The topic #NewNormal has been trending on Twitter during this Coronavirus pandemic. With the devastating effects of the virus both on businesses and people, there seems to be little to no hope for normalcy.
But what does it mean for your social media activities? How is your business handling social media amidst COVID-19? One thing is sure, you still have to connect to your followers and customers to protect your brand’s health. However how you’re going to do it is never going to be the same.
There are several changes you must make to redefine your strategy and improve your messaging while being sensitive to the current situation. Here are 11 changes you should consider making to stay relevant and active on social media.
1. Repurpose Your Social Media Content
This is the time to get creative with your content. By simply reimagining and repurposing your creative assets, it’s possible to add value to them. For example, with photo-editing, you can use cropping and overlay to give life to your photos. You can also rebrand royalty-free stock images to ensure your content is seamless.
You can start this by auditing your content to identify evergreen pieces, and then rewrite, update, or optimize them for social media posting. While editing your content, be mindful of the current landscape. Also create a content calendar to ensure a consistent stream of engaging social media posts for your followers.
2. Change Your Posting Times
The COVID-19 lockdowns have led to a massive increase in social media usage, so identifying the times when people are likely to interact with your posts on social media is essential. A Sprout study revealed that Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are the best days to post on Facebook.
The study also showed that the best time to post was between 10 am to 11 am.
On Instagram, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday seem the best days for marketers to share their content. With this in mind, it’s vital to update your posting calendar to take advantage of the times and days when your followers are most active.
3. Strive to Help, Not to Sell
Instead of investing in selling, you should shift your focus on helping. Customers are likely to buy from you when they feel you’re helping them. During these times, people are looking for solutions to the problems they have, so strive to update your content to provide much-needed solutions.
Try sharing the challenges that your customers are likely experiencing during this period. This means you’re acknowledging their situation and possibly providing value through the services you offer. The typical sales campaign can be slow right now, but people are likely to remember you when you help them.
4. Put People First
This is a valid concept for any business, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Its value is even more important now, and it can’t be overemphasized. People-centric companies understand the actual value of people. It’s because of people that companies are successful and grow steadily.
Your social media content should prioritize people instead of logos and other branding content. For example, instead of using graphics and animated content, you can work with your employees to include them in your visuals. People are more relatable when used in your content, so your engagement rate is likely to be much higher.
5. Share New Posts with a Purpose
Between January and April 2020, business social media activities slowed. At first the effect was negative as brand engagement for many businesses dipped in early March. But the last weeks of March saw engagement on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter hit 2020 high.
It seems that decreased posting frequency had actually worked in favor of businesses. This means that companies were only sharing new posts when it made sense. As such, you should only create new posts with a specific target in mind to avoid overwhelming your followers.
Your prospects are likely to interact with you when they feel your posts are objective and relevant.
6. Listen to Your Customers
The digital world is rich in opportunities, with some requiring optimal attentiveness and a sharp eye. More customer communications are indeed happening via social media during this outbreak. By listening to your followers more keenly, it is possible to create customer service channels that can deliver consistent leads for your business.
What are customers saying about your brand, products, or employees? What’s their opinion about the quality of your service? Knowing the answer to these questions will help you personalize your content and improve your services to eliminate the pain points your customers might be experiencing. This will go a long way in improving your brand health post COVID-19.
7. Review and Update Your Bio
Sadly there are businesses that the pandemic has immensely affected. Some have reduced their hours of operation, thus affecting their opening and closing times. Others have been compelled to reduce their office staff in line with the new social distancing rules.
With such unexpected changes, you must update your social media bios to reflect the current situation. For example, restaurants have been forced to make deliveries and offer takeouts. Some retailers, such as BestBuy, offer pickup only. Making this information available on your bio can help ensure smooth business continuity and eliminate customer frustration.
8. Target Future Sales
Many businesses have indeed witnessed a sales drop, particularly those in the travel, automotive, and hospitality industries. That doesn’t mean all is lost. Instead, use social media to inspire and educate your followers to secure future sales.
For example, a Kenyan wildlife conservancy group, Ol Pejeta, has been sharing educational information on animals and offering video tours to keep their Twitter followers engaged. Their goal is to have their clients postpone their visits instead of canceling them.
By continually engaging your followers, you can keep them interested in your services or products. This means that they’re likely to buy from you when the world opens up.
9. Restrategize Paid Social Media Ads
Recent data has shown that CPC and CPM metrics for social ads have been dropping as companies pause or reduce their marketing budgets; however, the overall click-through-rates for ads are diving too. But clients in several industries, such as gaming and delivery services, are doing very well with social media ads.
At this time, take the time to audit your ads and change your message or try new ad types. For example, you might want to try story ads or carousel ads on Facebook. Keep in mind photo and video ads are still great for new products. Edit your headlines, descriptions, and CTAs to create ads that can deliver results during this pandemic.
10. Invest More in Influencer Marketing
During such challenging times, people tend to look up to people they trust and those who inspire and motivate them. This is one of the reasons Instagram has recorded an uptick of 75% in post clicks. As a business owner, you can navigate this crisis by enlisting the help of influencers to reach your target audiences.
Leverage your relationship with creators and influencers to improve your social media engagement through organic content. Ensure the information you share with your influencers will be valuable in the current landscape. More importantly, the content creation should be a collaboration of your team and the influencer.
11. Use Visuals Appropriately
The videos and images you share with your audiences will define your core marketing messages. With the current rules on social distancing and wearing masks, the last thing you want is to share a visual that might be perceived in a manner that it was not intended. Visuals that leave followers second-guessing should also be avoided.
For example, taking a group photo and sharing it on social media might not be the right thing to do now. Your visuals should be clear and customer-centric to ensure you’re sharing the right message. Always get a second set of eyes to review your visuals before posting them to prevent misinterpretation.
The COVID-19 situation has brought with it unprecedented conditions for most businesses. Even with these challenges, your business should still focus on delivering your key objectives. This includes interacting with your audiences on social media.
If possible, you might want to create a new social media strategy for the COVID-19 season. This will prevent a complete overhaul of your usual approach, which might be still useful after the world opens up.