As the world plays Buzzword Bingo with phrases like “the new normal” and “unprecedented times”, we’ve seen a drastic shift in the way businesses operate throughout COVID-19. Social media was once considered a “nice to have” pre-pandemic, but it’s become a “necessity” for businesses who want to stay connected to their communities.
So what’s a brand to do? Plan and execute 💪 With 45% of people now devoting extra time to social media, we’ve compiled a 7- step guide that will get you thinking critically about your long term strategic plans as you begin the journey into a post- COVID world.
Increased dependency and connectedness is a trend we’ve seen come out of COVID-19, so it’s imperative that your brand is utilising high opportunity channels and focusing on always-on digital. We recommend investing in long-form video for brand awareness and creating innovative content and utilising new platforms (like TikTok) as you think more strategically about what role digital and social channels play in your core business strategy.
2. Don’t be afraid to pivot
COVID-19 forced consumer purchase patterns to change overnight. We saw brick and mortar businesses offering bespoke deliveries (he-llo make your own candles at home!) and online stores popping up in hours. The pivots that were bought on by the necessities of a COVID-world and in turn, opened up channels of convenience that consumers had not seen before. Use this opportunity to start personalising consumer and brand interactions with a more convenient experience for your fans by offering e-commerce capabilities or driving fans to live streams for increased brand awareness and exposure.
3. Track and optimise data
With more consumers using digital as a core connection channel with brands they love (or will love), there is more data available to look at what people like/don’t like and are/aren’t buying. What’s better? The data available, allows you to tailor your message to where consumers are in their journey and ensure relevancy. At an advertising level, start looking at metrics like conversions, ROAS (return on ad spend), landing page views and dynamic ads, and playing not just the awareness top-of-funnel role that social is traditionally used for, but also the bottom-of-funnel conversion.
4. Change cadence
It’s no longer business as usual, so there’s no reason to stick to the same routine. While you should still check in daily on digital channels to ensure messaging is relevant to the current climate, it’s imperative you start to plan for the long term to anticipate the flow-on effects that COVID-19 will have on our future global economy and how your strategy has leveled up over the last few months to find any gaps in resourcing or execution.
5. Be mindful with messaging
While it may feel as if we’re seeing the other side of this pandemic, there are millions of people who are still in the thick of it – and if not the medical concerns, the economic ones will linger. For global brands, remain hyper conscious of messaging and have geo-targeted content to specific locations, ensuring relevancy and avoiding any negative fan sentiment.
For local brands, closely monitor the conversation and tone and if you’ve found that messaging on COVID-19 is not actually what your communities want to hear, shift your tone of voice to suit.
6. Make your community know they are indispensable to you
Consumers went out of their way to support businesses through COVID by ordering takeaway and getting coffees, purchasing gift cards from local brands and businesses, and buying products online. Use this opportunity, to put extra emphasis on making sure communities and consumers know just how valued and important they are to us as brands and businesses. Try running offers or giveaways where possible, using polls to ask your fan’s opinion and open up to answer questions to build the community and your content strategy.
7. Leverage new opportunities
If there’s one upside to come out of COVID, it’s innovation. Look at brand messaging, new executions and aesthetics, competitor pivots or new ways of working and use this as an opportunity to build better strategies into your business. If it works, if you like it better or if consumers prefer it – make it a part of business as usual. There is no reason why it has to just be a part of business right now!
Want more where 👆 came from? Drop us a line here for our full Social Media Strategic Guide to navigate your digital strategy into the normal!
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Kristy is a compassionate, fearless team lead, obsessed with the art of baking. With experience in fashion and interior design, she loves the ocean and will never say no to a good bowl of pasta.