Social media was built for moments like this. It has a way of connecting people in spite of limiting circumstances. And for businesses, there’s never been a better time to engage in social media marketing. The only question is, what approach should you take?
The Value of Social Media in Today’s Marketplace
Social media is powerful in any and all environments. It works in growth economies and recessions, small markets and big markets, technical niches and general industries, etc. But it could be argued that social media performs at its best in moments such as these.
The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted every aspect of life, both locally and globally. One of the impacts has been the increase in the amount of time people spend at home. And what do people do when they’re hanging out at home? They pull up their favorite social media apps, of course!
“In the quest of killing time, seeking information, and calming ourselves, more and more people are turning to online content,” entrepreneur Shane Barker writes. “In fact, a report by Facebook revealed that there’s been about a 70% increase in time spent on the application in Italy.”
And while that study specifically focused on Italy – one of the earliest hit nations – the same is true here in the United States. People are spending more time online, they’re engaging with more content, and they’re looking to brands to fill a void (whether intentionally or not).
From a marketing perspective, now’s the time to engage people. Yes, the circumstances are unique – but they’ve created an environment that’s ripe for the taking. If you don’t seize the opportunity go all-in with social media, your competitors will.
Tactful Ways to Leverage Social Media
Sounds great, you’re thinking, but where to start? In other words, how can you leverage social media in a manner that’s conducive to positive exposure and high-value engagement? Well, you’re in the right place. We have a few intentional and well-timed suggestions that may put you over the top:
1. Focus on Account Growth Over Conversions
“We’re living in times where consumer spending has limited itself to the very essentials. So, expecting your online marketing to boost sales right now would be unfair,” Barker mentions. “However, now’s a great time to build your online following, and put out content that’s needed.”
Conversions are great, but they shouldn’t be your primary objective during these times. Instead, your strategy should center on account growth and user engagement. These are two factors that will continue to drive conversions even after this pandemic ends.
2. Partner With Social Media Influencers
The most successful brands are leveraging social media influencer strategies to connect with customers during COVID-19. One of the ways they’re doing this is by utilizing services like BabbleBoxx, which allow brands to get their products in the hands of influencers who then generate exposure on their behalf.
Social media influencers work for brands that already have large followings, but they’re also extremely valuable for brands that have small audiences and limited online engagement. Whichever end of the spectrum you fall on, there’s a case to be made that influencer marketing could be your number one tactic during this time.
3. Emphasize Your Audience
This isn’t about you! Your customers don’t want to hear about how you’re struggling, succeeding, pivoting, or evolving within this pandemic. They care about themselves and their own wants, needs, desires, etc. Make sure your social media strategy reflects this. Listen to your audience, emphasize their pain points, and create content that centers on them. That’s how you build trust and stoke the flames of engagement on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn.
4. Utilize Video
Few content mediums are more engaging than video. The visual nature, combined with the opportunity for raw trust building, make videos very powerful. If you haven’t already, now’s your chance to experiment with this medium and find out which types of video content your audience responds to the best.
Going Social for the Win
Social media is just one aspect of marketing and customer engagement – but it’s an important one. And in today’s environment, where more people are spending more time online, it’s arguably one of the more powerful channels you have available at your disposal.
Hopefully these tips allow you to jumpstart your efforts and begin getting the results you need to sustain and grow your business during such unique circumstances.