With everyone spending more time indoors due to the current restrictions and lockdowns of COVID-19 more and more people are turning to social media to keep up with the latest news, and stay entertained. Social media in particular has become increasingly popular, with Forbes reporting social media engagement increasing by 61%.
With this new-found growth in social media arises both new opportunities and challenges for businesses. This article explores the effect that COVID-19 has had on the social media landscape, as well as how businesses can look to “stay social” during this time.
COVID-19 & Social Media
Social media has become a crucial medium to bring people together. For example, a mother from Derby took her brick and mortar pub online creating a virtual pub on Facebook that has ballooned out to over 12,000 people around the world; allowing people to get involved in quizzes, comedy nights and dances. Many businesses have also taken similar measures finding the right mix between promotion and entertainment to engage with customers across the current social media environment. When done effectively, this not only allows for companies to grow their business, but also gain a greater understanding of the social environment and their own social data.
Tips for Improving Growing Engagement Using Social Media
1. Innovative Engagement
This term referred to by Forbes looks at reconstructing your business, so that your consumers can learn what you have to offer whilst enjoying an experience. For instance, one company ran ‘virtual educational wine tastings’ for their clients, allowing them to experience a winery from the comfort of their own homes. Obviously, this is quite a high-end solution and smaller businesses can utilise other options to engage with clients such as polls, engaging questions or even competitions. Not only can these engage your audience, but in many cases can also offer interesting insights into your customers.
With everyone restricted to the indoors social media has also become a large forum for entertainment. One way for brands to stay top of mind for consumers is to provide entertaining content. While this may not be “hard selling” to the customer, it will further help to build customer loyalty and engagement. This can be through videos, photos or even through funny/interesting captions and insights.
3. Utilise different social media platforms and tools
If your business is only running on Facebook, now is the time to try exploring new platforms, where the fit is right for your business of course. There are a host of new tools that companies can utilise to speed up this transition and find new interesting ways to display content. For instance, Facebook has offered new templates for businesses working through COVID-19, as well as helpful tips and recommendations. Google has recently created a YouTube Video builder available for any business that will allow them to create a short 6 to 15 second promotional video with ease.
4. Influencer Marketing
With the increased amount of eyes, ad engagement across social media influencers have become an increasingly hot commodity. Small Biz Trends reports that 70% of influencers’ audiences are turning to them during this crisis, while a further 73% of influencers already covering a range of COVID-19 topics in posts and videos sent out to their communities. While this does offer opportunities for businesses to leverage their products/services, it should be noted that this increasingly popular way of promoting products and services can be costly, so be careful not to be swept away without establishing a valid ROI.
5. Social Commerce
There are a range of ways in which individuals can utilise social media both to promote and sell products and services. This is not only through posts and videos, but also more innovative ways such as selling through live streams and even leveraging messenger apps on the platforms. Be sure to explore which options work for your business, for instance selling gift cards and merchandise have also been an increasingly popular idea.
If you want to find out how to further leverage your social media presence during this difficult time, contact the friendly team at Redline Digital today.