The year 2020 has proven itself to be a roller coaster ride for both individuals and businesses. All across the country, people are continuing to hunker down and prepare for an uncertain future. Finances are being funneled towards basic necessities. Many families are seeking out new ways to stay emotionally close to loved ones while staying physically distanced.
Even as businesses begin opening their doors again, traveling and social functions aren’t viewed with the same level of enchantment or allure as they have held in the past. Consumer spending has dropped in record numbers over the course of the year while time spent consuming social media has increased by 21% worldwide.
While the future remains uncertain, you can be sure that social media will have a key place when it comes to maintaining relationships with your consumers. But if the world is changing then so should your strategy. Here are a few things for you to keep in mind as you’re managing your social media during these turbulent times.
Take Time to Innovate and Adapt
Unexpected shifts in culture and economy mean that brands that don’t learn to adapt may be forced to close their doors. Some popular examples of this are Blockbuster and Tower Records. Both companies struggled to adapt to the digital boom that came with advances in internet use. Their sales waned until these once beloved brands were ultimately driven to extinction.
So what has shifted in today’s world? For starters, customer experience has taken on a whole new meaning as many organizations cannot interact with their audience in the same ways. This is why utilizing social media is key right now. Whatever the future holds, we know that providing customers with the opportunity to interact with your brand from the safety of their own home is ideal for the time being.
Ask yourself the following questions when considering whether or not your organization needs to do some pivoting:
- What primary needs can you meet for your audience?
- Can you pivot in a way that allows you to help people meet their needs?
- What can your organization offer people right now that nobody else is offering?
- What does your brand need to do to survive all the cultural shifts the year has brought us?
During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, the outdoor gear brand known as Cotopaxi realized they would have to adapt quickly in order to make it through the remainder of the year. Sales began to dwindle as individuals ceased spending money on anything that wasn’t essential, including outdoor recreational gear.
To survive the rapidly changing climate of retail, Cotopaxi partnered with Uncharted Supply, a brand that specializes in the sale of emergency kits and supplies. Cotopaxi was able to provide Uncharted Supply with the staff and space they needed to meet the increasing demand for emergency preparedness supplies.
Cotopaxi took advantage of an opportunity to help a fellow business and provide the community with an on-brand product they were seeking. Meanwhile, they were providing work opportunities for their employees in a time when employment was growing scarce.
Revisit Your Social Media Calendar
Hopefully, you have already taken some time to look through your social media calendar and make appropriate edits. But it’s clear now that minor changes to your strategy will not be enough with the final quarter of the year approaching swiftly.
There is a good chance you will need to adjust the goals you have set for your organization in order for them to still be attainable. One way to get started with the readjustment process is to ask yourself a series of questions that will point you towards appropriate goals. Some of the questions may include:
- What would you like to achieve during the final quarter of the year?
- How do you see your brand engaging with the public in 2021?
- Does your once relevant and carefully planned out content seem tone-deaf?
- Should you shelf a few of your content pieces for the rest of the month or possibly the rest of the year?
- How can you demonstrate empathy and awareness?
Make an effort to create content that is more about people than your logo and focuses on helping others. You’ve probably heard the phrase “we’re all in this together” around a thousand times over the last few months and that’s because it’s true.
You most likely won’t need to change all of your creative and headlines to be about current events. But you will want to take some time to review and revise your content before publishing it to ensure that it’s sensitive to the world today and what people are going through.
Because many consumers are understandably directing their funds towards ensuring their basic needs are met, now may be a good time to focus on brand awareness campaigns despite the temptation to push out a lot of sale-heavy content.
Don’t forget to dig deep and post with purpose. Make sure your bios on your social channels are appropriately updated and your imagery matches any adjustments you have made to your copy.
Find Positive Ways to Connect
The world has experienced a collective traumatic experience that has affected the livelihood, mental health, and overall wellness of many people. By mid-April, 64% of individuals surveyed reported that they were feeling anxious, depressed, or both. During times like these, individuals are not interested in being pandered to and even less interested in dealing with “salesy” posts on social media. This is an important time for strengthening relationships with your online community.
After making drastic changes to the way they live and work, many individuals are facing a chasm between their daily life and things that once brought them a sense of certainty and levity. There are ways for you to provide this for your audience while remaining in tune with current events.
Adidas provided their followers with uplifting content through their #HomeTeam campaign. The campaign included images and videos of athletes and the Adidas team finding positive ways to adapt to spending more time in their homes.
This was a multitiered way for Adidas to share uplifting, behind-the-scenes content, while reminding their followers that we are in fact, all in this together.
Remember that people want to interact with other people, not bots or even brands. Brands that attempt to join in on trending conversations inauthentically come off as opportunistic. Make sure that your communication with your followers is honest and lines up with your brand values
For this reason, it may also benefit your brand to seek out influencers that mirror your values and can help you connect with new audiences. With more people scrolling through social media apps than ever before, this is an important time to widen the scope of your target audience.
However, you choose to adapt your brand to these unprecedented times, remember to stay active, and communicate with your audience. This is not the time to go dark on your social accounts. Be sure to stay connected and stay safe.