As the pandemic drags on and we enter our 9th month of social distancing (Yes 9th!) we’re slowly and reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that this is now normal.
COVID-19 has left business owners across the world questioning what the next month and even the next week will bring for the future of their companies. And as we begin to accept the reality that we’re truly in this for the long haul, we’re seeing the divide deepening between companies that are adapting and implementing digital transformation plans and companies that are not.
Amidst the chaos of it all, leveraging social media as a part of your digital transformation plans is one of the most simple and effective ways to stay relevant and on the minds of your customers–not to mention certainly, one of the most affordable.
Why, you ask? Because as people continue to social distance more people are spending more time on social media. They are looking for ways to stay connected and maintain some semblance of normalcy in their social lives without being able to see people as regularly as they used to in real life. This, in combination with an increased amount of time spent at home, provides companies with an audience that is actively engaged and listening on social media.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reported that 3.13 billion people are now actively using its family of apps including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger with usage of its messaging tools more than doubling since the start of the crisis.
With this in mind, here are a few ways to make sure your social marketing strategy continues to make an impact for your business.
Consider creating content that showcases the people who are making a difference in your business and communities. At the end of the day, it’s that employee in the store who welcomes your customer or the engaging customer service representative that takes care of your customers that will leave a lasting impression on someone’s memory of their time spent interacting with your brand.
People need each other for support and guidance, to help one another during a crisis; and people trust people, not brands. Your most loyal customers will find value in hearing the stories about the people who make your company unique and worth shopping with and your social media platforms are a convenient vehicle to relay this message to the masses.
It may go without saying, but where authenticity rules on social media, transparency in the age of the pandemic has become a critical component of any social media and larger digital marketing strategy. Make it easy for customers to find the details that they need right away, on everything from hours of operations to the most reliable ways to contact you.
Your customers will want to do whatever is quickest to find the information that they need, so make sure that you are maximizing your opportunities to keep them informed. Are your social media bios updated? Are you maximizing opportunities to use your Instagram highlights? Do you have FAQs set up through your social media accounts to assist with guests searching for answers through voice technology? Bear in mind that the need for updated information extends past your social media accounts onto your website and search engine results.
As resources and COVID public health responses vary from state to state, your customers may find it difficult to stay up to date on the most recent government advisories and requirements in your location, let alone their own. And if they can’t find the information quickly online they’ll turn to social media for the answers.
Pre-COVID, expectations to reach a brand representative through social media platforms were already high, but now, as information continues to change weekly and sometimes even daily, the need for quick access to information is even higher than before.
Businesses will benefit from continuing to have a dedicated role or team provide regular service to its customers through these platforms. As policies and procedures continue to change quickly, ensure that your reputation and response management teams are regularly updated on new policies to be able to effectively communicate them with your customers.
It has always been important for companies to provide value to their followers through their social media communications plans; not only to ensure engagement with their content but also in an effort to identify and build relationships with brand evangelists. But now, more than ever, as the world can sometimes feel as if it’s crumbling around us, people are turning to social media for meaningful content and inspiration.
Use this as an opportunity to focus on helping rather than selling. This is not the time to create posts just to post. It means that every message you post needs to have a purpose. Think about WHY you are posting the content on social media. Is it to entertain your followers or educate them? Does it have something specific included that will benefit your audience? Work to provide value for your customers from every digital touchpoint.
As marketers, particularly focused on social media, your role in your organization is perhaps more vital than ever.
In many ways this may be difficult but it’s also an opportunity to step up to the challenge to continue to inspire and educate your customers about the benefits of your products.
Even as a seasoned social media expert, we all sometimes need help. We help organizations like yours to put digital and social media marketing best practices into place. Let us know if we can assist in your current social media marketing needs with a no-obligation strategy call.