want to talk about it:

Talk about it.

You can acknowledge it by sharing:

  • A health tip
  • A relevant, inspiring or motivational quote
  • What’s going on in your country / neighborhood
  • Wishing well on your followers and their families

Business friends:

You can share what is happening to your business and what you’re planning to do.

If your business is being affected in one way or another by the current situation, be transparent and honest with your audience.

3. Be helpful

  • What do you know about the situation in your area? Can you share what a friend told you about what’s happening in the neighbourhood? In the shops? Where can people get help?
  • Helpful YouTube videos
  • Helpful health tips / quotes / infographics
  • Share useful resources

Examples:

@jacimariesmith shared her favorite things to do, shows to watch, books to read in a carousel:

@heleneinbetween put together free resources for everyone who wants to start a blog and make money from it:

@marieforleo put together a support guide with all the things you can do, read, learn, watch and useful apps and websites you can use during the coronavirus:

4. Lead by Example

This is our new normal.

Let’s make things normal.

Show in your Instagram post or in your Instagram Stories how you are taking care of yourself and others around you:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Record yourself washing your hands (or washing your kiddos hands)
  • How physical distancing looks like in your life (space between you and the other people when you’re in line at the grocery shop?)
  • Work from home life
  • Your self-care routine and what you do for your mental health
  • A selfie of yourself wearing a mask

5. Adjust your Captions

Had planned captions?

Re-write them if they don’t fit with the current situation.

It’s ok to change.

It’s ok to adjust.

Let’s be sensitive.

Come back to the moment and write what feels right to you right now.

Business friends:

  • Some of you can change the captions and descriptions of your products to fit the situation.
  • How can your product / service be helpful in people’s lives right now?
  • What problem can you help people solve?
  • Or how can your products / services make people’s lives better?

For example:

Essential oils:

  • Your essential oils are not just essential oils anymore. They are scents to make a whole room come to life. They are scents that can help cleanse the air and relax. They are scents to make us feel good after we’ve been smelling the same smells for the last 3 weeks, confined between our 4 walls. They can be part of someone’s self-care routine.

Handmade blankets:

  • Your handmade blankets are not just handmade blankets anymore. They become the coziness and the comfort we’re all looking for in a rough time.

Knitting business:
How to change your caption?
People are at home and might be looking for new things to learn and new pastimes.
You can share fun easy knitting patterns to that beginners, experts, adults and kids can use. Like a crown!

Hair stylists:

  • Share hair tips
  • Answer frequently asked questions

Example: @hairbylianag answers questions.

6. Pivot

Business friends:

Can you adjust? Pivot?

  • How can you help your customers/clients during this time?
  • Are you changing your processes as a result of the virus?
  • Thinking of providing a new type of service?
  • Is your product/service needed even more today?
  • Can you offer a special discount? Or a special bundle of services?
  • Can you use Instagram as a place for your customers / clients to hang out? Or to relax?

You might not be using Instagram to “sell” anymore.

But you can totally create a fun page for your clients/customers to hang out, get to know you or even to escape.

Like I said before, people are still watching you.

Keep sharing your knowledge, photos, videos.

Because when this is all over, you, your brand, your business will be on top of their mind.

Ok, let’s give some examples.

Let’s see what you could post on your Instagram account, even if your shop is closed today.

Remember:

People are at home. What can you post that they can do / enjoy at home and that is still relevant to your specialty?

How can you use Instagram to promote your services and help your people?

Disclaimer: I am not a professional in these industries. Nor do I know the insides of your business. These are just some ideas to get you thinking. Hopefully it will give you some ideas 🙂

Examples:

Restaurants / Nutritionists

Business idea:

  • Cooking eBook: “Quick and Easy Family Dinners”, or “5 weeks breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes” or “100 Delicious Gluten-Free Recipes” or “50 Easy Recipes for People who Hate to Cook”
  • Cooking Lessons
  • One-on-one cooking lesson
  • Can you do food delivery or pick-ups only?
  • Partner with food brands (example: @tropeaka superfoods has an affiliate program). Find the brands you use when you cook and contact them on Instagram or via email.

Instagram post ideas:

  • You can create recipe videos for people to recreate some of their favorite dishes of yours at home. And ask them to take a photo of their final dish, share it in their Instagram Stories so that you can re-share on your account!
  • Are your customers mostly families? You can share easy recipes the whole family would love. Think outside the box: Every week, you can share a fun Friday Night Meal (at-home “fast food” or “cheat meal” like a pizza or a burger – you get the idea).
  • Your favorite spices
  • Must-have pantry items
  • Do Live mukbangs or Live Instagram cooking shows (that you can also post on your IGTV channel after)

Hair Stylists

Business ideas:

  • Could you offer at-home haircuts (maybe at a Premium price)? During these times, hygiene is paramount. Here is what you can tell and show your customers in an Instagram post and Instagram Stories to set your services apart:
    • Wear a protective mask
    • Wear gloves
    • Show how you sanitise all your equipment before and after every appointment
    • Bonus: Cut your client’s hair outside, like their garden, to avoid confined places
  • Partner with hair product and hair accessories brands to create content for them or become an affiliate
  • Become an Amazon Associate (become part of Amazon Affiliate Program) to make money every time you refer someone to the products you use

Instagram post ideas:

  • If at-home haircuts are not an option: Can you create video tutorials? All you need is your phone camera.
  • Maybe you can even teach people how to trim their own hair at home. You can create different videos for medium hair and long hair (think of mums who might need to trim their little one’s hair). Or a video on “how to trim your fringe”.
  • Hairstyle ideas
  • Hair Care tips for different hair types
  • Weird hairstyles
  • Funny hair memes (see below)
  • You can record videos of you recreating celebrities hairstyles. How fun would that be?

Nail Salons

Business idea:

  • Collaborate with nail polish and nail accessory brands and become an affiliate if they offer this option
  • Become an Amazon Associate (become part of Amazon Affiliate Program) to make money every time you refer someone to the products you use

Instagram post ideas:

  • Can you create nail video tutorials? Some of your clients might not be able to come in to get their nails fixed. You could show people “How to remove your gel nail polish at home safely”
  • Nail Art Tutorials
  • You can start a weekly “Nail Challenge” with your followers. Create a nail art video tutorial (like the one below) and challenge people to recreate the look on their own nail. Tell them to post their final product to their feed or Instagram Story and tag you.
  • “Mommy and Me Nails”: A lot of mums will be home with their little girls. How cute would it be if you created nail art that both mums and daughters can do together? Each week you can create a new nail art.

Fitness / Yoga instructors

Business idea:

  • Fitness eBook: “At-home workout” or “Working out at home with kids” or “Mum and Bub Exercises” or “How to Build your Booty at Home” or “No Equipment 5 week workout routine”
  • Online fitness class
  • One-on-one virtual personal training
  • Personalised training plan

Instagram post idea:

  • Videos of at-home workouts
  • How to work out with kids at home? (a lot of families are in isolation at home)
  • Mummy and Kid workout (family workout ideas)
  • Workout routine in a carousel post
  • How to stretch?
  • Favorite stretches for different body parts?
  • “Workout Together”: Do Instagram Lives every [choose your day] at a set time
  • What to eat or “What I eat in a Day” video
  • Do Q&As: you can do one Instagram post answering one question from your followers. Different posts = different question from your followers

Bridal Makeup Artist

Business idea:

  • Create a course: “Bridal Makeup Techniques” or “How to Become a Bridal Makeup” or “How to start a Bridal Makeup Artist Business (My A-to-Z process and tools)”
  • Become an Amazon Associate (affiliate) and refer your followers, blog readers, students to your links of products

Instagram post ideas:

  • Reshare old photos: some of your favorite wedding looks
  • Share photos of weddings and tell the story behind the wedding and the makeup look. How was the big day?
  • Share makeup tips for wedding makeup looks: Which mascara is the best for the wedding? (so it doesn’t melt when we cry). 
  • Bridal Makeup Q&A: Ask your followers to ask you any questions
  • Makeup videos: Create different bridal makeup looks

Psychologists

Business idea:

  • Can you do online consultations?
  • Create a helpful eBook, like “7-day Self-Care Routine: Daily Mental Practices to Keep Calm”

Instagram post ideas:

  • Helpful, positive quotes
  • Mental health management techniques
  • Tips for parents like “How to talk to your children about COVID19”
  • Fun, helpful infographics like “Dos and Don’ts” when you stay at home or when you talk to another person who is stressed about the situation
  • Easy tips and tricks: “How to help someone calm down?” or “How to relax when you feel anxiety creeping in?” or “5 things to do every morning” or “5 things to do every night”

Dermatologists and aestheticians

Business idea:

  • Can you do online, video call consultations?
  • Can you sell your products online?
  • Partner with skincare brands to create content for them or become an affiliate
  • Become an Amazon Associate (become part of Amazon Affiliate Program) to make money every time you refer someone to the products you use

Instagram post ideas:

  • Share tips and tricks
  • At-home skin care routine examples for different skin types
  • Favorite products for different skin types
  • Share past client results (before and afters)
  • Create fun and helpful infographics
  • Record yourself doing your skincare routine, using your favorite products (lead by example)
  • Product reviews

Website / Graphic Designers

A lot of business owners now have more time on hand to take time to revamp their marketing collaterals. Show them how you can help them.

Business idea:

  • Create a “collateral bundle” or a “brand revamp” service
  • Offer a discount for a certain period of time to support businesses
  • Create a graphic design course for small businesses or absolute beginners

Instagram post ideas:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Share your process
  • Design inspiration
  • Work
  • Before and Afters
  • Client testimonials

Inspiration: @designbyjrs

Other ideas:

  • Share your story
  • Share the stories of your team members
  • Share the stories of your clients / customers
  • Talk about your process
  • Talk about your passion and what you do what you do
  • Answer Q&As
  • Share client testimonials
  • Before and afters

Want more ideas?

What’s your industry?

Tell me in the comments section and we can brainstorm Instagram post ideas together.

7. Start Planning

If you are staying home and have some time on your hands, now is the perfect time to start planning and/or learning new skills.

  • You might want to revamp your Instagram page
  • You might want to plan content in advance for when things get back to normal
  • You might want to plan content to post now

I’ve shared a lot of examples above.

Let’s take one of them.

Let’s say I’m a restaurant owner.

I know people are at home. I know they might not be going to the restaurant anymore. And I know they now have time to cook / learn to cook. Restaurant owner to the rescue!

I want to still post content on my Instagram page and get my customers involved, salivating and have a taste of my cuisine in the comfort of their own home.

This is how I would plan my Instagram feed using my Preview App:

Let’s say I want to do a Cooking Challenge with my followers.

I will need to tell them what ingredients to get a week in advance so they can do the cooking challenge with me. So I need to plan one Instagram post telling people what to buy. 

Then, I need to prepare one Instagram post to tell them the recipe.

I also want to get them as involved as possible: What are they craving? What do they want to eat?

To get them involved, I would do a poll (VOTE NOW). I can post the poll on my Instagram Stories or on my Instagram feed. I prefer on my Instagram feed because people can comment and you get to interact with them (like their comment and comment back). And they get to see who else is going to cook too. #community

Here’s an image I created:

As you guys know, I love to map my Instagram grid before I prepare my Instagram posts.

It helps visualise what to post, in what order and how many posts you actually need to prepare for the week.

This is what my Instagram grid map looks like:

This is just ONE example.

You don’t have to do a challenge.

You can choose to post photos only or videos only.

You can also use an Instagram grid layout to design your feed in a certain way.

Quick tip:

If this will be your first time to try to be consistent on Instagram, or improve your feed, or make a video, or go Live on Instagram, or create a challenge, or plan strategically, and you feel overwhelmed: Relax! 🙂 and don’t give up. It might be hard at the beginning but keep going!! Even if only one person replies to your poll or your Q&A. Even if it’s your mum. Keep going for that one person. You’re learning an amazing skill to be able to show up for your community, to create something new. We all started with 0 followers, 0 comments, 0 likes. Go, go, go!!! And if you want support, tag me @preview.app on your posts and I will come to cheer you on 🙂

8. Start Conversations

Hey! You’re not talking to an algorithm. You’re talking to people 🙂

Don’t be afraid to start conversations with your followers.

You can ask:

  • “Hey guys! How are you all feeling today?”
  • “Where are you located? How is it where you are?”
  • “How is everything going today?”
  •  “What’s your plan today? Today I’m going to…”

You can make the conversation fit to your own personal situation.

For example:

  • If you are staying 24/7 with your children at home, you can ask your followers: “To all the mums and dads out there: What’s your routine like? Do you know any fun family games to pass time?”

10. Build a Community

It can be a community of 5 people, 10 people, 100 people, 1,000 people.

You can join communities.

Or you can create your own community:

  • You can do regular Instagram Lives
  • You can create a fun challenge that people can join
  • You can create a hashtag that people can use and then you can support each other and see each others’ posts

For example, @marieforleo started a #selfcaresaturday movement. You can join her and all her followers Live every Saturday, for workouts, chit-chats and meditation sessions:

This is what her Instagram Lives looks like:

11. Create a Challenge

You can create or join fun challenges.

For example, Australian musicians have started the music challenge #covered19.

Musicians take turns to cover each other’s songs. 

The challenge was started by @hauskeymusic who did a cover of @elueramusic’s song:

A few hours later, @elueramusic covered Shannen James song:

And the game goes on.

Tip: Tag one of your friends, favorite Instagrammers to get them to join the challenge too.

12. Share or Create Memes

Feel like you want to lighten things up? 🙂

You can share memes related to the situation.

Business friends:

You can create your own memes that fit with your business/industry.

For example:

The Birthday Suit @thebdaysuitlv is a waxing salon. They shared this meme:

5. Adjust your Caption

  • What do you know about the situation in your area? Can you share what a friend told you about what’s happening in the neighbourhood? In the shops? Where can people get help?
  • Helpful YouTube videos
  • Helpful health tips / quotes / infographics
  • Share useful resources

Examples:

@jacimariesmith shared her favorite things to do, shows to watch, books to read in a carousel:

13. At-Home Photos and Videos

Do you have a personal Instagram account?

You can post about your #quarantinelife.

This hashtag has become a trend on Instagram:

You can use Instagram as your personal journal.

Every day, you can make an Instagram post about what you did today.

It can be long, it can be short, it can be a little sad, it can be fun. You choose. It’s your journal.

From cooking, to cleaning, to exercising at home, to dancing, to sharing fun photos of your cat or dog.

@chiaraferragni shares an album of what she did at home during the day:

@breakfast_and_coffee_ shares plays hide and seek with her cat around the house. It’s the funniest (and scariest) thing to watch because you never know when the cat will jump at you:

A lot of people on Twitter are coming together to lighten things up:

Note: Creative, fun, at-home photo ideas blog post coming soon!

14. Work from Home photos

Do you work from home?

You can share your #workfromhomelife.

The trend on Instagram right now is to share a photo of your desk or office set-up at home.

It can be in your home office, on your kitchen bench, on the dining room table, couch or bed:

Or you can introduce your new co-workers:

15. Inspirational photos

Running out of post ideas?

Or don’t know what to post but still want to keep your Instagram page active?

You can share inspirational photos for now.

For example:

  • Hair Stylists: Hairstyle ideas
  • Nail salons: Nail art ideas
  • Gardeners / florists: flower inspiration, garden inspiration, landscape designs

Tip: You can use the Repost feature in Preview App to repost other people’s Instagram photos, videos and albums.

17. Free Photos

Don’t have any photos?

No worries 🙂

You can use the free photos inside your Preview App.

There are thousands of photos. You can use any photos you want, for free.

That’s it!

If this blog post was helpful, feel free to share the link with your community on Instagram, Twitter or in Facebook groups.

Once again, if you need help coming up with Instagram post ideas: tell me in the comments what your business is about and we can brainstorm together.

One last thing

It’s an intense, heart-breaking, stressful time for many of us.

If you don’t feel like posting on Instagram at the moment: just don’t post.

Take a break.

Your health is more important than a post on Instagram.

Come back when it feels right for you.

On that note, stay safe.

And wash your beautiful hands 🙂

– Alex
@preview.app

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