What Bruce Lee can Teach us About Social Media Right Now

You’ve heard it everywhere: professionals, agency partners, employees and even customers—now is not the time to promote your business and brand. It appears too opportunistic. So, what the heck are you supposed to talk about across digital and social media to ensure your brand stays active and relevant?I could give you a well-written one-liner on what to do, but I think the best answers come from the immortal inspiration of martial arts legend Bruce Lee:

“The more we value things, the less we value ourselves.”
“Talk about, engage with and feature your employees.” – Jason’s interpretation

We all understand that the fragility of our economic world is hurting us all financially, but in the current environment of isolation, consumerism can lead to grief and depression. Rather than doubling down on trying to sell things, you should be selling the people that make what you do possible because, in these trying times, we need more human stories. And the best part? We know everyone has amazing employees. Now is the time to activate them to tell their stories, keeping connection and humanization at the forefront.If you don’t have the budget or ability to film your employees, don’t worry about that. Let them write and video their own stories for you to post. Let their voices, faces and raw, true stories shine. If you have natural-born or passionate storytellers on your staff, it’s a great time to give them the keys to the castle. Let them talk and interact online. You’ll never be able to buy that level of genuine authenticity. Another gem from Bruce Lee fits nicely here:

“Real living means living for others.”
“It’s time to tell customer and philanthropic stories.” – Jason’s interpretation

This isn’t a soapbox moment to tell you to donate time, money or resources to those in need or those on the front line (but yes, if you can do that, do it already). This is the time to pivot your channels and/or platforms to showcase customer and community stories.

  • If you have customer stories, even older ones, think about how you can repurpose those for your digital and social channels to tell the story of the customers you serve.
  • If you are doing philanthropic acts, don’t be afraid to show them. We all need more good right now, and you never know who your unused products and services could help. And these videos, shot from smartphones, are inspiring and connecting for communities large and small.
    • For instance, can you help the millions of brand-new home school teachers?
    • What can you do to get creative to support the local community and employees of restaurants around your offices who are truly struggling?
    • How can you repurpose any resources to give to non-traditional groups or people in need, like healthcare and/or other public servants?
  • If you have real customer influencers, activate. Do not silence them. Let their sense of individual creativity keep your brand relevant.

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” – Bruce Lee
“Time to adapt and question basic marketing instincts.” – Jason’s interpretation

If you have been using social and digital media primarily as a performance media marketing channel, or if you overly focus on products, ROAS and ROI, now is the time to evolve your content and try something new, even if it might go against the data-driven focus from the last few years. Intuition and human connection should be your North Star.

Social and digital media usage are rapidly increasing to combat the human isolation we are all experiencing, which makes it the perfect time to evolve and bring back the inherently social elements to your social media.

This may make me unpopular to say, but, to quote Bruce Lee one more time, “To hell with circumstances. I create opportunities.” And that opportunity is there for all of us to add a sense of social back to our social media. Not sure where to get started? We can help.

About the Author: Jason is the VP of Public Relations and Social Media at OH Partners. He’s a communications executive with over 15 years of experience across a diversified and has seen his fair share of crisis situations. Through all of it, he believes in challenging conventions and driving creative solutions and communications plans that add real value and breakthrough.

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