Social Media Content Strategy in the Era of Covid-19: Opportunities, DOs & DONTs.
The worldwide pandemic has redefined people’s habits and needs and the way brands interact with their customers for good. The players are the same, but the game is different. Now is your time to create more engaging content, connect with your audience and shine. You need to (1) be sensitive to the current state of the world, and (2) sure that your content not only makes sense to your audience but also for you .
There are two important facts that suggest you should be more active than ever before:
(A) With people being confined in their homes due to social distancing, social media consumption has risen enormously. “Research by GlobalWebIndex suggests that social media use has increased by 27% among Gen Z, 30% among Millennials, 29% among Gen X and 15% among Boomers. At the same time, Facebook reports more than a 50% increase in usage across its family of apps since the onset of the crisis"
(B) Although some advertisers have actually increased their online spending, others have paused indefinitely. This in turn has resulted in lower CPC costs all around (Socialbakers). At the same time people keep spending online and demand exists and for some vertical according to a McKinsey study consumers are spending more than usual (groceries, home entertainment etc).
Herein lies the opportunity to reach your audience at lower costs - leverage it! The question you're asking now, is how? For starters, authenticity can never be forgotten, especially in times that are as trying as these. Don't pretend as if nothing has happened. Simply redefine your content so that it aligns with the new needs of your audience. Keep in mind that brands who show a real commitment to supporting people’s functional and emotional needs with as much authenticity as possible are the brands that are receiving the most positive engagement.
Socialbakers recently completed a study in which they analyzed 12 million brand pages. They discovered that the brands whose CEOs directly addressed their followers in their posts were the brands that received some of the most positive reactions.
So, be real. Be responsive. Be transparent. Adopt an authentic, human approach.
It's all about the info.
Inform your community about any changes that have occurred within your business which may affect them. This includes changes in delivery schedules, the phone center, opening hours, etc.
Some of the most commonly discussed topics in Social Media reflect people’s worries about hygiene standards. So, update your audience on all the hygiene measures you have incorporated in your daily activities in order to reassure them that the products they will receive from you comply with all sanitary standards.
-Activate instant replies on all messages.
-Promptly respond to comments.
-Update your page info, if needed (i.e open hours, etc.).
-Create a FAQ section on your page, that they can easily refer to (especially if you detect that common questions are occurring frequently).
-Create posts that detail the health measures you have taken to keep your employees safe and your products sanitary.
Make sure that you help your customers with any way possible and let them know. Have in mind that free shipping and special offers nowadays are not only conversion optimizers but also valuable and respected perks your customers will appreciate.
There are many “new to e-commerce” customers that will probably make their first online order ever - make sure they know you have created the infrastructure and you are able to guide them through the process. They will value it accordingly. Not only will you earn new customers but also become a better brand.
On another note, If you are engaged in CSR actions let your audience know about them, as well as if and how they can be part of your endeavors. For instance, if you donate a part of the proceeds from purchases to a particular charity or fund then tell your audience about it - people like knowing that they are helping out with the simple act of shopping!
And don’t just mention this once with a single post. Keep your audience updated with the details and the process of the donation; show them (don't just tell them) how you are contributing to the cause.
-With a post/video
-With a live story
Spread inspiration not fear.
There are a lot of messages being spread by the media today that seem intent on spreading fear. Choose the flipside and instead inspire your audience. Make your page a place they turn to for encouragement, where they know they will find support for their personal development, or entertainment that will make them laugh.
Do not focus too much on hard-selling content.
Instead, make it your goal to be present in the everyday life of your audience. Depending on your industry, you can provide them with educational content or brief escapism they will enjoy.
The important thing to remember is that people want to interact, to communicate!
Especially in this time of social isolation, social media is where many turn to in order to feel connected.
-don’t just upload a post - ask your audience to engage and encourage their interaction through a thoughtful question.
-make your stories thought provoking or just plain fun. Create a challenge and encourage your audience to take part in it and tag their friends as well.
-If you are a fashion or beauty brand, partner with an influencer who will take over your profile for a live video during which they'll share fashion or beauty tips, respectively. -Upload “how to” videos regarding activities related to your brand.
-Give solutions to people's everyday hassles, or give suggestions on how your audience can creatively spend their time.
Listen to them.
The news changes hour by hour, so now more than ever you need to adopt an agile approach. First, listen to your audience, scope out the conversations and trending topics going on and then inform your content!
Instead of just posting what comes to your mind make it a 2-way conversation. Ask your audience what they are interested in hearing from you and then adapt your content accordingly so you may give them exactly what they want.
-Host online events / Live Videos
-Create FB/IG polls
-Make sure that your post copies ask questions and/or opinions
-If you want to share a recipe, start out with an IG poll asking your audience what type of recipe they would be interested in - are they in the mood for salty or sweet?
-If you want to share a list of activities for the weekend, then use an IG story to ask your audience whether they prefer music or cinema-related content.
Live videos have seen a great rise both on facebook & instagram. Don’t miss out to use them!
-Your followers will instantly get a notification when they login
-You can have a direct, human, immediate interaction with you followers
Refine, adjust and be there.
Even if your business is temporarily closed (i.e. the hospitality industry) do not stop posting. This is your time to re-evaluate your strategy, speak about your core values and let your audience know more about your brand's history. Take the opportunity to make your audience feel closer to your brand. Throughout all this the tone of voice you choose to post in is super important. This is not the time to be sarcastic or cynical. Rather show empathy, promote honesty and share some carefully curated humor that will make your audience chuckle and come back for more.
Posts which use the hashtag #stayhome that refer to “coming together” in the copy and/or creative, receive very positive and high engagement. This reinforces the fact that we are all in this together; we may be physically separated but not alone.
All regular and "fun" daily activities such as shopping or going to the movies which used to be done in society alongside other people are now done in seclusion. Utilizing specific hashtags that promote a sense of community reminds people that they are not as isolated as they may feel.
To sum up, world affairs are affecting our industry more than ever and your social media strategy and performance has to keep up. More so than ever, the need to connect is super important and it is up to you to leverage this need by providing your audience with content that is sensitive yet stays true to your brand and what you can offer.
Be authentic in your approach. Create content that informs, helps and inspires. Always make sure to listen to what your audience is saying and adjust accordingly.
At the end of the day, there is only one way we can go through this. Together.