by Joanna Ellis-Escobar
We are experiencing an unprecedented time right now. Everything we’ve known to be true has been turned upside down.
We’re trying to navigate a space and span of time in business (and life in general) that none of us have ever witnessed before. And, it’s something we’ll likely never face again in our lifetimes.
It’s a time that was unfathomable just a few months ago. A time of social distancing, stay-at-home orders, work-from-home mandates, marketing budget freezes, eLearning for our children, Zoom fatigue, market uncertainty and so much more that’s shocking our lives and world right now.
One common thread we’re finding? We all seem to be feeling an extra need for human connection, whenever and however possible.
What does this mean for brands and companies?
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many things for us – from the fragility of global supply chains to the power of social media – in ways we’ve never seen before.
When it comes to brand identity and digital marketing efforts, social has been a force to be reckoned with for more than a decade now. But there’s an even greater opportunity out there today. Particularly given the newfound need for brands to do more, right now, in order to connect with their audience.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other major players have always been (when used properly) successful platforms that can offer connections. Social media allows you to reach your customers and prospects in ways that mean something more.
No longer is it just about selling a product or service. The craving for social interaction is more intense than ever. It’s being hurled at us in ways we couldn’t have ever imagined six months ago – what we’re finding is that something as simple as connecting with others, even via a virtual platform since we can’t do it in person, means so much more.
Social is an effective space for businesses to:
- be a source for information
- provide a universal place to host news updates
- allow executive teams, employees and customers to express feelings
So it’s not all that surprising that a Harris poll conducted in early May shows that 51% of respondents reported increasing their social media usage in the months since the pandemic began. Marketing through social media has always been an effective way to engage with consumers and build brand recognition. The realities businesses are facing now, as COVID-19 produces its own unique set of opportunities and challenges, are being met through the use of social efforts.
Social Media – The Opportunity is There
…but how can you use it in the most effective way? How can your brand rise to the occasion while avoiding potential pitfalls?
Let’s look at some of the best ways you can put social media to use right now, to connect with your users and customers. It’s a way to ensure you’re not falling behind your competition in a time when communication may be vital to your very existence.
#1: Post Thoughtfully
Scheduling your posts in advance is a great way to maintain a comprehensive overview of your upcoming content. Under normal circumstances, planning out your posts and prescheduling them can help you publish consistently while also eliminating time-consuming repetitive tasks.
However, with the constant – sometimes daily – changes that we’re seeing with COVID-19, posts that may have been perfectly relevant even just a week or a month ago may no longer be appropriate.
Closely monitor your scheduled posts for the time being, and
don’t be afraid to suspend content if needed.
Focus on creating real-time content with an appropriate tone for the current environment. Posts that share helpful information, updates on how your brand is adapting to changing conditions or fun and useful tips for life at home can all be a good place to start.
#2: Promote Conversation
We’ve all had our lives upended to some degree due to the pandemic, so give your followers a safe place to share their experiences, express their feelings and participate in a community.
Share stories of how you’ve adapted to challenges individually and as a brand,
express your goals for the future and charitable efforts your brand is engaged in.
Encourage your followers to post their own thoughts and photos, and actively engage with them in the comments.
#3: Share Inspiring Stories
With all the confusing, discouraging or downright scary information being thrown at us almost daily, we all long to hear positive news and have a deep desire to share the goodness of the human spirit.
If you know of an individual, group or organization that has served their
community in an extraordinary way, celebrate them.
Promote their story on your socials, and invite your followers to share their own uplifting stories. At the end of the day, and as we move even just a little bit closer to the proverbial “other side,” one thing rings truer now than ever before: we are all in this together. Let’s survive it together.
Social media sometimes gets a bad rap for being a platform that users can hide behind and hurl negativity from. But it can also be used for good, and we think now is the perfect time to use all the benefits it has to offer.
Are you using social media to connect with your followers and help your brand during COVID-19? In what ways has it been most useful to you?
Looking for help managing, crafting and executing your social presence? Flair can help you do all of that and more. Reach out today to learn about how we help brands just like yours get the most out of social media.