The Result Of Social In The Time Of COVID

How has social changed? Is there too much noise for your business to win on social media? What does digital consumption look like? How have conversations been made? Is it time to invest in social or save money? How can you create loyalty with your customer base? How do you plan for the new normal?

Getting Social

By being at home 24/7 it meant an increase in screen time, most of which is spent on social media. From communicating in your team group chats, both work, and your weekly quiz teams, to scrolling through your social feeds.

In terms of data, we have seen a 30% increase in time spent on social media across all age groups, with Gen Z's scrolling increase up to 60%.

For business, it meant difficulties in their social media strategy. Should advertising spend be paused? Should our content stay the same? Should we be reacting to the pandemic? Or should we display a totally different message?

Facebook web traffic saw an increase of 27% at the beginning of lockdown compared to only a 1% increase in app usage. Youtube app usage saw a -4.5% decrease.

This shift should be looked at very carefully and be plugged into your marketing plan. Should we plan for a spike back to app usage once the return occurs?

Types of campaigns in relation to responsiveness:

Levels of approval for brand activities:

% who strongly or somewhat approve of brands doing the following at the moment

  • 85% 👉 Providing practical information or tips which helps people deal with the situation

  • 83% 👉 Pledging money/ aid/ supplies to help people

  • 81% 👉 Running promotions/ offers/ loyalty perks for customers

  • 80% 👉 Offering flexible payment terms (e.g. instalments, payment plans, etc.)

  • 79% 👉 Running advertising which shows how they are responding to coronavirus or helping customers

  • 76% 👉 Contacting customers (e.g. via email) to let them know how they are responding to coronavirus

  • 76% 👉 Suspending their normal factory production to help produce essential supplies

  • 75% 👉 Providing funny/ light-hearted videos or content to entertain people.

  • 71% 👉 Producing lower-cost versions of their normal products

  • 62% 👉 Continuing to sell non-essential products via their websites.

  • 52% 👉 Running "normal" advertising campaigns (which aren't related to coronavirus)

Source: Global Web Index, Later

Spend or Save?

Let's keep it simple...Many industries and brands have either cut spending on their usual budgets over the last 2 months or increased their advertising budgets. So which is best to help your business fly?

Yes admittedly, by cutting spending you will, in theory, have more cash in the bank which is good for survival, however, is this going to make your business fly. Probably not.

Due to businesses cutting spending, the cost per Mille (the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions) has decreased by around 40-50%. Given this and an increase in Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Instagram daily active users.

Creating Loyalty With Social

Social media is one of the best ways to build brand loyalty, it just needs a shift in your content marketing strategy. Try offering extra value to your current clients, set up automated emails or SMS messages to help keep communicated with current and past customers. Appeal to their emotions and don't let their eyes slip from your company.

What Platforms Should You Be Focusing On?

If you haven't been under a rock for the first half of 2020, then chances are you've heard of Tik Tok. The video app has topped the download charts, reaching over 350 million downloads.

So if so many people are joining the platform is this the place to be advertising or is the audience not there? Or should your company be posting on Tik Tok?

Here are some considerations for you to be successful:

  1. Authenticity and humour are key - users are not into polished branded content, it will just flop.

  2. Gen Z leading the way - Tik Tok's main audience is below 24, it's the new Instagram. Will we see a spike in older individuals using the platform.

  3. Learn from creators and other brands' successes and failures.

  4. Trends move quickly - find the balance between planning appropriately and missing the boat.

Planning for the new normal

We don't really have a clear idea of how long things will be disrupted. Will we be clear by September or will a second wave hit? Who knows... What we do know is that businesses are returning to work and beginning to trade as normal.

This uncertainness can make it really difficult to plan your marketing activity. It's likely that you had previously spent time planning your 2020 strategy, which now may be tentative, if not completely drained.

So what exactly can you be doing?

If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it's that situations can change instantly. Being able to weave-in reactivity to your planning should strengthen your strategies and save 'panic time' if situations should change - which is likely to happen in the coming months.

Here's our checklist

If you're a brand struggling with planning your strategy moving forward as we move out of the virus recovery stages into the "new normal", use this checklist to help structure your plan. Use the prompt questions in your team meetings. If you need further help contact us.

Budgets -

How are you splitting your current and future budget allocation? Are your budgets returning to normal?

Objectives -

Are your objectives staying as they always were pre-COVID? Perhaps your objectives will change from acquiring business and customers to keeping your existing ones.

Previous Engagements -

If you've been running campaigns or posting content through lockdown, what has sentiment been like among your audience?

Competitors -

Now might be a good time to use any free time you might have to take a look at what your competitors are doing on social, and how their audience is responding.

Industry Trends -

This is a given and is something that you probably already have a handle on. But if you don't I would recommend speaking to your current agency or getting on top it yourself. It's important to understand what's going on in your industry and the trend that will affect your return-to-market strategy.

Back-Up Plans -

As mentioned previously, we now know how quickly situations change. This is why yearly marketing plans are a waste of time if you don't look at the 90-day interval plan. Need help? Speak to us today by calling 01785 318098. Having a back-up plan in place is important, especially with the likelihood of a second wave.

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