The COVID-19 pandemic has left many business owners questioning the future, whether due to a decrease in shoppers or a closure per mandatory government order. It’s important to keep everyone safe and healthy, but you also need to protect your livelihood to get through a recession. While the journey may not be easy, it provides an opportunity to change up your usual marketing tactics and reconnect with customers while being a leader for your employees. Social media marketing presents a simple, effective way to keep that connection and show up for your local community.
More People are Using Social Media Regularly
As people are forced to stay inside and practice social distancing, they are looking for ways to stay connected to others, and social media is filling that void. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reported that in response to the virus, usage on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger “has more than doubled since the start of the crisis.” In terms of community, local support groups have been growing on Facebook through the crisis and, in total, comprise over a million people. Individuals are coming together to help the vulnerable within their communities by volunteering to help with everyday tasks, necessary shopping, and more.
Other social sites are also seeing large increases in users and engagement. Reddit reported increased traffic of 20-50% in business, finance, news, education, travel, and sports subreddits. The r/coronavirus community has 1.2 million members and is currently ranked second among the site’s top growing communities. Instagram campaign impressions have increased by 22% between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020. TikTok also noted a 27% in engagement on average just from February to March.
Encourage Sharing and Make a Positive Impact
The news and statistics surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has many people feeling lost. To make the biggest impact with your customers and keep them engaged, you either need to ensure your company is either doing good for the community or presenting content that makes people feel good. Showing that your business has a bigger purpose than simply turning a profit helps build trust with your employees and customers. When people trust you and your message, they are more likely to share what you have to say with peers, helping your message spread to new customers.
No matter what business you’re in, there’s sure to be a way you can present information that helps others feel good. The brand Lululemon has launched relaxing meditation sessions on Instagram for followers. DJs around the world are performing for fans on TikTok, Douyin, Facebook Live, and more, allowing users to react in real time. Think about what your business has to offer and how you can help inspire your customers and social media followers.
Social Marketing can Help Make Up for In-Person Business
With many brick-and-mortar retail locations closing their doors, customers are naturally turning to online purchasing for the things they want. In fact, 87% of North American marketers are predicting an increase in customers utilizing online services during the outbreak, with 75% predicting an increase in ecommerce. One example comes from the Chinese cosmetics company Lin Qingxuan. The company had to close 40% of its store fronts, but was able to avoid layoffs by redefining beauty advisers as online influencers. They were still able to help customers choose and purchase products through various social tools, including WeChat, and ended up tripling sales over the previous year.
Service-based and retail businesses are finding new ways to offer services to customers through livestreaming and virtual technology. A facialist based in New York, Sophie Pavitt, was able to compensate for cancelled in-office appointments by offering clients live, guided facial tutorials on Instagram. Over 10% of her followers watched which resulted in Sophie booking 36 virtual consultations. Fitness centers can also use this concept by scheduling and streaming various workout classes people can participate in at home.
Current Strategies can Remain Useful in the Future
While many of the strategies are being put into place rather quickly, it’s still important to think long-term. The pandemic can feel never-ending, but there will come a time when things get back to the way they were, but that doesn’t mean you should scrap what you’ve learned. Some methods of social marketing and communication that are useful during the crisis will be just as useful moving forward.
In the healthcare field, to keep patients safe, many offices are presenting virtual visits as an option. Consultations with a physician can easily be done via video chat for a variety of health concerns, saving the patient a trip to the office or ER and potentially freeing up valuable hospital space for those who really need it. These visits can still be a viable option for physicians moving forward, and telemedicine providers will see long-term growth opportunities.
Perhaps the availability of social media demonstrations or classes has led to a great deal of engagement – don’t let it end when the pandemic is done. Continue offering these in a way that is feasible for your company. You will not only generate interest on social media, but customers will be more excited to visit you in-person once your doors are open again.
Don’t Feel Overwhelmed – Let Us Help
The constant changes, new information, and uncertainty is enough to make even the most organized businesses feel overwhelmed. Even if you feel you are well-versed in social marketing, it’s a lot to handle when it becomes one of the only ways you are communicating with your customers. The experts at Amplified Digital Agency are here to help you navigate the new marketing landscape the coronavirus pandemic has created.
If your business has been impacted by COVID-19, contact us for a no obligation marketing communication consultation. We are also offering a COVID-19 Communication Toolkit to help you navigate these challenging times. Together, we will get through this and come out stronger on the other side.