Social media a great opportunity for savvy marketers right now

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People have flocked to social media during the pandemic so if you’re looking to connect with audiences, social apps are where you need to be. Not sure what your brand should be doing on social media right now? Catgraphics did a quick round-up to show you what the experts are saying.

Taylor Loren, Head of Marketing at Later, says just because people are spending more time on social media doesn’t mean it’s business-as-usual. Her five guiding principles for Social Media Marketing & Covid-19 are:

  • Listen & Acknowledge

Ignoring Covid-19 or pretending everything is normal can come across as inauthentic at best, and tone deaf at worst. Let your followers know you’re listening and acknowledge our new normal.

  • Keep Posting

Your followers are spending more time online than ever before, and you want stay connected to them! If you’re unable to market or sell your products or services right now, focus on sharing content that aligns with your brand values instead.

  • Be Empathetic

You don’t have to mention Covid-19 explicitly in all of your content, but do consider your tone. Remember that some of your followers have lost their jobs, are caring for a loved one, trying to work at home with a toddler, might be sick themselves, etc.

  • Provide Organic Value

Give your audience a valuable resource. Focus on engagement first, instead of driving traffic, by providing extra education through videos, carousel posts, or captions.

  • Ask for Help

If you’re struggling, it’s okay to lean on your community, that’s what it’s there for. Get vulnerable in your content, share your story, and clearly communicate how your followers can support your business right now. And remember: we’re all in this together.

It's well worth reading her full article here.

Socialbakerslatest report says users are looking to the digital world to keep them feeling connected, updated and entertained and that this presents a great opportunity for savvy marketers. The report also shows that brands are increasing their use of organic content and decreasing ad spend, and notes that the lower ads costs present an opportunity for brands to share their message with a wider audience.  Read the State of Social Media Report: The Impact of COVID-19 here.

Arik Hanson, writing for Business 2 Community, agrees that consumers are engaging more with social media, and believes that usage of Twitter, Twitch, Instagram Stories, LinkedIn and Tiktok has all soared since the COVID-19 outbreak, but that podcasting is down, probably because most people listened to podcasts while driving. He notes that Facebook and Instagram usage is changing: “You’re seeing more interactive content like challenges, workouts and webinar-like content via livestreams (all the concerts from home have been great!).” Read more of his article here.   

Hanson also mentions Zoom, not technically a social network, but, according to him, “it does have many of the makings of one – social interaction, chat functionality, ability to break off into groups”.  He says it is quickly becoming the de facto video comms device during the outbreak. See a great example of its use in  marketing here.

According to the latest report from App Annie, daily time spent in apps on Android devices increased 20% year-over-year in Q1 2020. Commenting on the report, Social Media Today says the opportunities right now are significant for those in a position to push campaigns. “The numbers highlight significant opportunity to connect with audiences right now - with fewer advertisers in the market, and more people spending more time in apps, it could provide a great opportunity to boost brand awareness, and reach people looking for information and products online.”

The Digital Marketing Institute has published a useful handbook that provides examples of how businesses are approaching Covid-19, either to reassure their customers and staff, or to offer acts of kindness to the wider public. Download the guide here. The Institute has also made its Covid-19 Handbook for Social Media Managers available for download here.

Google’s global marketing VP for media, Joshua Spanier, says Google is constantly reassessing campaigns, creative, and even guidelines in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We’re asking ourselves every day, “Is this creative or ad placement right for this moment and in this context?” And when the answer is no, we pivot. For instance, we’ve had an Android campaign running that referenced being “out and about.” Was that OK in the U.S. market a few weeks ago? Sure. Today? Not so much.”

He also notes that all creative elements need scrutiny right now, including tone, visual imagery, copy and keywords. For instance, slapstick humour isn’t  appropriate for Google’s brands right now and the company is reevaluating creative that shows interactions like handshakes, hugs, and high-fives. You can read the full article here.

Finally, Patrick Conroy, Head of Strategy at Ogilvy South Africa, speaking during a recent Webinar entitled From Everest to Covid-19: How to prepare for a fast moving crisis situation, notes there won’t be a return to normal and urges brands to plan now for the recovery and the ‘new normal’ phase.

He says that during these times, there are four key takeaways for brands:

  • Compassion

Brands must show understanding and empathy, and not come across as opportunistic. Castle Lager, for example, has diverted its marketing budget to health workers.

  • Utility

Provide relief, comfort and utility. For example, DSTV made their news channels available to all packages and Wits university offers online tuition to its students with free data bundles.

  • Partnership

Go out of your usual network to meet customer needs. For example, Discovery partnered Vodacom to offer free online consultations on Coronavirus for all South Africans.

  • Agile and adaptation

There’s been a more than 300% increase in online shopping in SA, according to Kantar, which will accelerate the need to embrace an omni channel approach. Retailers will have to move from the comfort of brick and mortar to greater use of e-commerce platforms.

We hope this round-up gets you thinking! Feel free to chat to us at Catgraphics about any of your social media advertising or marketing needs.