Though it may seem strange with everything that is currently happening to think about your marketing strategy, social media really remains the key for many businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, social media can be used as not just a way to keep your business front-of-mind, but ensure it remains relevant in what we’re all calling the “new normal”.
Doubling-down on social media has never been easier, now that the world seems to have slowed down a little. It gives you more time to build relationships with new and existing customers, experiment with different types of content and, more importantly, take advantage of increased engagement across all platforms. Of course, with opportunity comes increased competition as everyone is taking to digital platforms, but we’ve put together some top tips to ensure you’re using social media to your advantage… especially during lockdown.
Cash in on engagement
There is currently a huge opportunity for engagement across social media; research has shown that since the lockdown has been put into place, engagement has increased by 61%. Times people spent outside are now spent inside and on their phones, so this predictable knock-on effect is giving brands the opportunity to position themselves in front of an audience that they may have never been able to reach. Social content has changed roles; it now not only offers information but also an escapism that’s never been seen before.
To ensure your brand is banking on this new-found engagement make sure your posts are reciprocal. Using in-app features like ‘polls’ or ‘Q&As’ encourages your audience to interact and share their voice. More engagement equals more share of voice on the feed. Ultimately, the more people who answer your poll, comment on your videos or share your post, the more likely you’ll be seen in the algorithm; building more followers and resulting in more sales when you bounce back.
The right timing is key
Engagement has changed, people are using social differently, and with that comes all-new behavioural patterns. Daily routines changed overnight across the world and this didn’t end with social media. Sprout Social has found that the best time to post has shifted a great deal, proving that not only is engagement higher but people are using social media at different times than they previously had.
Since remote working has been put into place, Sprout Social’s report noted that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn have all recently had more engagement during weekday mornings. Both Facebook and Instagram have also seen activity within the week rise and become more concentrated during the workday. Before brands risked the chance of people not catching content during the day whilst they were busy at work, but now thanks to relaxed working, people are now online during the week, therefore making it a great time to post on Facebook and Instagram.
Experiment with your content
Many people have suggested that now is the best time to take a little ‘reset’. If your content isn’t working, then now is the best time to check-in see what you’re doing wrong and even audit your competitors to see what they’re doing well. Try some posts you haven’t before, like the polls and videos we talked about earlier. Great content is fundamental to a great online presence.
We all know that video is key, and with TikTok hitting two billion downloads this week, this has never been so apparent. Don’t neglect long-form video though, especially since people are looking for entertainment. Platforms have now made it really easy to share pre-recorded content, but also live streams; the rise of Facebook Live and IGTV has meant that it’s much easier for brands to interact with their audiences and answer any questions posed to them in real-time. The new IGTV also allows for collaboration, making it easier for brands to connect with new audiences, all whilst aligning themselves with new brands.
Don’t be scared to use your budget
Whilst businesses and budgets are currently under pressure, and face challenges to adapt in new circumstances, paid activity is still a great way to maximise potential and engage with your core audience. Brand awareness is a low-cost spend, which can serve opportunity in attracting people now and winning business later.
Ad spend is a flexible tool, with budgets as little as a £1 a day placing you in front of the right people, whose digital attention is higher than ever. ‘Business as usual’ is a term we are hearing a lot, but many businesses and brands have put down the social tools and paused campaigns. Although we advise against a social media blackout altogether, this flexibility does put you in the driving seat when it comes to campaigns, which is even more important given the uncertainty of the pandemic and its knock-on effects. It means that you can check-in with the tone of your posts, adapt and change them to suit the mood.
Now is the time to ramp up your social presence but, as always, it’s crucial to make sure that you’re looking at the right kind of content that’s sympathetic to what’s happening in the world, more personal – as we all move away from aspiration and towards realism, and providing the information that your customers want. Our MD, Tara, recently delivered a webinar about “Keeping your comms strong during crisis” and it’s available to view and download; there are some great tips about what people want and how to make sure your content is relevant.