Why is social media so important during Covid-19?
Right now, the only way we are contacting our friends and family that live outside our household is through the forms of social media and our phones. So, it goes without saying that the Covid-19 outbreak is making us use the social media platforms we’re already addicted to, more than ever. Not only is it the channels we already use, but also new ones. TikTok approached 2 billion installs this month and the download surge is partly down to coronavirus.
Social media is one the most vital tools in your businesses armoury for keeping in direct contact with existing and new customers. Now is the perfect time for you to explore how your business can benefit from what is arguably the largest and most captive audience it has ever had the potential of reaching. Here are 6 things you need to take note of ahead of the coming weeks…
Keep your Audience Constantly Updated
It’s important to maintain an honest and open relationship with your audience by updating them on social media with anything that is happening within your business right now, whatever it may be. For example, here at MRS, we posted a recent update that went out on all of our social channels that explained how we’re staying positive during these times, and how our employees are dealing with remote working.
Adidas also took to socials to explain how they planned to shut their stores, but their brand remains open and committed to fostering a spirit of unity and connection around the world.
Three easy ways to keep your audience updated include:
- Make sure all of your social media accounts are updated with your current opening times (don’t forget your Google My Business listing!)
- If people can’t be reached on your normal office line ensure you share alternative contact information available on social media.
- Share the human side of your team’s story, maybe with pictures of their remote working spaces.
Create a Relevant Promotion to Keep Business Flowing
Social media is your prime hotspot right now if you’ve got any offers or promotions available. You could argue that promotion on social media is a given but it’s the way in which you do it that will set your company apart during these unprecedented times. Here are a few examples of what big brands are doing for their audience over the Coronavirus period…
Papa John’s recently showcased their newest offer via Instagram, in which you can ‘feed the fam’ with two medium pizzas, two sides and a large drink. What makes this offer even more unique is that they’re donating £1 from every meal to the Trussell Trust, this is a great way to promote their newest offer, while spreading awareness about their charity donations.
LinkedIn announced via social media that their ‘LinkedIn Learning’ courses on working from home are now available for free amid Coronavirus changes. In a statement they said:
“In the coming days, we will make 16 LinkedIn Learning courses available for free including tips on how to: stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools (Microsoft Teams, Skype, BlueJeans, Cisco Webex and Zoom), and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way.”
This was an important update from LinkedIn and will have a big impact on people during the current affairs, not only have they made something free but they’re also helping people while doing it. You can access the courses here.
Ways in which you can promote your business’ offers during this time:
- If you have anything you know can help people for the better, ensure you create a promotion which communicates this
- Don’t be scared to do your biggest ever promotion, you’ll never have a better audience to receive it
- Determine who you want to reach. If you want to reach your current audience, push your offer through your organic social channels. But if you want your promotion to reach a wider audience, paid social might be something to explore.
Do What You Can to Help Other People and Businesses and Promote it on Your Social Media
Many businesses out there have made some great gestures to help people during this crazy time, which has been inspiring to other businesses and set a trend of gestures of goodwill. Below are a few examples of our favourites.
Two weeks ago, Pret decided to take action and allow all NHS workers to have hot drinks on the house and 50% off all other food and drink. This heartwarming campaign was praised heavily on social media and inspired a lot of other brands to do something similar.
Brewdog, a multinational brewery pub chain based in Scotland, took to their socials to launch Punk Sanitizer last week. In aid of helping with the shortage of hand sanitizers, they started to make their own in their distillery in Scotland. Their post received almost 30,000 likes and received a lot of positive feedback.
Tan Luxe is a British born new skincare brand that specialises in tan. They also took to Instagram to announce the launch of their nourishing, anti-bac hand sanitizers, made especially to gift to the NHS.
American sports brand, New Balance announced via Instagram in a heart-warming post they’re using their US factories to now create facial masks to deliver to hospitals.
South East restaurant chain Fego announced this week they will be now delivering food to homes. They have said that with every order placed they will deliver a completely free meal to a NHS worker.
Ways to demonstrate to your audience you’re going above and beyond are:
- If you can create something or do something, free of charge, that can help your community right now, do it. For example, The Body Shop has delivered 25,000 bars of soap and 25,000 tubes of hand cream to frontline NHS workers at the newly opened Nightingale Hospital at London’s ExCel.
- Make sure you shout about it the right way. Ensure you create the most engaging content possible, whether it be video, imagery, iconography or graphics.
- Share other companies and brands positive stories – there’s nothing wrong with shouting about the great work others are doing. With all the negativity in the news at the moment, focus on keeping your content positive.
Create Re-shareable Content
During this time people are going to be spending a lot of time on their phones, and will be looking for interactive things to do and share more than ever. To take advantage of this, brainstorm interactive things you can create that relate to your business and will get people sharing to create more awareness for your company.
Smoothie brand Innocent Drinks are well known for creating very engagement-focused and interactive content for their social media. Recently they shared a carousel of word searches their audience can be doing during this time.
ASOS created a series of interactive posts which included ‘spot the difference’ and ‘how many can you count’ in the hope of giving their audience a distraction. The post received over 5,000 likes and 120 comments with plenty of people getting involved and playing the game.
Easy ways to start creating content people can share:
- Look at what other people are doing, see what you can create that will relate to your audience. For example, at MRS we created a series of Instagram templates for our social audience to fill in.
- There are many tools which you can use to create content like this, Photoshop is the most ideal tool but if you do not have access to this, there are many free alternatives such as gimp and pablo.
- Make sure you get someone to start off the trend. The only way these types of interactive pieces of content get trending is by them being shared, get your employees sharing!
Change your Branding to Fit Current Circumstances
Many brands have been seen changing their branding amid self-isolation, the majority of them being fashion brands and online retail stores. Fashion brand Oh Polly even held a Netflix party with a series of influencers who posted about it on their stories, which involved decorating cookies that they had sent to them.
Online fashion brand Luxe To Kill recently switched up their brand message on social and changed all of their hashtags to #LuxeToChill in line with the stay at home theme.
ASOS also continue their influencer programme with their #AtHomeWithAsos campaign which features home-made videos from their brand advocates.
Ways in which you can switch up your branding could include:
- Create a themed hashtag in-line with your business and adapting to the current circumstances
- Think of ways in which you could temporarily change your branding that will help the current situation. Such as distancing apart your letters within your brand name to align with the social distancing message.
- Think of how social distancing has affected your business and how you’re managing your communication digitally. For example, ASOS’ influencer strategy has been changed but modified well to fit current circumstances.
Hold a Social Competition to Grow your Audience
This is the perfect time to hold a social media competition which could potentially grow your audience by a large amount, don’t be hesitant to give away something big. Everyone loves something for free, especially when that free thing has the potential to break the monotony of self-isolation. Examples of brands and small businesses holding competitions to grow their social media audience are…
In hope to grow their social media audience further, Utter Waffle launched a competition on Instagram to win an ‘at home waffle kit’. This is extremely relevant right now, especially if you’re craving waffles but can’t make them at home. By getting their audience to ‘tag a friend that isn’t following them’, they’re exposing themselves to a completely new audience, which is a great way to grow their social visibility.
Similar to Utter Waffle, these guys have created their own competition in hope to get themselves some content for their socials. By the looks of it, user generated content makes up the majority of their Instagram feed and they must be in need of more during these times. By using this different method of entry, Cocktail Alchemists are aiming to get a good amount of new content from their competition.
Easy ways of setting up your social media competition:
- Determine what you want to give away and why? Can you be clever and link it back to the current climate?
- Set up your competition and decide what you want to get out of it (i.e, if you want more followers, make sure you set the entry method as ‘follow to win’)
- You should utilise all the different ways in which your competition can reach new people. Whether it’s collaborating with other brands, including relevant hashtags or using paid social.
Adapting your Business’ Social Media During Covid-19
Ultimately, the key to being able to make the most of the very unique situation we find ourselves in is adaptability. Your business’s ability to change up it’s messaging, approach and engagement with it’s audience is the difference between standing out on social media or getting lost in the noisiest room you’ve ever tried to be heard in. This content has pulled together actionable insight across a range of brands and markets to give you inspiration on what you could maybe try. In fact, we’d love to know if you put any of this into action and what the results may be. Drop us a message on our Facebook or Instagram accounts to show us what you’ve been up to.
For further guidance in all aspects of digital marketing don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts at MRS.