We may be in lockdown, but that’s no excuse to be anti-social

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We may be in lockdown, but that’s no excuse to be anti-social

"The outbreak is bringing back the 'social' aspects of social media."

This is just one for the conclusions to come from GlobalWebIndex (GWI), based on the extensive research it has performed on attitudes and buying habits worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the data, more people (39% more) are turning to social platforms, primarily for news updates, but also to stay in touch with family and friends, and to research new products and services.  As one of the attendees in our regular online seminars for our client and networks said “this isn’t social distancing – we are being social – we are just physically distancing”.

Of all the platforms available, Facebook is proving the most popular for obtaining information about the virus. While industry research shows that in the first 2 weeks of lockdown, daily accumulated likes on Instagram ad posts rose 76%.

When it comes to social media, there is no right or wrong answer about which platform(s) your business should be present on, because it is entirely dependent on where your audience is. But in the current climate where potentially more of your audience are on those social platforms, perhaps it's time to re-think your strategy, or increase your investment, in order to better engage them...

Take another look at paid advertising

Before COVID-19 took hold, fewer companies were investing in paid advertising. And since lockdown commenced, 55% of companies have postponed their ad campaigns amid the uncertainty.

But...

That makes it a very exciting opportunity for you, because with more potential customers online, and fewer companies bidding for their attention, you effectively have a captive audience. And the beauty of online advertising is that you can make it super targeted. It may mean fewer clicks on those ads, but the people who are clicking are more likely to convert and therefore provide a better return on your investment.

Of course, paid advertising in isolation is never going to be as effective compared to when it's used as part of a broader campaign. Therefore, take the time to plan what your social media presence is going to look like over the coming weeks/months...

Re-think and tweak your messaging

Obviously the world is a very different place at the moment, and even if our businesses are doing well, we need to be mindful that our customers may be struggling, or at least apprehensive about what happens post-lockdown. It means we need to change the conversation and perhaps tweak our messaging. For example, before COVID-19 you would probably feel proud to shout about a new client win, or push a new feature development out to your audience. But that's not what they want to hear at the moment. 

According to another report from GWI, there are 3 main actions that brands should be communicating at the moment:

  1. Providing practical information to help people deal with the situation

  2. Pledging money/ supplies

  3. Running promotions

So while you may have a new client win, rather than position it in a way to promote yourself, offer it up as supportive piece on a 1-to-1 basis:

"Thought you might be interested in reading about our new client who was facing a similar challenge to you."

Or if you're releasing a new feature, think about how you frame that message:

"Our new feature X automates the process. We estimate it will save users 2 days' worth of effort per month, and for the next 3 months we're offering it free of charge."

It could even be as simple as changing "We're still open for business" to "Our team is still here whenever you need us" to hook into your audience's more emotional state of mind.

Put a face to your name

For the last couple of months, the UK has been in lockdown, forced to work from home and apart from our colleagues and at arms length from our friends and families. Unsurprisingly, at a time where we've never felt so isolated, the one thing we're all craving is human contact, and the easiest way to deliver this to your audience is through the power of video.

Before COVID-19, video was a powerful engagement tool, attracting 10x more engagement on social media when compared to posts without.

Now, it's even more important to provide reassurance and build trust. According to Forbes, 50% of social influencers believe that video is the most important content at the moment. 

And while data from GWI shows that we're consuming more video now, it also indicates that post-COVID-19, 58% of UK online video watchers plan to consume just as much video content.

So while words and graphics have an important role to play in your digital marketing, why not think about sharing some video content as well - staring everyone from the CEO to your frontline staff and support team - to make a personal connection

Fancy some more tips to improve your digital performance?

Then you're in luck! We've just produced a guide containing 4 simple strategies to help you achieve a stronger digital performance. Download it now for more tips and tricks on how to get the most from social media. Or explore other elements of the digital marketing mix, including your website, thought leadership content and sales.

Download the guide...