In times of crisis, it can be challenging for business leaders and marketers to find the right words for their customers. Social media is a reflection of our IRL world, so while people shift to focusing on their health and communities, the same shift happened on social media channels. Community members started sharing health tips, messages of solidarity, and helpful resources.
Consumer habits have changed and many people are spending an increased amount of time on social media. E-commerce is also on the rise while consumers avoid shopping in stores. The crisis is likely to have a long-term impact on how we consume media and buy products. With that in mind, it’s important to consider how your brand will show up on digital channels and serve your customers. How will you show up in service and meet the needs of your followers?
In partnership with Deskpass, ALX Founder Alexandra Frumberg and Social Media Manager Lauren Ramsey lead a discussion teaching business owners how to navigate the coronavirus crisis on social media. Read below for social media marketing best practices during these unprecedented times.
Social Media Trends During the Coronavirus Crisis
Your brand is what makes your business unique. In times of crisis, it becomes even more important to show up authentically, share your company values, and show up in service. Doing this will help your brand voice rise above the noise.
Where Are Your Consumers? 3.48 billion people use social media worldwide and 69% of U.S. adults use at least one social media platform. Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, 58% of users are consuming more television and social media content. During this challenging time, consumer habits and schedules have changed overall. Here’s a look at how social media usage has increased by channel:
Put Solutions Before Sales
What do your followers want to hear? Solutions, not sales pitches. Focus on providing value-based content that serves the community. Here are a few eye-opening statistics from Harvard Business School:
89% of people want consumer brands to focus on producing goods that help people meet pandemic-related challenges.
89% want brands to offer free or discounted products to healthcare workers, vulnerable groups, and unemployed people.
54% are only considering new products if they address coronavirus-related concerns.
Now is not the time to go silent on social media. There’s an opportunity for brands to provide valuable education, entertainment, and stories that promote strong brand advocacy for the future.
Social Media Best Practices During Covid-19
The following best practices always apply when it comes to social media marketing for your business, but they’re especially important right now. Here are three best practices for managing social media during a crisis:
Focus on Organic Boosted Content - Now is not the time to launch a new advertising campaign. Focus on promoting quality, value-based content that can be boosted instead of ads.
Understand Consumer Behaviors - Social media followers are changing their online behavior. Understand these changes and find ways to add value instead of noise. Learn how and when consumers want to engage with media.
Practice Social Listening - Get your branding and messaging right, especially during uncertain times. Take the time to craft messages carefully and review them with your team.
What Are Consumers Seeking?
Marketers often talk about funnels, but this model of the customer journey is outdated. Customer referrals and word-of-mouth through social media channels have changed purchase decisions. The funnel model shows you how to attract customers, but it doesn’t show you how to turn customers into brand advocates. It’s time to see the customer journey as a wheel and view customer social engagement as a driving force in your business.
So what will it take to turn your customers into brand advocates? It will take an understanding of what they’re seeking online. Show up for them during the coronavirus crisis by providing the following:
Community - Create connection through a digital experience. How is your brand creating a valuable community?
Health - How can your brand shift to a health focus? Think about ways to incorporate fitness classes, nutrition, and other tips.
Education - Social media users are using this time at home to learn new skills. What skills and experiences can you share with your customers? Now is a great time to launch a course.
Fun - Don’t underestimate the value of providing the fun! Be the life of the party on social media through virtual activities, live streaming, and virtual gatherings.
Content Pillars That Focus on Service
Before the coronavirus pandemic, content aimed to provide inspiration, education, and entertainment. Now there is an added emphasis on creating community, providing an escape, and becoming a utility. Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to provide value during the coronavirus crisis. Here are 5 tips for ensuring that your brand is staying relevant.
Givers Gain - Growing your business on social media requires a service mindset. Providing value will increase followers, engagement, and ultimately, sales.
Community First - This mindset will promote more interactions and genuine connection with your audience.
Focus on Passion Points - Understand your followers and what makes them happy.
Become an E-Space - How can your brand be an escape? People are cooking more than ever, so if you’re a food-based brand, launch a channel and cook for your audience!
Be a Utility - How can you help? Try giving a free subscription or class. Find ways to help people learn for free.
If you need help creating a content strategy that will best serve your audiences, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation. We’re here to help!