There is no denying that the world has been turned upside down because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Times are tough, and no one really knows for how long will this uncertainty last. This makes it difficult for brands to connect and sustain their audience. One tool that can help brands maintain their relationship with their customers is by citing their opinions on social media. But what should the brand message be? Should it be the standard brand message, pretending like everything is fine in the world? (Hint: no). Or should it be continuously about the Pandemic? (Hint: reconsider).
While the type of message a business wants to convey depends on their niche area and target audience, one common practice for every brand is to maintain a perfect balance between their regular brand message and COVID-19-related brand message.
In this article, we will take you through three primary steps that you can take to make social media work for you to maintain brand awareness, and engaged customer base, and (probably) good numbers of conversions.
Let’s get started!
Why Should You Focus On Social Media Platforms In COVID-19 Crisis?
Here are some impressive numbers you should consider –
With many people cooped up in their homes, the total usage of social media has increased manifolds. eMarketer reported that Facebook saw a 70% rise in app usage in May 2020. People are using social media as a medium to distract themselves from the uncertainty and mental health distress caused by the Pandemic.
Many clients and brands are pulling out from paid marketing projects, including search engine marketing and social media marketing, but turning to more organic methods like email marketing and social media continues to rise.
The online audience is using different social media platforms for different content, where Snapchat and TikTok are linked with fun and entertainment. LinkedIn is browsed by people for more industry-based information, business solutions and predictions.
With many people working from home, these times are more convenient for marketers to improve their social media strategies for branding and establishing good relationships with their current and new clients. However, as a brand, you must approach them softly, without coming out as intrusive.
3 Tips To Boost Your Social Media Strategy During COVID-19
Remember, no marketing efforts go in vain. Even though your customers are not readily buying from you, it is essential to continue with your marketing strategy to ensure brand recalling in the long-term perspective. With social media, you can be ready for the post-COVID days when the entire marketing spectrum would have changed. The efforts you put in now will yield new insights, campaign ideas, and strategies that can help you in the future when the world goes back to normalcy.
- Approach With Empathy
- Be Customer-centric
- Explore New Channels
Let’s take a look at these.
1. Approach With Empathy
Yes, you might have years of data on what and how your audience looks like. While approaching with empathy is something that every business should incorporate with its activities from the starting of times, it is more essential to do so today.
Empathy heavily depends on understanding the pain points of your customers.
If you have been marketing for a while, you might want to skip this step. Because you already know everything about your customer, right? Maybe, yes. But do you know them now? Have you re-evaluated your targeting options to see if there is a rise in any unusual audience base?
Now is the time to reassess how your ideal customer looks like.
Dig deeper into your audience base to identify basic information like their age, gender, income levels, interest, location, and more. Try to reach out to them and know what they are thinking and how they are feeling right now.
Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What new situations are they facing now? Work From Home? Lockdown and quarantine? Healthcare concerns?
Brainstorm new ideas and assess current situations to set a new tone for everything you do during a crisis like this.
2. Be Customer-centric
Yes, you’re a business, and your ultimate goal is to make money. We get it. But when we are going through a global crisis together, it might not be the right time to formulate strategies keeping your KPIs in the middle of it all. Follow a more customer-centric approach to analyse how your current success looks like as compared to what it looked like before.
For example, earlier ROI would indicate the brand’s performance, but right now, even though ROI is essential, it is backed by several other metrics. Like – the number of clicks, likes, shares, online engagement, and more.
Earlier, if a campaign did not bring in the desired results, you would put a pause on it. But now, try to revisit those campaigns and run them to test if they work in the current environment.
Unlike before, revisiting your metrics and old campaigns might do the trick for you and bring in new leads and opportunities. Considering that more people are online, even though people might not be in the mood to buy your products right now, they will eventually.
3. Explore New Channels
With so many people online, now would be the best time to explore and invest in new channels like Snapchat, TikTok, and more. If you were not using Instagram Stories aggressively, now is the time to see if it is an excellent tool to resonate with your audience.
If not channels, try to experiment with new types of content like videos, gifs, memes, webinars, podcasts, and more. If you have any new campaign idea that could increase engagement, go for it!
Here are some ideas to help you get started –
- Try new features and functionality that social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have introduced like polls, Q&A, and more.
- Don’t speak, listen. Put up posts to interact with your audience and listen to them.
- Experiment with new content types like videos, reviews, memes, and more.
Remember, every activity that you do on social media is setting up a foundation for how your business performs in post-COVID times. I think it is clear to say that even though the world will eventually go back to normal, some rules and tricks for marketing will change forever.
With more time on hand, your audience is continuously demanding new content on their social media platforms. Now is the time to feed them the content they wish for. Remember to take a soft approach, instead of a hard-selling plan because customers are fragile right now, and they may regard your regular hard-selling techniques as intrusive. And you undoubtedly wish to remain in their good books.