There’s no denying that these are tough times. When times are tough, it’s really common for companies to struggle with what to say, particularly on social media. Do you continue as though nothing is happening in the world or realign your content in keeping with everything?
While I like to suggest that you all decide what YOU feel is best for your brand, I feel that I am able to give advice on certain aspects of social media that may help you to succeed over the coming months.
Whether you’re just starting out on social media or you’re experienced but wanting to realign your marketing, the steps below may guide you to the right solution.
Know Your Audience
Whilst this is always a key element of marketing at any time, it’s really critical during times of crisis like we are experiencing at the moment. Marketing relies heavily on empathy, which in turn relies on an understanding of the people you’re trying to talk to.
If you’ve been on social media for a while, you might be thinking that you should skip this step. You’ve got a grip on who your customers are, correct? Maybe, how about during the current pandemic? Are your usual customers suffering more than usual? Have their buying traits changed this year? Are other portions of society now looking for your services/products that usually wouldn’t need your help?
It doesn’t matter what business or sector you are in — now is a great time to take a new look at your customers and see if there are any new opportunities. Here’s how:
- Identify the basic information: Answer questions such as age, location, gender, basic interests, income level, etc. Once you have a basic outline of a profile, go further and ask yourself what does this all mean at the moment? How have things changed for them?
- Find out what your customer is thinking and feeling now. Do some research, check-in with your customers, and find out how they are feeling at the moment. Are they now dealing with working from home? Are they trying to keep kids busy now that schools are closed? Are they trying to stay fit and healthy while in quarantine?
- Take these answers and look at things with fresh eyes. Forget everything you’ve done before and everything you thought you knew about your customer. Are there any new opportunities to share your products/services in different ways with new people? How can you adapt to meet the needs of your customers and prospects right now?
This information of your customers will set the tone for everything you do on social media during a crisis like COVID-19 and in the future. The relationships you build through this situation will hold you in good stead for the future
Explore New Avenues on Social Media
So you’ve spent most of your time over the past couple of years peddling your business on Facebook and/or Instagram, correct? How much ACTUAL business have you had from all the time and effort you have been putting into it? Be honest, do the sales IN from all of your effort, make it worth your while? Did you research before you started to find out where your customers spend most of their time on social media or did you just follow what everyone else seems to be doing?
Now is the time to branch out. Try new platforms. Try new methods of posts.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas:
- Experiment with new types of content like video. It doesn’t need to be like a Hollywood blockbuster, but a video from you or your staff showing a demo of your product/service could be really well accepted.
- Give another platform a go. Think of who you are trying to reach. Women 20-40? Try Pinterest. Men over 30? Why not give Twitter a go.
- Try some of the functionality that platforms have introduced for engagement like polls on Instagram/ LinkedIn or Facebook. You can use them to benefit you by obtaining crucial product feedback directly, or you can use them purely to entertain your audience.
- Spend more time listening. Keep an eye on comments on your post, your competitors, and influencers in your industry.
- Get your customers engaged with calls for user-generated content (UGC). Whether it’s a competition asking for photos of your product being used by your customers or doing something just for entertainment and engagement, customers with more time on their hands who are spending more time online are more likely to engage with you.
No matter which direction you choose to go down now is a great time to experiment, look for new opportunities, and create a brand new social media strategy for you and your company. These efforts may not lead to a direct increase in purchases straight away, but they’ll help you stand out, stay in touch and be a source of inspiration, entertainment, and information for your customers.
Your customers are looking for ways to be social, to connect with others and even to be distracted from everything that’s going on. Social media is the perfect platform for brands to engage with customers in this way and create opportunities for now and into the future.
Take time to sit down with a new notebook and relook at all that you have been doing, analyse what HAS been working for you, ditch what HASN’T, and think of new, exciting ways to promote your business. As well as boosting your sales, you will probably get a new zest for social media too, which will come across in your posts.
Social media is all about testing (as is all marketing) so don’t be afraid to try new methods. Try them out, leave for a couple of days then look at the results. We are always learning, so keep at it and you will do great I’m sure!